Organizing your law firm documents using custom stickers and keeping them safe don’t always go hand in hand and yet it of uttermost importance that you do precisely this. As a law firm, you have an ethical obligation towards your clients to keep their information safe and maintain their confidentiality.
Small and medium sized law firms can easily be hacked into and the hacker can get away with information that includes the client’s names, social security numbers, billing information, medical records and much else.
There are ways for you to stop something like this from happening but they might require a certain amount of change on your part.
Organizing and protecting your e-mails
E-mails are the preferred method of communication for law firms and there is good reason for that. Everybody knows how to use email and it’s a fast and reliable method. What you don’t know is that emails can easily be accessed by an authorized third party.
Emails can be read and intercepted at router points, internet service providers or internal IT departments. They can also be sent to a wrong recipient, be forwarded to a wrong client, get lost in spam filter or be caught up in litigation holds.
This means that you still plan on using emails you need to make sure that they are as secure as they can be. The safest way to do this is to encrypt them. Research email encryption options and invest in one that seems best to you.
Organizing and protecting the law firm documents stored on flash drives
Flash drives are popular among lawyers as they allow them to easily carry the documents home, share them among relevant parties or store to be used at a later date.
Flash drives can be read by anyone and files can be copied from them in a matter of seconds which makes them one of the least secure methods of storing your law firm documents.
Always password protect your flash drives as that is the least you can do. Flash drives protected with passwords are far from secure though. They can easily be broken into so investing in a flash drive encryption is highly advisable.
File sharing services and the dangers of using them
Online file sharing option are readily available and no one can dispute the fact that they are the absolutely most convenient method of transferring law firm documents.
That being said, they are also the least secure method and a number of law firms have prohibited their employees from using them as they were never meant to be used for sharing sensitive information.
They can easily be accessed by someone looking to steal your law firm documents and that someone can do more than just steal them. He can completely erase them.
A serious law firm should not use file sharing services but if you still plan on doing so at least don’t use the free ones and try using customized stickers instead. Pay for one that offers some kind of protection for your law firm documents.
Using public computers
A respected lawyer will never use a public computer for business as they provide exactly 0 protection in terms of privacy or security. Make sure that your clients are aware of this fact as well. If a client is given permission to access any of your internal documents, and he does so from a public computer, your whole system could be in danger and not just the files your client has access to.
You might think that no law firm uses fax anymore and that’s where you are dead wrong. Some people had gotten used to the fax so much that no new technology can ever replace it for them. The same goes for the clients.
Some clients still insist on using fax.
Fax suffers from an inherent lack of security and there is little you can do to increase it. If you have to use it we suggest that you scan the document and shred it after receiving it.
Using smartphones and tablets to store your law firm documents
As convenient as it is to organize and store your law firm documents on your smartphone or tablet it is not a good idea to do so. They have much weaker level of protection and they are stolen they can easily be broken into. Avoid storing sensitive data on them.
If you do so make sure that you don’t lose your device and that you have a strong password and a way to erase the date remotely.