Protecting your law firm clients' data

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Date: 27 October 2020

A lawyer presents legal documents to a client

Confidentiality in a legal workplace works a little differently to the rest of the working world. Arguably, the data is far more sensitive within the legal sector, and clients may be less likely to know their rights. That's why it is crucial you step in and act as the 'gatekeeper' of client data and act to protect it from anyone else who'd like to take a peek at it.

When a client is on site, it's easy to ensure conversations are heard only by essential personnel, and confidential documents are kept contained. However, when clients are offsite, there could be all kinds of accidental or malicious intrusions that could make the details of your client's case public.

What do you do to ensure you protect your clients at all times? It's essential you consider all the components below. They work hand in hand to ensure your clients can trust you with their data and your organisation acts on the right side of the law.

Refine your data management

You may need to work on your filing and records management system. You need robust data management policies in place for all employees to ensure no data goes missing or is filed in the wrong place. A legal case could lose its momentum as a result of a data loss.

Both hard and soft copies of data matter here. Both need to be stored correctly, backed up securely, and then securely destroyed once the time comes. Third-party software might not be in your best interests if you're a new legal start up and it takes time to find the right digital solution. On site storage may be in your best interests, providing you can guarantee it is secure.

Safeguard against digital threats

There are many digital threats out there. Social media alone has made it a lot harder to keep key information under wraps, and clients themselves can be prone to posting key details for all the world to see. One social media status update could ruin the legitimacy of a case. Reminding clients how crucial it is that they do not share details of the case with anyone outside the legal team for the foreseeable future is part of your protective role here.

But digital threats don't stop there. Hacks and leaks affect many businesses, especially in the legal world so you should be prepared for them. Even simple steps such as using a virtual address from a providers such as https://physicaladdress.com/, could be a great way to keep data secure. You'll be able to secure and screen items, before they're moved to your location, ensuring there's no tampering, and all data is in the right place.

Keeping communication channels safe

And finally, communicating with clients via email or text messaging should be covered by your communication policy. Simple steps such as ensuring all employees double check who they're sending information to could be the difference between leaking important details and keeping your clients' data safe. Most of all, ensure your own data systems, such as email inboxes, are secured. Change passwords regularly, and follow some select rules on how to structure them.

You must do all you can to protect your clients and their data by following the rules above.

Copyright 2020. Article made possible by site supporter Jeremy Bowler

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