Psychologists (etc.) II- Are your paper medical records, computer devices and other files safe?

Can an indoor camera help protect your office?


This post is a sort of “Part II” to the recent post I made related to the question: Can you recognize these computer security threats (devices) this holiday? You can read that here:


But first the standard mention related to my book 😉

In case you’re looking for a directory of companies that will send you well-paid work (evaluations and/or record reviews you can do from home), check out the current edition of the directory I wrote:  Supplementing your income with medical records file reviews and independent medical examinations (IME’s), 3rd edition: A directory of referral sources for Reviews & IME’s by Todd Finnerty, Psy.D (and also a disclaimer that I earn a small percentage of anything you purchase through an Amazon link)


And now the rest of the blog post….

Psychologists (etc.) II- Are your paper medical records, computer devices and other files safe?

Can an indoor camera help protect your office?

Lately I’ve been finding it amusing to watch pentesters on YouTube (penetration testers are people who are hired to break in or hack an organization in order to test security). Typically if you were thinking about someone trying to break in to your office you might think about someone breaking a window, busting in a door or some old-school lock picking. However, none of that may be necessary for people who use social engineering or simple tricks to get past barriers to your office. If you have given any consideration to whether someone can access your office and your files you may want to consider watching this YouTube video with over 1.5 million views: I’ll Let Myself In: Tactics of Physical Pen Testers The video demonstrates lots of different ways physical access to a location (and files) can be compromised. I strongly suggest you watch this video for some perspective on how secure your office is (or isn’t).

Not only do Pentesters have various tricks and tools to get into locations- they even carry many of the common keys to things they may encounter. These common keys are available to anyone for purchase online. Heck- you can even buy collections of keys on Amazon such as this one that could possibly even get someone access in to some police cars: 13 OEM Pentesting Keys 1284x FEO-K1 16120 CH751 CH501 C346A C390A E114

Now, with that being said if you were to use something like this without authorization you may find yourself needing a handcuff key like this small, concealable one or perhaps a handcuff key that comes in different colors.

One of the interesting things mentioned in the video related to file cabinet keys. One of the organizations they broke into used a common file cabinet from a national manufacturer and these Pentesters of course carried with them on their key chains the keys to the various common file cabinet locks out there. While  my cabinet wasn’t one of the keys they mentioned as common, I could just look at the lock on the file cabinet with the number, type it in to Google, and see that a replacement key as available to order for that lock for $6.95. If someone were able to get a look at your file cabinets and plan ahead six dollars and ninety-five cents is not really much of a barrier to access. Right about now is where you think about how your doors were locked, but the YouTube video shows all kinds of non-destructive ways they get access to locations without a sledgehammer.

I don’t want to be too long-winded in this post, but since I’m categorizing this as a “Tech Tip” for psychologists I’ll get right to the Tech Tip Point: Why not use a cheap indoor video camera?  

There is certainly a chance that someone may access your office. If you don’t have a security alarm that gets tripped and sends the police or a pack of hounds after the intruder and no nosey-neighbors to call the police, that person may have all the time in the world to poke around your file cabinets and any devices you have in the office. If you wanted to add an extra layer of security to the area(s) with your file cabinets, an in-door video camera for use after hours that could alert you to any intruders might be a helpful and easy add-on. I have had a Ring Video Doorbell for a while but I used to scoff at indoor video cameras until I thought about the need to provide some extra security for physical paper files. Now I think an indoor camera like the $59.99 Ring Indoor Cam can be a great idea for certain applications. Obviously you don’t want to record any protected health information but your camera wouldn’t be pointed at the protected health information- it would be aimed to catch any intruders entering the area where the locked file cabinets and other devices to be protected were.


Years ago I was an employee in an office where the psychotherapy records of patients who had been discharged were just thrown into old cardboard file boxes and stacked in a small storage room. The door to the small storage room didn’t even have a lock on it- worse, it was right next to the waiting room and the door was usually open often and people could just look in and see the treasure trove of personal information- lots of identities ready to be stolen or blackmailed based on whatever was in their mental health records. Yes, I did complain to my boss but not much was done. This type of lax security is a terrible idea. If you can say you have things locked in a file cabinet that is better, however please make sure you protect yourself and your medical records further by having some other means of identifying intrusions like the one in the YouTube video you should totally watch (it is informative and entertaining).


Note: your network could get hacked so for added security make sure https connections are used or to protect against many WiFi vulnerabilities in general use an ethernet cable connection.


Thanks and have great holidays,


P.S. You could also try a camera like this Kasa one that is on sale. I’ve never used it but I’ve used other products from them that have worked well.