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    Using apps to improve efficiency and security in the dental practice

    In part one of a two-part series, we explore several apps and security measures you should consider to simplify your day-to-day.


    Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

    In the current security environment in which we find ourselves, keeping our data as secure as possible needs to be a high concern for everyone. No one can guarantee to make you “unhackable”, but if you make the bad guy’s job really difficult, chances are they will move on to an easier target.

    One of the easiest ways to give someone access to your data is by open WiFi access points (WAPs). Now don’t get me wrong: I love getting a great Wifi connection when I’m out and about. In fact, one of my loves is the screaming connection I get at Kaufmann Stadium watching my beloved Kansas City Royals play. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to use open/unencrypted WiFi.

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    Here is what you probably don’t know: If you are using an open WAP, everything you do, every website you visit, every username and password you enter, can be seen, copied and used by crooks. There are many programs easily downloadable from the internet for free that allow anyone interested to do that. Are you scared? You should be.

    And yet, there is a fairly simple solution to this and it is the use of a VPN. The VPN is created using any of a number of apps. A couple of quick definitions here. Per Douglas Crawford of BestVPN.com: “In the simplest terms, it creates a secure, encrypted connection, which can be thought of as a tunnel, between your computer and a server operated by the VPN service.”  From webopidia.com, they say “A VPN secures the private network, using encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted.”


    This means that using a VPN app makes your connection encrypted and unreadable over unencrypted WAPs.

    You can also use a VPN app on your computer which allows you have a bit more security of your data even if you are using a wired connection. However, many laptops are now foregoing an Ethernet port and relying on WiFi only for connection. That means your computer is as susceptible as your phone or tablet.

    There are many good VPN apps out there. The aforementioned BestVPN.com is a great resource for them. 

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    Wrapping it up

    Well that will do it for part one of this article. Next issue I’ll continue with more ways to improve your security and increase your efficiency while hopefully decreasing your stress in the process.

    Dr. John Flucke
    Dr. John Flucke is in private practice in Lee’s Summit, Mo. He also serves as technology editor for Dental Products Report magazine and ...


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