January 7, 2013
As mentioned in previous posts, both the ABA and many State Bars state that lawyers must take reasonable precautions to prevent client information falling into an unintended recipients hands as a part of their general guidance’s.
One of the first steps to ensure that your client’s information is safe is to make sure your personal accounts are safe.
I recently came across an article from The New York Times about just this topic: How to Devise Passwords that Drive Hackers Away. Besides the obvious red flags about hackers (such as avoiding suspicious links).
Here are some take-aways from the article to help better ensure both your personal files as well as your clients are protected.*
- Never use the same password twice
Although it is much easier for you to remember 1 password for all 20 online accounts, it’s also that much easier for a hacker to get into all of those 20 online accounts from your Facebook Page to your online bank account.
- Come up with a passphrase
Lengthwise, a password should be at least 14 characters (or more!). The longer your password, the longer it will take a hacker to crack it. Sometimes it is easier to remember a phrase (like your favorite movie quote) than a longer password.
- Store your password securely
Just because you’ve now come up with clever, extremely lengthy passwords for every single online account you have, you’re not in the clear yet. Make sure you keep these passwords secure! That means avoid leaving any of them on a post-it note on your desk. If you keep the passwords on a file on your computer, make sure it’s a secure file that only you have access to. Or if you don’t want any ability to track your passwords on your computer, whatever you write them on, make sure it’s locked away. Also leaving password hints are typically better than writing down the actual password.
To view additional information on Frequently Asked Questions regarding online data security, click here.
*Note: these take-away’s are tips to increase password protection; however, can still not ensure 100% protection.