AAFP Is Beefing Up Website Security to Safeguard Your Information

Enhanced Authentication Process Scheduled to Launch Next Week

October 23, 2013 03:45 pm News Staff

Oct. 31 Editor's Note: Unfortunately, the enhanced website security system did not launch as planned. During final testing of the system in preparation for the launch, the new system did not perform as expected. The AAFP made the decision to hold off on launching the new system rather than launch something that was not 100 percent ready for members to use.

As an AAFP member, you already know the AAFP is looking out for your best interests with legislators, policymakers and third-party payers. Now, the Academy is stepping up its efforts to protect your privacy online.

[Screenshot of AAFP password change page]

Late next week, the AAFP will launch an enhanced website security system designed to safeguard the identifiable personal information in all AAFP member and customer accounts, including name, home and e-mail addresses, and member ID number.

In keeping with online security best practice standards, the new aafp.org authentication process will look and feel very much like what users are accustomed to seeing on other websites that handle sensitive customer information, said AAFP Chief Information Officer Gordon Schmittling. The experience will be similar to what users encounter when, for example, they visit their banks, utility companies and even retail merchants online.

As for getting started in the new system, here's how that process will work, according to Schmittling.

"The first time users log in to aafp.org after our website security update, they will be prompted to establish a new Web password," he said. To optimize security, passwords must be a minimum of eight characters long and include at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter and one numeral.

After the user has completed that process, Schmittling added, he or she will be asked to set up a security question and response. This step allows the system to verify the user's identity should he or she want or need to reset the password for his or her AAFP account (for example, if a user forgets the password).

"The process is simple, fast and similar to others you have experienced," said Schmittling. "For just a minimum of effort, the payoff can be substantial."