Friday, March 30, 2012

Keeping Data Secure at the Coffee Shop

via ABA Journal

In an increasingly connected world, lawyers at a coffee shop, a hotel or the airport may jump online to check email, get some work done or send a tweet. But that freedom to access the Internet practically whenever and wherever we want carries risks from thieves, hackers and nosy neighbors—a possible ethical violations of client privacy.

[U]sers should make sure they are using a secure HTTPS protocol rather than the HTTP protocol and have a secure, 12-character alphanumeric password to log on to their laptops.
Mighell recommended a specific website called Shields Up, that will scan and determine the security vulnerabilities on your computer. He also said that while both Windows and Mac OSX operating systems have basic built-in firewall programs, they don’t offer enough protection.
Mighell also recommended turning off file-sharing unless there is a particular reason for having it on, and to have only one public folder for files that can be shared only when needed.
He and Nelson also recommended scanning your mobile device for malware after using any public WiFi network. And Mighell suggested investing in a good data loss protection program that will detect, monitor and prevent data from leaving your system.
From the comments: 
Easy answer - don’t use the coffee shop for your law office.
So does this change anyone's thoughts about coffee shop computing? The advice above is pretty worthless. What if there is no HTTPS connection available? I'm guessing that there aren't very many coffee shops offering ultra-secure connections. Hell, most of the time you're lucky if you can find an outlet to plug your computer into.

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