Secure email

November 17, 2012

The recent news about David Petraeus, who resigned after an FBI investigation uncovered emails that he’d tried (half-heartedly, as it turns out) to keep secret, reminds me that I exchange a lot of email with my patients.

While there is nothing illegal or improper in any of these emails, ordinary email can be relatively easily “hacked.”  In fact, I regularly see that my patient”s email accounts have been penetrated and used to send out advertisements, scams, and the like.

While I’m not an expert on internet security, I assume that if that kind of hacking can happen, then our ordinary email can be read fairly easily.

I do offer a secure email portal to my patients, but only about 20% of you utilize it.  In that system, no email is kept on your computer or mine, but rather is kept in the servers of the provider,

Although probably not perfect, their system is much more secure than yours or mine.

It is more cumbersome to use, and some have had difficulty in setting it up on their computers, but for most of those who use it, it works well.

I am required by law to provide this secure channel to you, but if you choose to not use it and send me email by ordinary channels, I will assume that you are giving me permission to reply over ordinary channels.  Of course, I would have no other choice except to use the telephone.

Should you wish to now use the secure channel, please contact Donna at the office, who will start the process.