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Protecting Your Privacy

Learn about protecting your personal information from unwanted use.

Protect Your Privacy

There is no guarantee that organizations will protect your personal information as much as you'd like. Even with strong security measures, someone could hack a company's databases. Data breaches make you vulnerable to phishing scams or identity theft. These tips can help you protect your privacy:

  • Read the privacy policies from companies that you interact with. Look for privacy statements on websites, sales materials, and forms that you fill out. 
  • Find out how organizations protect your information from hackers and data breaches.
  • Opt-out if you do not want the company to share your personal information with other companies.
  • Create strong passwords for your online accounts. Update your passwords, especially if a company reports a data breach. 
  • Use a VPN when you're on public wifi. VPN encrypts any data you send over a network. 
  • Disable cookies to prevent companies from tracking your online browsing habits.
  • Find out from your state or local consumer agency if your state has laws to protect your privacy. 

Health Information Privacy

Know Your Rights

Your doctor shares your health information with insurance companies, pharmacies, researchers, and employers. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects your health records. HIPAA:

  • Defines your health information rights
  • Sets rules and limits on who has permission to see your health records.

Protect Your Medical Privacy

Take steps to protect your health privacy:

  • Talk with your doctor about confidentiality concerns. 
  • Read the fine print on medical authorization forms. Check for clauses that release your medical information. 
  • Request a copy of your medical records so you know what's in them.
  • Read the privacy policy on health websites, surveys,  and health screenings.

Report Medical Privacy Violations

If a doctor, insurer, or health care provider has violated your HIPAA Rights:

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Last Updated: December 9, 2019

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