Protecting Your Electronic Communication Privacy

by Kathryn Simpson

Protecting Your Electronic Communication Privacy

Anyone who has had an appointment with a health care provider in the past nine years is familiar with the privacy policies that protect their health information. Federal law requires the protection of this information and provides a sense of security in knowing that your health privacy is protected. But how well are your other "secrets" protected?

If you are employed, emails sent and received on your employer's computer and any written or verbal communications, including text and voice-mail messages, on employer-provided cell phones are not protected from your employer's eyes and ears. Employers can and do monitor emails, voicemails, and text messages as well as employee's social media sites. They do so for many reasons including to ensure that employees are not disclosing confidential and proprietary information.

Communications that you wish to keep confidential, including correspondence with your attorney, should be made in a manner to ensure privacy. You can communicate via email from your home computer using an email account other than that used for work or from your personal smart phone.

In addition, you should password protect your smart phone. The theft or loss of a phone may result in much more than just inconvenience. If there are confidential communications on your device, it could result in the loss of any privilege of confidentiality. If you have other private information on your device, identity theft is a real risk if it can be accessed.

Protect your privacy by being vigilant and smart.


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