You may have heard about so many frauds that you are tired of listening. As a lawyer, you may avoid falling victim to fraud by being hyper-vigilant, by refusing to click on popup windows, or by refraining from opening unexpected attachments that could release malware onto your computer.
Summer is a popular time for taking a vacation. Or you may be traveling for work. Even when taking a vacation, many attorneys unfortunately can never truly leave work behind. That usually means traveling with a laptop or other device to be used for completing work. Yet your ethical duty to maintain client confidentiality pursuant to ORPC 1.6 remains the same when working outside the office.
In my previous blog post, I discussed the risks and reasons lawyers over-save data. This post is about how lawyers can avoid hoarding data. Don’t start indiscriminately deleting or shredding files to avoid hoarding data. The process must be thoughtful and deliberate.
It may come as no surprise that law firms routinely store huge amounts of client and administrative data in both electronic and paper format. Although lawyers are legally and ethically required to retain certain kinds of data, some data is retained unnecessarily. When you store data you aren’t required to keep or don’t need, it’s called data hoarding.
Imagine you post an ad on craigslist to hire a legal assistant. Someone immediately responds by email and attaches a zip file. Believing the file contains the applicant’s resume and cover letter, you click on the attachment and download it to your server. Soon afterward, you can’t access any files on your computer. You have just been infected by ransomware.
You may have heard about the popular tax season IRS scam in which the targeted taxpayers were notified by email they were in serious trouble for tax fraud. The IRS scam is an example of spear phishing: the targeted attempt to steal information.
Lawyers increasingly rely on the cloud to store, share, and synchronize their client files. Many use Dropbox and Google Drive for this purpose. However, the use of these common cloud storage services presents some data security concerns.
Fraudsters continue to target lawyers, seeking access to client funds and personal information. Lawyers must be vigilant to protect clients against unauthorized access to funds and sensitive information held by the firm on behalf of the client.
Oregon has had a devastating fire season this year, and it’s not over yet. Hundreds of firefighters are currently working hard to contain the Amber Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge while also fighting the Chetco Bar Fire, the WhiteWater Fire, and the High Cascade Complex. Let's not forget other natural disasters afflecting different parts of our country. This is a good reminder for lawyers to take steps to protect your practice and livelihood against disasters.
Text messaging with your clients is a practice that requires thoughtful consideration. If you find yourself in a situation in which you want or need to save text messages, you have many options available, but there is no "one size fits all" solution.
There are many ways to encrypt email messages sent to clients or other parties. You can use email encryption software like Trustifi, Virtu, or TitanFile. You can also use secure client portals within practice management software to securely exchange documents with clients. Even Outlook Email allows you to send encrypted email messages using a digital ID.
We now live in a digital world. Many of our interactions occur online using computers, smartphones, and other mobile devices. This new reality requires passwords at multiple stages, whether to unlock our computer or smartphone or log in to a practice management software program or website. Here are some suggestions for creating and managing passwords while following proper security measures.
Two-factor authentication is becoming one of the most important methods for safeguarding data. You’ve been using it for years without thinking twice about it. Every time you use your ATM card together with your ATM password, you are using two-factor authentication to access your bank account at the ATM machine.
If you have old computers and other office equipment laying around in your law office or home, there is a good reason they are still with you and not in the dumpster. This article will discuss why you should be concerned about the data in your devices and the proper way to dispose of them.