Data Security – Your Client’s and Yours

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03Nov2019

Data Security – Your Client’s and Yours

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By Hayk Saakian

Lawyers like you have access to sensitive information. You are also privy to confidential data that was entrusted to you by your clients. After all, information is essential to a law practice. That’s why data leaks should never happen.

With today’s technology and the Internet, I’m 100 percent sure that most of your data, if not all, are now in your computers. Unfortunately, the worldwide web is not all rainbows and butterflies. Cyberattacks are real and closer than you think. Don’t be the next victim. VPNs can protect you and your client’s data from any potential online information breaches.

What is a VPN?

A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a service that allows you to access the Internet securely by routing your connection through a server and concealing your online activities. A VPN operates by utilizing the shared public network while keeping privacy through security systems and tunneling protocols.

Here’s how a VPN will work for a legal practitioner like you. Know that, technically, a VPN produces a safe connection between your computer and any server on the Internet. Aside from preventing attacks from hackers, your data transfers will be encrypted whenever you are online.

Why Do I need a VPN?

What does it mean to be a good lawyer? Experience? Skills? Well, you know that as a lawyer you are part of a legal community. This makes you responsible not only for the client’s privacy but also for your own. With a vast stream of data at your fingertips, from sensitive case information to court evidence, what you have at your computer is tempting to online predators.

Imagine this:  You head over to your favorite cafe, order a cup of coffee, and proceed to sit down at your favorite spot. You then open your laptop, log in to the free WIFI connection, and proceed to open client e-mails. That innocent-looking routine is actually dangerous considering you don’t know who is monitoring that connection. A public connection is fair game to anybody who has access to that network and can spy and peek on your online activities.

To prevent any possible client data breaches while working at the airport or any places that offer public WIFI, using a VPN will serve as your vanguard. This way, data are encrypted in servers, so attempts to spy on your online communications will result in nothing but a bunch of gibberish.

Advantages of VPN

I know that as a lawyer you are naturally skeptical, so I will continue to build my case, by citing the benefits of having a VPN.

  • It preserves the client’s privacy by securing all online information.
  • The lawyer-client privileged information is kept from falling into the wrong hands.
  • It protects your data and browsing history from any devices, such as laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • It encrypts all data that is coming in and out of your computer.
  • It shields your accounts from getting unauthorized access.
  • It makes sure that your passwords are safe from being stolen.
  • It allows you to manage your business online while staying anonymous.

If you have a VPN, your Internet activity will not be tracked by third parties who want to watch your online actions. Hackers can monitor the websites that you visit, your downloads, or check whether you use communication apps like Skype and social media platforms. Remember, with a VPN your origin IP is shielded from possible attackers and identity thieves.

Potential Threats

You might be thinking, what is out there? To be honest, there are tons of security threats on the worldwide web. And you, as a lawyer, with tempting pieces of information at your disposal, are attractive prey.

Ransomware

Ransomware like WannaCry and Bad Rabbit is malware that restricts or blocks you from accessing your systems and files. They will then demand that you pay ransom to gain access to your data again. The effects of this malware will be pretty devastating when your client files are at stake.

Malicious Social Links

Almost everybody uses social media platforms, and hackers know this.  Hackers had settled in sending dangerous links to unsuspecting users through e-mail.  But now, with information being rolled out to deter this, cyber criminals have now moved their illegal activities into social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Fake Apps

With the rise of smartphones, Google Play and the Apple Store are not spared by cyber criminals. For example, counterfeit versions of a popular app will appear to pose as the authentic ones. If you install this on your phone, you will be infected by malicious malware which allows hackers to sneak inside and take over your system.

Spear Phishing

This is another form of phishing to get access to private data. Spear phishing targets particular individuals or organizations by looking like a valid and trusted source. If you fall for it, they can gain access to sensitive information like bank logins and other private data.

Where to Get a VPN?

In this age of surveillance, and more people recognizing potential online threats, VPNs are more accessible than ever. They can be downloaded online, and you can start protecting yourself.

Free versus Paid

There are two types of VPNs, premium and free. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

If you opt for a free VPN, you will not have to cash in anything. However, no-cost VPN service will not be as optimal as a paid one. You might experience slower connections, ad pop-ups, and no tech support if you have concerns.

However, if you want a premium VPN, you should be prepared to pay a monthly fee. Since you pay for the service, you will get to enjoy a faster connection, customer support, access to multiple server locations, and higher security encryption. Another advantage of paid is VPN coverage on various devices.  This is important when you open files or do activities that are related to your law practice on your smartphone or other device aside from your PC.

Wrap-Up

Legal firms and solo law practitioners have access to sensitive information. After all, clients are willing to pay lawyers handsomely for legal services and even disclose classified information to help them with their cases. Hence, it’s only logical for them to demand that law firms exert all necessary measures to secure their private information.

While our advanced technological age has brought a revolutionary shift in law firms, we can’t deny that it also means online security risks. So arm yourself and keep yourself and your clients safe. After all, you don’t know who is lurking behind every web page, waiting for a time to strike.

Hayk Saakian is an IT expert specializing in helping businesses to drive user acquisition through the Internet. He is always on a hunt for the latest gadgets – whether these tech marvels be for work, school, or entertainment. Find his honest reviews for consumer electronics on his blog https://www.hayksaakian.com

This article is shared here with full permission from the author. For more information on the author, visit www.hayksaakian.com

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