With so much of our daily lives spent online these days, it’s important to do what you can to protect personal information. Identity theft is always a threat online, but there are a number of ways to lower your risk. Fortunately, Summit DD has put a new security measure in place to help.
Portal Passwords Get a Security Upgrade
A recent security assessment of the Provider Portal on our site which includes the Provider Search Tool and the Referral site, determined there were potential vulnerabilities regarding user-created passwords. This news prompted quick action by the Agency.
Russ DuPlain, Director of Information Technology at Summit DD explained, “What’s important to us is protecting those we serve, which includes individuals’ information.”
On December 11, 2013, IT implemented new password requirements to enhance account security. These new requirements make it more difficult for unauthorized people to gain access to sensitive information by creating stronger passwords to protect every account.
By January 31, 2014, every portal user must create a new password that meets these minimum requirements:
- Must be at least 9 characters long
- Must contain at least 1 upper case character
- Must contain at least 1 lower case character
- Must contain at least 1 number
- Passwords will expire every 180 days
If your password was changed between December 11 and January 31 to meet these new requirements, you will not need to change it again, until it expires in 180 days.
Additional Online Security Tips
While there is no way to be 100 percent safe online, without unplugging completely, there are methods such as creating stronger passwords that will provide a safer online experience.
“It’s important to find a balance that keeps us safe, yet still allows all the conveniences we rely on in our daily lives,” Russ reminded.
Here are a few helpful tips to help protect your information online:
- Never post passwords in or around your desk and computer
- Change passwords about every 90 days
- Never share your passwords
- Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts
- Create passwords that contain a mix of letters, numbers and symbols – the longer the password, the better
- Hover over email links with your mouse cursor without clicking – make sure the real address of the link that appears makes sense
- While real people do make mistakes, several grammar or spelling errors can indicate that an email sender is not legitimate
- When in doubt – email the person or organization (using a known email address or a customer service address listed on a website) to verify its authenticity if something seems suspicious to you
New password requirements are just one of the many security measures that Summit DD is using to protect personal information. After all, protecting the health, safety, welfare – AND information of those we serve is very important to us.
If you have any questions or issues regarding password changes, we are available to help. Please contact us with any questions.