Security vs. Reaity

Some dentists are so afraid of computer viruses or Internet hackers they won’t use computerized records or connect to the Internet. They want a guarantee that the records are impenetrable. That’s just silly.

We fear that which we do not understand. Stories about pre-teen Internet hackers, identity theft, computer viruses or worse yet a worm (whatever that is; it sounds hideous) are enough to make anyone start to look at their friendly computer with a bit of suspicion. In order to quell our fears let’s look at computer security and compare it to everyday security issues we do understand.

Security for your home or car starts with simply locking the doors. However, if you want to be more secure you can add on more systems. Such as more expensive locks, dead bolts, the club, burglar alarms, LoJack, bars on the windows, video monitors, metal detectors, roving Dobermans or 24 hour guards. Each system adds to the security but is also adds to the cost and hassle factor. There comes a point depending on your level of paranoia and tolerance for irritation where you say “enough already”.

It is the same with your computer and Internet access. You can simply start by locking the doors; that is using a password to logon. Next install a firewall and virus protection. For the vast majority of dental offices that is all you need.

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