BYOD: Five Steps to Protect Your Clients and Save Money!

0819131258Everyone in business looks for that little tactical advantage, that one way to save money that has no impact on the quality of work. For most companies nowadays, overhead and employee perks have been one of the most popular places that companies have been seeking that edge – cutting back on company cars, health insurance plans, expensive office services. But that one perfect way to save, it turns out, didn’t happen through a cost-cutting analysis, but when the guy in the office next door began accessing his company email with his iPhone.

In the fall of 2008, I offered to gather some information for my firm about a proposal to purchase Blackberrys for all of the attorneys in the office (at the time, of the 12 attorneys, only the five partners had firm-provided phones). It was the height of Blackberry dominance in the corporate business world, and many seemed to look at Blackberry as the only sensible option at the time.

I prepared a full report to the associates about which line of phones and plans we should request, but to my shock, the plan to request the phones was voted down. I purchased my first iPhone shortly thereafter, and used its email system to connect to the firm’s Exchange server.

Little did I know that instead of participating in the end of the glory days of Blackberry, I was part of a new trend in technology: “Bring Your Own Device,” or BYOD. Continue Reading…

Being Social: Lawyers Prefer LinkedIn

4According to the American Bar Association’s 2013 Legal Technology Survey, the percentage of lawyers and law firms utilizing social media is on the rise, and by a considerable margin, lawyers prefer LinkedIn over Facebook and Twitter. The ABA reports that 56% of law firms and 98% of lawyers have a presence on LinkedIn, up from 37% and 62%, respectively, just two years ago.

Why do lawyers prefer LinkedIn over Facebook (35% of law firms and 33% of lawyers) and Twitter (19% of law firms and 14% of lawyers), and what else does this report tell us about how lawyers can and should utilize social media going forward? (more…)

Google: Email Users Have No Expectation of Privacy

googleSo I read the headline of an article this morning that read: “Google Filing Says Gmail Users Have No Expectation of Privacy,” and I was a little amazed that Google would be so brazen.  Sure, as a user of Gmail, Google’s industry-leading email platform, I am aware that they scan the emails I send out (see my earlier post about being a little creeped out when talking about Sherlock Holmes in an email led to Sherlock Holmes ads appearing on my Gmail page) and that privacy advocates and Google’s competitors have been shouting from the rooftops about Google invading people’s privacy.  Still, I found it hard to believe that the headline of that article was accurate, so I dug deeper.  As it turns out, Google is actually asserting that it’s not just Gmail users, but anyone who uses email at all that has no expectation of privacy regarding their emails. Continue Reading…

Google AdWords: Too Clever For Your Own Good

Google-AdwordsYou know those ads that appear on the right side of a Google search that seem eerily geared to what you just typed in? Those are intelligent advertisements generated by Google AdWords, and by now we’re all familiar with them to a certain degree. My first experience was actually when Gmail had an ad in my account for something related to Sherlock Holmes, which confused me greatly, until I realized that I had mentioned Sherlock in the body of an email I’d just sent. Then I was just creeped out. For most of us, the creeped-out feeling regarding intelligent advertising has faded, so now it’s time to find out how we can use them… Continue Reading

Is Your Android Device Secure? New Vulnerabilities Raise Serious Concerns (Part 3)

android iconEver heard of the “Master Key,” or know how your “weblogin Token” can be stolen? Both are serious issues that demand the question: “Is your Android device secure?” As an attorney, it’s likely that you use your phone or tablet to conduct business, including storing or discussing confidential client information. If any of the devices you use operate on the Android OS, you had better have the security of that information in mind, and know how to minimize your risks. In this three-part article, I hope to help you do just that.

Finally, the story of the HTC One S and how you can protect yourself and your clients… Continue Reading

Review: PDF Software for Attorneys

pdf imageThe Wisconsin State Bar recently published an impressive comparison chart reviewing PDF Software for attorneys. Four packages, Adobe Acrobat, Nitro Pro 8, PDF Converter Enterprise 8, and pdfDOCS, were reviewed in great detail. The analysis looks at each software with an eye towards what attorneys need from their PDF-creation software. Core requirements include creating searchable PDFs, adding comments, adding Bates stamp numbers, high-level image and text redaction, and the ability to remove metadata from the document.

As far as comparison charts go, I’m quite impressed. They cover everything from word processor compatibility (including both Word and WordPerfect), other compatibility (Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), conversion capabilities (to and from various document types, including TXT, RTF, and image files), and compatibility with other software and apps commonly used by lawyers, like Evernote. The packages were also evaluated for Ease of Use, Feature Set, Value for Cost, and Manual/Help/Online Resources, on a scale of 1-10 for each category.

So what is the best PDF software for attorneys? Continue Reading…

Is Your Android Device Secure? New Vulnerabilities Raise Serious Questions (Part 2)

android iconEver heard of the “Master Key,” or know how your “weblogin Token” can be stolen? Both are serious issues that demand the question: “Is your Android device secure?” As an attorney, it’s likely that you use your phone or tablet to conduct business, including storing or discussing confidential client information. If any of the devices you use operate on the Android OS, you had better have the security of that information in mind, and know how to minimize your risks. In this three-part article, I hope to help you do just that.

Next, what is the “weblogin Token,” and how does it affect my security… Continue Reading

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