What is Encryption and Why Do We Need to Care About It?
Encryption is the process of encoding a message or information so that only authorized parties can read it. In our industry we handle Personal Health Information (PHI) which is protected under the HIPAA-HITECH laws, and also credit card information. In certain instances we are required to protect the messages we send to be delivered via the internet (texting, e-mailing, etc.) so they can’t be read without the encryption key. In a simplified form this is what happens when a message is encrypted.
We type words into a message template and press “send”. The message is encrypted (encoded, scrambled) and sent out to the receiving computer. A conversation called a “handshake” takes place between the two computers. The sending computer says “I have a message for you that’s been encrypted.” The receiving computer says, “Great, I can decode it so the receiving party can read it – go ahead and send it to me.” Bingo – the message is sent.
However, if the receiving computer does NOT have the ability to read the encryption, the “conversation” changes. When the sending computer reaches out for the handshake, the receiving computer says, “Sorry, I don’t have the ability to read your code.”
Our responsibility is to make sure the message leaves our equipment in a safe, protected, encrypted format. Our customers should be able to safely receive our messages.
Summer is upon us; our mood changes and we begin thinking about playing hooky from work. That’s okay, indulge yourself a little; you’ve earned it. Whether you are going on a trip, or just swinging the golf clubs for an afternoon, we will be here to take care of business.
To assure that you have the best service possible for your customers, be sure you use this check list when you turn your lines over to us.
Give us the times, as well as the days, you will leave and return
Let us know if you have someone on-call for your customers
Let us know how to reach you, or who to call, if there is a true emergency
Do we need a ‘script”; telling callers when you will get back to them?
For security purposes it may not be a good idea to tell people you are away on vacation – unless your home and place of business will still be occupied as normal.
Finally, please send that information to us in writing, or if you need to call, please try to let us know prior to 3:30 PM on a weekday. That is when we have programmers available to change the information in your account profile. It helps us to help you! Enjoy!