Personal Information Security

We value the trust our clients place in us and we extend that trust to our security practices of their data and information.  We perform an annual security audit of our information security practices and there is always one issue that stands out.  How to securely gather personal information?

Personal Information

So what is personal information? For information security purposes personal information is defined as follows; an individual’s first name (or first initial) and last name, in combination with and linked to one or more of the following data elements;

  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Driver’s License Number (DL) or state identification card number 
  • Account number or credit or debit card number

Ways to safely transmit Personal Information

So how can you safely submit this information? The key is make sure the information is sent through a secure system or with encryption. Obviously there are ways to send almost everything securely or through encryption but many individuals and business do not use encrypted methods for a variety of reasons. Below are the most common methods to submit information;

  • Phone
  • Secure Online Forms
  • Secure Online Portal
  • Secure File Sharing Services
  • Encrypted Email
  • Encrypted Text
  • Fax

Methods to Avoid

So what methods should you avoid? The two most common are;

  • Standard Text
  • Standard Email

How do you know if you are using encrypted email or text?

It’s not that simple, but suffice to say you are probably using opportunistic TLS, but that is not enough to be HIPPA compliant. The short answer is you are not unless you are using a secure email provider.

Our Methods safely transmit Personal Information

Dumbaugh Insurance regularly gathers large amounts of information including but certainly not limited to the personal information listed above. We offer the following options and methods to gather personal information on a secure basis;

  • Phone
  • Secure Online Forms
  • Secure Online Portal
  • Secure File Sharing Services
  • Fax

Our Recommendation

Ask us or whatever vendor you are working with what options are available and choose the best option for you. We offer a variety of solutions for this very reason.

As for Dumbaugh Insurance, we recommend using our secure online forms as they safely transmit your requests, create a ticket in our internal systems, and are assigned to a team member to review, assist, and complete. Our forms also help us to ensure we gather all of the necessary information the first time, hopefully preventing an delays to our customers.

Technology Usage

As with all of our technology our goal is not to limit our personal interactions with our clients, but to use technology to help us focus on providing better customer service.

Supporting Articles

Below is a link to some articles discussing some of the same issues.

Kiplinger

5 Things You Should Never Put in an Email

TLS

Secure Email (e.g. HIPAA) Compliance

Questions, Comments, or Concerns

If you have any questions about safely submitting your personal information, please reach out to me or my team as follows;

JOHN DUMBAUGH
John Dumbaugh Managing Partner

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Are you ready to save time, aggravation, and money? The team at Dumbaugh Insurance is here and ready to make the process as painless as possible. We look forward to meeting you!

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