In the 21st century, technology has changed at an incredible rate. Sometimes the pace of change can seem overwhelming, especially for lawyers trying to manage their busy practices. Learning about and implementing new technologies into their practices can often be a difficult task–one that is complicated by attorneys’ ethical obligations which require them to take steps to ensure that their clients’ confidential information is secure.
The good news is that there are lots of tools and resources available to help lawyers to successfully navigate the technology landscape. Whether it’s books, online guides, technology consultants, or CLE programs, there are lots of options available for lawyers seeking to learn about technology and cybersecurity.
For example, technology and security was discussed in depth ABA Techshow earlier this year during a presentation titled “Can They Hear Me Now?” During this talk, Ben Wizner, Marcia Hofman, and Chris Soghoian shared computer and online security tips and best practices, while Stephanie Crowley took visual notes of this session on behalf of MyCase.
Below you’ll find the visual notes from that session along with some of our favorite tips and links to sites that provide further information (click to view larger image):
1. Update your law firm’s software regularly
It’s imperative to update your software regularly in order to ensure that it is secure. Software updates often fix known security issues and if you fail to update your software, you may be unknowingly exposing all of your law firm’s data. That’s why the presenters recommended that you enable automatic software updates for your firm’s software. There are even tools that monitor software updates and manage that process for you and you can learn more here.
And if you use cloud-based software for your law firm, you’re in luck! Your cloud-based software provider will automatically update your law firm software, ensuring that it is always up-to-date and secure.
2. Use secure communication tools
In the mid-90s, email was given the green light by legal ethics committees and lawyers began to use email to communicate confidential information to clients. That was then, this is now.
As explained in our recent infographic, email is outdated and unsecure. There are much more secure alternatives these days when it comes to communicating with clients. Whether it’s using the client portals built into law practice management software, encrypted email, or using encrypted voice communication tools, you now have more secure options for sharing confidential client information.
3. Make sure to use encryption
Speaking of encryption, make sure to use it for every type of communication, across your devices. The presenters recommended using Whats App for communicating with clients since it offers encrypted text and voice communications. They also shared that Message on your iPhone is encrypted and more secure than traditional SMS messages. Similarly Facetime on your iPhone provides encrypted voice communication features.
4. Ensure your mobile devices are secure
Finally, make sure to secure your mobile devices. For starters, always password protect your devices. The presenters suggested that biometric security features such as fingerprint access offer both better accessibility and increased security over passwords.
Also the presenters recommended using a password manager such as LastPass to increase security. Finally, the presenters suggested using iPhones over Androids because the iPhone built-in communications tools such as Facetime and Messages were encrypted and thus provided better security options overall.
For more tips on securing your mobile devices, check out this article.