Living in an increasingly digital world is an exciting time for small businesses such as law firms. This new world of tech has many benefits but unfortunately, it also brings an increased risk of cybercrime and fraud.
It’s evident the security risks have reached the legal and conveyancing industry. Just this month Domain reported that over $200,000 was scammed from property buyers in Victoria. The same article reveals that last year the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales reported $757,000 stolen from a Sydney Real Estate Trust Account.
New data breach laws have been introduced this week to handle the increasing data security risks. Some law firms will now be required to notify clients of any data breaches. Due to this increased risk and new legislation, it is important to be vigilant in protecting your client’s personal and matter information. Below are six key prevention tactics to assist in keeping your firm and your client’s data safe as technology continues to advance.
Create a unique password using non-sequential numbers and letters. Ensure that your password’s length is a minimum of 8 characters (medium strength) to 14 characters (high strength). Be sure not to use the same password for multiple accounts.
TOP TIP: Invest in a password management system like Last Pass to add an extra layer of security to your system.
Be Smart with Your Smart Phone
Set your phone to lock within one minute of inactivity and only allow access with your finger print or a pin code. You can learn how to do this by watching a simple tutorial for your Android or Apple device.
TOP TIP: Stay away from birth years and common patterns for your pin number, for example 12345 or 1975.
Stay up to date
Update your software regularly to ensure you are utilising the latest security advancements. LEAP update their software every three months to help protect you, however, you may need to manually update other software such as Microsoft or your operating system.
TOP TIP: Be sure you are running an antivirus scan each week.
Use a Document Sharing Platform
When sharing sensitive information and documents with clients utilise a sharing portal such as LawConnect instead of email. This sends documents for review via secure links, and comes at not additional cost with your LEAP software.
TOP TIP: Let your clients know how you’ll be sharing documents with them, so they know how much you value data security.
Always be Cautious
Never click on a link from an email address you do not know or from a bank or government body. Instead, log in directly to the associated website using your browser or call the organisation directly.
TOP TIP: The Law Society of New South Wales offers an up-to-date scam alert which you can click here to view.
Instilling a culture of vigilance and education around online data security is vital, as fraud attempts continue. Implementing the above steps won’t provide you with complete protection, but will increase the chance of keeping your firm and clients’ data safe.