Written by:

Jane Oxley

Are You Protecting Your Client’s Information?

May 28, 2015

All the digital tools your law firm uses daily can endanger client information if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Given law firms’ special obligation to client confidentiality, it’s critical that your firm take steps to protect sensitive information.

So, how do you know if your firm is taking the necessary precautions? Ask yourself and your legal staff these three questions:

Are you creating complex passwords?

Passwords must be difficult to guess or hack in order to be secure. Strong passwords include uncommon combinations of letters, numbers and symbols. Passphrases can provide secure alternatives.

One complex password isn’t enough. Each member of your team must use different passwords for each account they create, and change them regularly to prevent hackers from stealing information. Your firm may choose to use a password manager program to generate and store these passwords. For more on creating secure passwords and keeping them up-to-date, read our post on password safety tips here.

Are you using common sense information protection?

Sometimes, it’s the simple things that compromise confidential information. While your firm is using precautions against hackers, remember that information can still leak in old fashioned ways. Teach your team to protect important papers and information. Shred or securely file papers from past matters, and be careful where active files are set down. Additionally, make sure your legal staff is aware of what information is and is not confidential. Social media policies can help prevent sensitive information from being leaked online.

Are you defending against viruses?

You can protect your firm’s tech tools from malicious software by using anti-virus screening tools. These programs detect and remove intrusive viruses and malware that can steal your information. To choose the program that is right for your firm, you may find it useful to read reviews of a variety of options. If employees use personal devices to conduct business, be sure to include appropriate anti-virus precautions in your bring your own device (BYOD) policy.
If you said no to any of these questions, it’s time to start putting the proper safeguards in place. Check the Law and Order blog for software advice and tips on how to improve your firm’s security. Remember: only you can truly protect clients’ confidentiality.

 

Photo credit: Ervins Strauhmanis via Flickr Creative Commons

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