Alameda County
Bar Association

Top Data And Privacy Essentials All Lawyers Should Have 
close up of keyboard, blurred

In 2017, 22 percent of ABA TECHREPORT survey respondents reported that their law firm had experienced a data breach. With an increasing number of cyberattacks on law firms in particular, having the right data and security resources has never been more important, and there are a few essential tools that can be installed on all devices to help. 

A quality VPN

A VPN (which stands for virtual private network) is “a connection method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, like WiFi Hotspots and the Internet.” Many companies use secure VPN technology to protect the exchange of private emails, documents, and the like when working outside of a secure office network. Since it is common to take legal work to courthouses and client meetings outside the office, it is incredibly important for lawyers to add this extra level of security to protect confidential information.

Privacy screens

Another must-have privacy essential when working in public is a privacy screen for your laptop. These polarized sheets (that are placed on to your computer’s regular screen) prevent people who are not directly in front of your computer from seeing what information you have open. While these are an absolute necessity when working outside of your office, many individuals even add these screens to their office computer for an added layer of security.

Updated anti-virus software

Historically, just one computer virus has the capability to cause billions of dollars in damage. Signs of a possible computer virus infection include sudden lack of storage space, error messages, slow performance, and missing files. Since lawyers constantly work with confidential client and case information, it is crucial to take action in ensuring data confidentiality. To prevent the consequences of a computer virus, having anti-virus software that catches some of today’s biggest threats is essential. When shopping for an anti-virus program, be sure to choose an option that includes phishing protection, malware scanning, behavior-based detection, and vulnerability scanning.

While there are thousands of potential ways that your information could be compromised each day, there are effective ways to mitigate those hazards. By following these steps, you can keep your legal information safe from online and in-person threats.

By Ali Byron