Secure Web Browsing: 5 Smart Safety Tips for Therapists Online - Owl Practice Blog

Secure Web Browsing: 5 Smart Safety Tips for Therapists Online

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What Can You Do to Make Your Time on the Web as Secure as Possible?

What are the security measures you can take to protect yourself and your clients’ confidential information on the internet?

First, find a provider you trust.

Owl Practice eliminates the risk of storing your client information online by taking every step possible to protect your data. Owl is safe, PHIPA and college compliant, and secure. We take every step possible to secure your data. This is why thousands of Canadian therapists use Owl every day!

The second step is to practice your own safe internet skills. Here are a five precautions you can take to make your time online as secure as possible:

Use Your Own Device

As you can never be too sure about the security on a device that is not your own, you should never use someone else’s device to log into Owl. This is particularly important when you are accessing confidential information, such as the client information you would store in Owl Practice.

If you are ever away from your computer and need to access confidential information, using your personal mobile device is the safest choice. Owl Practice is optimized for mobile use, and using very little data! This makes accessing your information at any time easy and secure.  

Create a Secure Password

Password security is the easiest your first layer of protection on anything you do online. Many people choose a simple password because they want to be able to easily remember it. It could be something like their pet’s name or their street. These passwords can easily be guessed, which places your accounts at risk.

When choosing your own password, you should do your best to make it as complex as possible. Secure passwords use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols (such as “!,” “?,” or “@”).

Once you create your secure password, you should never use it for more than one site. This reduces the risk that if your password were compromised, that password would not give access to any other site or account you may use.

Speaking of smartphones and tablets, they usually have a quite a few other layers of security in place aside from just a password. Recent smartphones and tablets use fingerprint or facial ID to give you access while keeping others out. In these cases, you can also use a passcode to get access. If you really want to make your device secure, choose a 6-digit passcode rather than the 4-digit default and set a maximum number of times that someone can try to guess your passcode before the phone locks, preventing any future attempts to login.

Regularly Clear Your Cache

Whenever you go to a website, your browser typically defaults to hold onto important information that gives you faster access the next time you visit. For example, if you were to log into your bank, then leave the page for a minute or two, and then come back, you probably wouldn’t need to login again. That’s because your browser held onto a “cookie”; a small piece of data that stores important information. Convenient, yes? Dangerous, potentially.

Although most cookies expire at the end of your session, there may be times when they don’t. Your computer might be continuing to store valuable information like credit card numbers, passwords, and identity information. When you clear your cache, all of these cookies (as well as your browser history) ars deleted. This can be a bit of a pain sometimes, as the option to clear your cache is often buried under layers of options menus. There are a few workarounds to this. You can set up your browser so it clears your cache every time it’s closed. You can also make it a habit to clear your cache out yourself regularly!

Use a Secure Wifi Connection

Does this sound familiar? You’re planning to get some work done that requires an internet connection and you think to yourself, “Hey, I’ll just go to a coffee shop that has free wifi!” Let’s stop right there.

Using public wifi comes with a huge number of security risks. Yes, it’s convenient, but there are huge drawbacks. These public, unsecured wifi signals can be compromised by hackers, so by using one, you might be leaving yourself open to theft of your personal and confidential data, passwords, and more.

Instead of using a public wifi connection, it’s preferable to use your smartphone’s tethering option. This allows you to connect to your phone, just like you would any other wifi signal, but instead of sharing the public wifi, it’s your own personal connection. As long as your phone’s hotspot is protected by a secure password (remember, use Capital leTters, numb3rs, and ch@racters!), then your connection should be safe at all times. Just make sure that you have a phone package that will give you enough data for your work usage. It can be more than worth the additional cost.

Invest in Internet Security

There are so many computers out there that aren’t protected by anything but the operating system’s default virus scanner. This is better than nothing, but in an ideal world, you really want all of your information protected by a few layers of digital security. Often, the best way to do this is to invest in an Internet Security Suite.

These suites often combine virus scanning and monitoring along with a secure firewall and other tools that will help keep all of your confidential information safe. Programs like Norton or BitDefender have excellent reputations and often come at affordable prices—not that you should put a price on internet security. You can further augment these programs with malware defenders like Malwarebytes, to help keep your computer free of malicious programs like spyware.

Bringing it Home

While it’s essential that you do your part to secure your web browsing, Owl Practice also has the huge responsibility of making sure that all of your data is protected on our end. We secure your data, and are College and PHIPA compliant! That’s why all of your data is stored on Canadian servers using bank-level encryption (SSL) protected by Canadian privacy laws. Not only that, each Owl Practice account has its own segregated database which is only accessible from a customized, account-specific URL. We know that any successful practice is dependant on its confidential patient data, so we continuously back up all Owl data; there’s no need for you to deal with data recovery. You remain the owner all of your practice data, while as your service provider, we hold onto your information for safekeeping.

Thousands of Canadian therapists, psychologists, and social workers trust Owl Practice every day to protect their data and save them time and money. Sign up for a demo today and you’ll quickly see all of the advantages that Owl Practice can offer!

As always,

Practice Wisely

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