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How Your Dentist’s Website May Be Risking Your Privacy

Identity Theft can take place in many different ways and most internet users understand the basic safety precautions.  But what if your Dentist is putting your personal information at risk by not securing their website against hackers intercepting your personal information?

In 2017, the problem became large enough that Google announced that they would start displaying warnings on websites that didn’t have what is called an SSL Security Certificate installed.  This important security feature binds the website with the server and encrypts any information passed between you and your dentist’s website.  Despite the warnings from security experts and now Google, many dental practices are still delinquent in taking the proper security measures to protect your privacy.

How Do You Tell if Your Dentist’s Website is Secure? 

Fortunately, it is relatively simple to tell if your dentist has taken the proper precautions to protect your privacy.   All browsers will notify you if their website is secure by a icon in the upper top corner of your address bar in your browser.   For example, this image below shows the secure green padlock in Google Chrome.  In addition, you’ll notice in the address, there is an S an the end o of the HTTP.

On a website that doesn’t have an SSL Certificate, the current look of your dentist’s website address will look like this if you click on the grey icon and your browser will warn you if your information is at risk.



Beginning this spring, Google will start penalizing websites with the following warning if they still haven’t complied with an installed SSL Certificate.

This will also be followed by a large warning message if they ask you to enter information on a form or appointment booking page that will look like this.

What to Do If Your Dentist Isn’t Compliant? 

If your dentist’s website isn’t secure, be sure never to enter any information into any forms.  It possible your dentist doesn’t even know that their website is putting your personal information at risk with an unsecured website, but never the less, it is their responsibility to stay on top of correct personal information protection policies.  In addition, if they are not being compliant on their website, it raises the question as to how seriously they are taking your personal privacy with your actual files at their clinic.

For Further Reading on SSL Certificates for Dentists, please see this article.

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