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What Lawyers Should Do to Protect Themselves From Hackers

By Edward Tan, JD on April 30, 2012 6:05 AM

Aside from the money, one of the benefits of being an attorney is becoming privy to a lot of cool information. The only problem is that hackers also like learning about cool stuff, too. And the bad ones don't care whether or not they have your permission. So what can lawyers do to protect themselves from hackers?

A lot actually.

It might sound like a Herculean task, especially for less tech-savvy attorneys. But protecting your client's and your own data is easy and important.

The FBI states that law firms are considered prey for hackers. The valuable personal and corporate data stored in every attorney's computer makes them targets for back door attacks. But you can thwart many of these attempts by just following these simple tips.

1) Create Secure Passwords and Change Them Regularly

This might sound like common sense. But you'd be surprised how many people don't to do this. When you're making passwords for your computer files and logins, make sure it's strong.

Use random letters, numbers, and special characters. Change your password every couple of months, at the minimum. And if you can't memorize them, write them down on paper and store them somewhere safe.

2) Wipe Clean Old Hard Drives Before Disposal

You may already know that emptying the recycle bin on your desktop doesn't completely erase files from your computer. But what you might not know is that formatting your hard drive doesn't either.

When you want to securely toss out an old hard drive, the first step is to delete everything on it and then overwrite the drive with crap data. It doesn't matter what you put on it, just fill up the drive. You can then use hard drive wiping software, like Sure Delete, to completely clean your drive.

But if that's too techy for you, you can also hire a data disposal company to do the work for you. And if all else fails, you can always bash your hard drives to pieces with a hammer.

3) Protect Your Mobile Phone

Smartphones hold an incredible amount of sensitive data. Keep your phone safe by installing a GPS tracking and data wiping app on it.

Android users can install Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete. Apple fans can protect their iPhones with Find My iPhone. Both programs are free and offer useful features like remote phone locking and formatting, and GPS tracking.

See lawyers? Protecting yourself from hackers is easy.

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