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In a world that is becoming ever-so mobile, the business of law is moving from the walnut-paneled window office to the Starbucks down the street. With iPhones, Blackberries, netbooks and iPads, the confines of the office can seem limiting.
But an on-the-go attorney faces another potentially debilitating limitation. Attorneys must safeguard client data and protect confidentiality. In an increasingly mobile world, how can mobile attorneys protect the confidentiality of their data?
Here are three tips for the mobile attorney:
Use private connections . WiFi hotspots can be great, for those looking to get some work done on-the-go. But the problem with public hotspots is that security of your computer's data is compromised. For starters, hackers can create fake hotspots that resemble the actual hotspot. Secondly, data is unsecured in public connections and if you have enabled file sharing, you're at greater risk of jeopardizing the confidentiality of your clients' data. If you absolutely must use your laptop in a public area, you can purchase your own private mobile hotspots from any cellular retailer.
Encrypt your data. For non-technophiles, this sounds a lot more complicated than it is. In reality, it's not rocket science. Windows makes it possible to encrypt your files at the click of a mouse. This is the first line of defense in protecting a confidential file, especially if you plan on sending it via a WiFi hotspot.
Protect your privacy. Keep others away from your accounts. Don't give your password out and try to keep your password to a combination of letters and numbers, preferably 10 digits or more. Keep an eye on your mobile devices and try not to lose them. Don't let others on your mobile devices. And if you are working in a public spot, work in a corner where you can keep wandering eyes off your computer.
As an attorney, you have a strong duty of confidentiality towards your client. Be responsible and take the necessary precautions.