Beaverlog Tips: Volume 32 - June 13, 2006

Encrypting Your Data

For several years, we have been debating whether to encrypt the data files in The THERAPIST. On one side, encrypting the data would obviously make the data more secure. On the other side, encrypting would have a number of negative effects. One is that, in the case of data corruption, it would make it much harder or even impossible to recover the data. It would also make it more difficult to use the data via the ODBC data driver. For technical support, it would make it more difficult for them to help fix some kinds of problems. With all of these problems, we have consistantly come down on the side of leaving the data unencrypted.

In Volume 28 of Beaverlog Tips, it was mentioned that The THERAPIST does not encrypt its data files. Volume 29 included a tip from Dr. Paul Brinich on how to set up Windows XP to encrypt the contents of a folder. Volume 30 included additional followup where we mentioned that you must have administrator access rights in Windows XP in order to encrypt a folder. If you want to use Windows XP data encryption, Microsoft has an article on their web site giving detailed instructions. We recently came across some additional information that prompts us to continue this discussion.

Windows XP Encryption

When you encrypt a folder in Windows XP, the files in that folder are encrypted with a very good encryption scheme. Unfortunately, the files are decrypted only when you log in as the user who encrypted them in the first place. So if you have a computer with multiple logins, you may have problems. Also, as long as the encrypting user is logged in, the files in the encrypted folder appear completely unencrypted and can be read by anyone who has access to the computer. While physical security should always be your first line of defense, it does open a possible security hole.

Other Encryption Options

A recent article in PC World recommended using Cryptainer from Cypherix. This program creates an encrypted "safe" that you can open or close whever you choose. The files appear in a new drive letter that Cryptainer creates for your encrypted data, such as The THERAPIST data. Cryptainer LE is a free version that will encrypt up to 25MB which is more than enough for all but the largest data sets. If you need more, the $45 Cryptainer PE supports up to 25GB and has even stronger encryption. Both versions have several other useful features.

Similar products are available from a variety of other sources. The following is only a sampling. Search the internet and you can find many others.

Yoys Software
Data Encryption Systems
TrueCrypt
GuardianEdge
PC-Magic Software

PLEASE NOTE:  Beaver Creek Software does not endorse any of the above products nor do we guarantee that they will work with The THERAPIST.

 

The THERAPIST Pro 3.0 Ideas Wanted

We have begun the process of putting together the list of features and improvements for The THERAPIST Pro version 3.0. We already have quite a list of exciting new ideas but your input is important. Go crazy, be bold, get wild. If you want to have your ideas included, now is the time to let us know. Be sure to give us a detailed description of the feature of behavior you desire. We can't guarantee that every idea will make it into the program but we can guarantee that if nobody suggests it, it won't happen.

You can send them by email to: suggestions@beaverlog.com. You can also fax them or send them via snail mail but please don't call with your suggestions.

 

New CMS-1500 Claim Form

The National Uniform Claim Committee (NUCC) has come out with a new CMS-1500 printed claim form to replace the current form. The last time a change to this form was made was in December of 1990. According to the original time table, the new form may be used starting October 1, 2006 and must be used starting May 23, 2007. CMS has indicated that they will not be ready by the October 1, 2006 release and, for government claims, have pushed it back to January 1, 2007.

The new form has new NPI fields in boxes 17b, 24j, 32a, and 32a. There are changes to several other boxes including as 17a, 24, 32, and 33. You can download a draft of the new form and documentation on how it is to be filled in by going to http://www.nucc.org.

We are working on supporting the new forms in The THERAPIST and should have it ready in both The THERPIST Pro and The THERAPIST EZ in the 2.5 versions before the deadline. We will continue support for the current form, at least for a while. If you have a version earlier than 2.5, you will need to purchase an upgrade to get support for the new form.

 

Easter Egg Revealed

In Volume 31, we told you about a hidden Easter Egg in The THERAPIST. As promised, we will now reveal its location. If you go to Help > About The THERAPIST, it will open an information screen. In the upper center of the screen is our little beaver icon. If you click on the beaver, it opens the Easter Egg. You'll just have to go there to learn what's inside. To close the Easter Egg, click on the botton at the bottom.

 

Instant Messaging with Customer Cervice and Technical Support

You can now use instant messaging to chat online with customer service. This is a great way to get quick answers to questions or to get codes (access codes, synchronization codes, etc.). We have accounts on AIM (AOL Instant Message) and Passport (MS Messenger or MSN Messenger). To contact customer service via AIM, use the screen name BCSSalesOffice. For MS or MSN Messenger, use the the customer service email address, sales@beaverlog.com.

To use instant messaging for technical support you must have an active yearly support agreement. If you have a support agreement, you should be getting an email letting you know the screen name/address to instant message technical support. If you instant message support and you don't have an active agreement, you will not be able to get through.

When you use instant messaging to contact us, please include your customer number in your message. We cannot remember every name and the customer number lets us pull up your information quickly.

We use Trilian for all of our instant messaging. It is available free from the link and supports AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, and ICQ. We don't have Yahoo or ICQ accounts so you will have to use either AIM (AOL) or Microsoft. If you do not have an instant messaging account, they are available for free from AIM or Microsoft Passport.