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07 September 2011
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Q. I recently came across a staff member using a practice computer to book airline tickets over lunchtime. Should I be concerned about this?

A. If the clinical or administrative staff access the internet for personal use over the practice network then this poses a security risk. The risk is that someone will download a virus or other malware from a website or as an email attachment. This could expose your patient records to a security breach.

Personal internet usage is hard to restrict, because being connected to the internet has become all-pervasive. Staff members should be advised to use smartphones to access the internet for personal reasons over lunchtime. Practice computers should be used strictly for work. There is a document, GPIT policy document on acceptable use of the internet available on the Publications & Reports section of the GPIT website www.gpit.ie. This is a good document for review at a practice meeting and get sign off by all staff.