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3 Digital Security Resources for Lawyers

One thing is for sure about technology: it will become outdated.

It usually happens just as you think you understand the "old" technology. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say "they" plan it that way -- like automakers plan cars to fall apart exactly one day after the warranties expire.

Addison Cameron-Huff, who blogs as a "tech lawyer, Torotonian, entrepreneur and programmer," tries to keep current with lawyerly technologies. After running a webinar titled "Digital Security for the 2017 Lawyer," he posted a list of resources from the presentation on his blog site.

Fortunately for the learning curve, some oldies have made a comeback. Here are a few:

PGP

PGP, for Pretty Good Privacy, has been around since 1991. It is an encryption technology for email that worked something like this:

"There are two keys -- one public, one private -- required to encrypt and decrypt a secure message sent using the system," says Recode. "If you want to send your friend Mary a secure communication, you download Mary's public key and use that to send her the coded message. Mary's public key has a corresponding private key, which she can use to decode the message."

Got it? Of course, it's outdated but there is freeware that works in a similar way. It's called GNU Privacy Guard.

TLS

TLS, or Transport Layer Security, refers to a protocol for a server and a browser to communicate securely. It works through "public key technology" that is shared with the public. Now remember Mary?

"If Jason sends Mary a message encrypted with John's private key, then anyone can open it, as everyone has access to John's public key," LuxSci explains. "However, successfully opening the message proves that it was sent by John and no one else, as only John has access to his private key. This is like an envelope that only John can seal, but which anyone can open and thus prove that John sealed it."

In other words, it works through a third-party verification system like Verisign to authentic websites. By the way, TSL replaced SSL, for Secure Sockets Layer.

"Air Gapping"

Finally, a tech term that isn't an abbreviation. This security measure pre-dates internet computers.

"Air gapping" means maintaining space between computers so that they are completely independent. One computer is on a network or connected to the internet; the other is a stand-alone with no connection to the network or the internet.

To breach this system, it requires physical intrusion into the stand-alone computer. As long as you have a lock on this back up, that's not going to happen.

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