Medical providers see increased data breaches, and your information is the target

Do you think twice when you give your information to hospitals?

A new study found the number of cyber hacks targeting hospitals has tripled over the last year, with one of those in Southwest Florida.

NCH Healthcare discovered a cybersecurity breach last month, but we don’t know what the hackers got access to.

We asked Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko why medical records are being targeted, and what do they hope to get from them?

It’s just a different version of the same game.

RESOURCE: Protecting Your Medical Information

The goal of the scammer is simple. Separate you from your money. They do this by engaging in identity theft.

They want to create a ‘new you’ so they can create false IDs, credit cards and bank accounts. And the information available on medical records makes it easy.

That’s why hackers have been targeting hospitals, doctors offices and even health care companies such as Quest Diagnostics and Lab Corp to grab personally identifiable information, or what law enforcement call, “PII

This information typically includes driver’s license number, social security number, address, names, email address, and phone numbers

We all fill out that information form and it’s a road map for the cyber crooks right to your bank account. That is why they have been targeting medical records.

The documents ask for your social security number, do you really need to provide that to the doctor or at the hospital?

Actually no, unless you are a Medicare or Medicaid patient.

That does not mean they won’t ask, but the real reason is that it makes it easier to collect money due if you don’t pay your bill — No need to give your number.

Either refuse, or one way to compromise is to just provide the last four of your social security number. You can write X for the first part of your number.

Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Derrick Shaw
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