How We Protect Your Information
At WebMD, we know security and privacy are important to you. We have taken steps to make sure that the personal or confidential information you have shared with WebMD remains safe.
When your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is sent to us, we require that a "secure session" is established, using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol via 2048 Bit SSL Certificates. This is done anytime you supply or access personal information on WebMD.
The SSL protocol facilitates a secure connection between the computer you are using and WebMD servers by encrypting your information in transit over the Internet. The use of SSL is transparent and requires no additional setup on your computer other than using a modern SSL supported web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.
In addition to SSL support, WebMD has two geographically separate facilities each with their own set of servers. When we have to perform maintenance on one set of servers, your data will be available from the second (redundant) location. This provides assurance that your data is kept safe in the unlikely event that we have server problems at one of our locations.
WebMD uses firewalls to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing our systems. All information entering or leaving our system pass through these firewalls and is filtered according to certain security criteria we have in place. If the defined criteria are not met, the communication is blocked. A firewall is considered a first line of defense in protecting information.
User ID and Password
WebMD requires the use of a unique User ID and Password as a security measure to help protect your confidential information. This allows WebMD to verify who you are (authentication), and permits you access to only your account information (authorization). Through the use of SSL, your password is never transmitted in the clear over the Internet. When you have finished using WebMD, it is good practice to log off, especially when using public computers.
How You Can Protect Yourself
While WebMD takes measures to protect the information you have provided, we cannot protect your computer or its connection to the Internet. Here are a few steps you can take to help secure your computer and prevent unauthorized access:
By making your password at least 8 characters long containing a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, your password becomes more difficult to "guess". It is recommended that you choose a unique password (not used elsewhere) and change it periodically. About Passwords provides additional tips for choosing a strong password.
Much like the firewalls that WebMD uses to protect your data, a personal firewall will help protect your computer from unauthorized access entering from the Internet. Modern operating systems such as Windows and Apple Mac OS have built in firewall software that you can enable. Alternatively there are many computer firewall programs available from the Internet, however be cautious and always download from a trusted source.
Malware is software designed by hackers to gather sensitive information, disrupt computer operations and/or gain access to your computer. Malware can steal your information, send emails from your account, delete your files, and even render your computer inoperable. Common types of malware include viruses, adware, and spyware.
Spyware specifically, gathers information (i.e. email addresses, usage statistics) from your computer without your knowledge, typically for advertising purposes. This information is then transmitted over the Internet to someone who will either use it for advertising/marketing purposes or sell the information to another party.
WebMD does not endorse any specific product or service; however we highly recommend the use of Security Software, such as Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware, and Personal Firewall programs. Malware today, numbers in the millions and continues to grow. Every computer should have virus detection software, personal firewall software, and the operating system configured to automatically install security updates.
How We Use Your Personal Information
Once you've become a registered WebMD member, we use your personal information to deliver products and services that you enroll in and to process transactions you request on our web site.
These email messages may contain web beacons to count and measure effectiveness so we know how to serve you better. We do not collect Personally Identifiable Information through web beacons or cookies. You may decline to receive email offers from WebMD at any time.
We do not share your email address or any Personally Identifiable Information we have about you with other companies for them to market their products or services to you. If we hire vendors to deliver emails to you on our behalf, they cannot use your email address for any other purpose.