You might have come across certain apps and software that promises to provide a secure way of messaging for your practice. By the secure way, it means protecting your texts and information in it from unauthorized access and transferring it from you to the recipient in such a way that only you and the recipient can view and access the data and information in the text. You need to know exactly why you even need a secure method of text messaging. Patient privacy is a vital aspect of patients’ confidence in your private practice. Or in other words, what are the real benefits of using apps that promise security and privacy?
Before considering the benefits of using secure messaging software, let us consider why one does need it in the first place? The very basic reason behind using a secure messaging method is, of course, the data security. Often, when one transfers sensitive information from one channel to another, data security comes in demand. There is a sheer possibility that the normal and traditional messaging channels can be cracked and the data transferred using them can fall into the wrong hands. This, in turns, puts sensitive information at risk, when it comes to sending it over normal channels, and that is why it becomes quite necessary to use a secure channel.
Well, there are some reasons that you should use security software. The primary reason is, of course, the level of security the software provides over the normal and traditional messaging. You deal with sensitive data on a regular basis in your hospital and your work requirements include constant communication with your patients over the text messages. This is why it’s important to protect your patients. While the kind of information you use is quite sensitive and is probably at the risk of being cracked for unauthorized access, then using a secure channel for all your communication purposes is quite inevitable.
What a secure messaging software does is that it encrypts the text messages, and convert the actual text message into an encoded string of text, this encoded text when arrives at the receiver’s point, is then decoded and the receiver can see the actual text. Since the place where the risk of being accessed by unauthorized party is most is in the transmission channel, if the transmission channel is not secure enough, any person with enough knowledge can crack it and access the information going through it, but through the use of encrypted text messages this risk is lowered as even if someone gets the encrypted text, it would not make sense for them until the encrypted string is decrypted and actual message is obtained. Besides the encryption approach, certain software works on the principle of steganography, which conceals the actual text under a mock-up text.
Certain secure messaging software also offers customizable security, this adds flexibility to the app and allows the user to select their desired level of security as needed based on the nature of information transferred. Also, certain apps may contain a private key that can be exchanged among the two parties to encode and decode the text accordingly.