Online security – how safe are you?
In the world of technology, security is a massive issue – and one that all reputable technology businesses take very seriously indeed. This is because the risks associated with security breaches can be so catastrophic for anyone involved.
Not a month goes by these days without some security-related technology story making the news. One of the biggest in recent times was the hacking of Sony’s PlayStation network.
On a smaller, and much more personal, scale there was also the story of technology writer Mat Honan whose lost his whole ‘electronic life’ to hackers when a combination of security flaws and his own misjudgements led to the theft and deletion of his documents, his emails, and even his treasured photos of his daughter.
A serious issue, I’m sure you agree, and there is no simple answer to combat threats that can potentially take many different forms. On the one hand, there is a clear need for companies that use or process personal information to invest heavily in security and maintain a constant vigilance against new threats that emerge. But equally there is also a serious need for users to be careful in the way they use their information, and to ensure they select passwords that are both safe and secure.
The definition of a ‘strong’ password is, according to a variety of different online sources, one which has at least eight characters, does not contain you username, your real name, or your company name, and uses a mixture of different characters and symbols. It’s also important not to reuse passwords – you should use a unique password for every service – so that a breach of one service doesn't automatically lead to a breach of others.
But, of course, even then passwords are not completely secure. Despite the advice above, many people continue to use only a few different passwords across multiple accounts. To combat this issue, a number of companies including Apple are investing heavily in new fingerprint recognition technology, and it is reported the next iPhone will incorporate this technology as a key new feature.
At Dental CPD Pro we work hard to maintain the security of our systems to a level far in advance of the current standard in the profession. As such we already have a switch to this new fingerprint technology in the pipeline, as part of our ongoing commitment to provide our customers with a secure and evolving state-of-the-art system.
Security is a massive issue in this modern technology-driven world, and is an issue that affects dentistry as much as it affects any other profession. To this end, it is absolutely essential that you are as conscious about your security online as you are about other aspects of your daily life. This means you should be careful about who you give your information to, and you should feel comfortable to ask companies how they use your information, and what measures they take to protect your data from security threats.
Your information is precious, and its security should not be treated lightly. Be careful with your data, and most of all, make sure your passwords are secure.
For more information on the Dental CPD Pro app, visit http://dental.cpdpro.org.uk
 ‘Sony fined over “preventable” PlayStation data hack’ BBC News [24 January 2013] <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21160818>.
 ‘The Username/Password System Is Broken: Here Are Some Ideas for Fixing It’ Time Tech [8 August 2012] <http://techland.time.com/2012/08/08/online-passwords-are-a-broken-system-here-are-some-ways-to-fix-it/>.