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Tips to Protect and Secure Health Information

11. Delete all stored health information before discarding or reusing the mobile device

What should you delete health information?

Why should you delete all health information stored on a mobile device prior to discarding or reusing the device?

By using software tools that thoroughly delete (or wipe) health information stored on a mobile device before discarding or reusing it, you can protect and secure the information from unauthorized access.

How can you delete the health information stored on your mobile device prior to discarding or reusing it?

HHS OCR has issued guidance that discusses the proper steps to take to remove health information and other sensitive data stored on your mobile device before you dispose or reuse the device.

Here are some proper destruction methods the guidance describes:

  • Clearing (using software or hardware products to overwrite media with non-sensitive data)
  • Purging (degaussing or exposing the media to a strong magnetic field in order to disrupt the recorded magnetic domains)
  • Destroying (disintegrating, pulverizing, melting, incinerating, or shredding the media)

 

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