Law Office Management Assistance

Tech Sites

The following are the tech sites/tips of the month that are listed in the MSBA Tech Talk newsletter each month.
Please click on a month to view the links.

MARCH 2014 - Google Stuff You Probably Did Not Know

NOTE: For many of these tips/items, you need set up a Google Account, which is actually a good idea as a place for emails for online purchases or other junk email.

Google Public Data Explorer - The Google Public Data Explorer allows users to upload their own datasets for visualization and exploration. It makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate.

Gmail Labs – Google is a work in progress.  It is a testing ground for experimental features that aren’t quite ready for prime time.  “They may change, break or disappear at any time” so it is best not to get too attached to them.  You can see some of their experiments by going to Gmail Labs under Settings/Labs.

Undo a Sent Message – (One of the Experiments) You can set Gmail to wait 10 seconds before sending a message in case you want to stop it. Go to Settings, Labs and scroll down to Undo Send and click on Enable

MSBA Tech Tips - March 2014

Google Search Tips:

Search within a Site: - Can be helpful for sites with no or poor search engines. To limit results to a particular site, you can add “site:” and then the Web address of the site.
ex: site:msba.org “trust accounts”

Search for local results - Often your search engine will already know where you are. If it doesn't or you want to search in another location, you can add a zip code to the end of your search. Or, under Search tools, you can select your location.

For more Google Tips:

SPRING TECHNOLOGY AUDIT

In the March/April issue of the ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, there is a really good article on taking an annual personal technology audit.  Here are some of the questions by Wendy L. Werner, a practice management consultant you should be able to answer.  Not just for personal but for your firm.

Do I have a technology plan, or has my technology simply evolved over time as I either identified certain needs or I wanted to add new components?

Is my security up to date? This would include everything that relates to client files and records, email and computer security.

Am I adequately backed up?

Are my computers backed up on-site, and remotely and in the cloud?

Am I clear about what “retrieval” means when it comes to restoring files if I were to have a problem with my system?

Do I know how long it would take for my off-site or cloud computing providers to restore my data?

Does my backup comply with all of the security necessary to ensure client privacy?

Does my technology communicate well across platforms?

Could I consolidate my use for greater efficiency? This might include how I could more efficiently use my desktop, smartphone, laptop and tablet.

Does my technology operate effectively for the way in which I work in my office, at home and on the road?

Have I assessed my passwords and their efficacy?

If I were incapacitated in any way, would my data be accessible to someone else who would need that access to continue my practice and pay my bills?

Is the legal research software I am using sufficient to my needs?

Am I hampered by “work-arounds” that could be fixed? These might be caused by systems that don’t work with each other or outdated hardware. Vow to work on items that can be fixed or unified for both greater ease and efficiency.

JANUARY 2014 - cybersecurity

This month’s sites and tips relate to cybersecurity issues which are in the news more than ever. It seems as though everyday, there is a new story about a hacking or cyber threat. Law firms and lawyers are not immune to these threats and attacks. They can affect your firms and your clients.

JANUARY, 2014 MSBA PUBLICATIONS

There is an article in the January Issue of the MSBA Bar Bulletin about security issues for law firms AND January/February, 2014 issue of the MSBA Bar Journal is on cybersecurity.

ABATECH SHOW HIGHLIGHTS SECURITY

This year’s ABA Tech Show which is being held in Chicago (where the wind chill today was -8) from March 27-29, there are no less than 10 sessions about security for law firms and devices. Standard registration costs $1,050, but as an MSBA member, standard registration will cost $895. If you register before the February 10, 2014 early bird deadline, you will receive an additional discount of $200 – all for a low cost of $695! Simply download this registration form and include this unique Event Promoter Discount Code, EP1401, to receive the rate.

This is THE place for technology for lawyers and law firms. If you have never attended, be prepared to be overwhelmed (in a good way) but do not forget your warm clothes.

THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE

Make sure you know how to create good passwords and that you have a password policy for your professional AND personal devices. Make sure that all your staff/colleagues/family members take password security seriously.

One of the best articles on creating good passwords, “Keeping Your Passwords Strong and Secure” is from LawPro, from the Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company in Ontario, CA.

Some tips include:

  • Never tell anyone your password
  • Never write your passwords and leave on your monitor
  • Do not save passwords on your hard drive (OOPS)
  • Use a password manager
  • Do not use the same passwords for everything
  • Change your passwords often
  • Change compromised passwords IMMEDIATELY
  • Do not use the “Remember Me” Feature

There are more great tips.

PASSWORD MANAGER REVIEWS

It is a good idea to have a password manager keep track of all your passwords so you do not have to do it or do it badly. A password manager according to Wikipedia is software that helps a user organize passwords and PIN codes. The software typically has a local database or a file that holds the encrypted password data for secure logon onto computers, networks, web sites and application data files.

Top 10 Password Managers from Information Week

Review of Password Managers from Top Ten Reviews

How Safe are Password Managers from Tech Republic

Apps to Protect Your Array of Passwords from The New York Times

EMAIL

We are not going to stop using email so we need to make sure we know how to minimize the risks with using email.

How to Spot a Dangerous Email Attachment from Make Use Of

BUSINESS RISKS

Cybersecurity and Law Firms: A Business Risk – An article from Law Practice magazine of the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association

Law Firms Tout CyberSecurity Cred – from the Wall Street Journal

Cloud Cover: Insuring Technology & Cyberliability RisksABA Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Women In Insurance Networking Workshop, 2012

Preventing Law Firm Data Breaches from an article from Law Practice magazine of the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association

2010 Tech Sites | 2011 Tech Sites | 2012 Tech Sites | 2013 Tech Sites