Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : February 2011

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TECHNOLOGY TALK

One of the amazing aspects of the Internet is that there is so much information available, it is often impossible to include it all in a single article. One of the changes we will be making to Tech Talk is to expand online resources for some of the articles from the monthly Solo and Small Firm column (see page 14).

At first, I thought I was just being lazy, but then I realized that one of our functions was to serve as a resource. So I am hoping to share some of the information that I find related to issues of law practice.

Sites for More Information on Laptop Security

In last month’s issue of the Bar Bulletin, there was an article about laptop security. This month’s installment of Tech Talk will focus on additional information from the Internet and other sources that can offer more detailed information.

  • US-CERT – The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/). Regardless of your opinion of the Federal Government, they are a great resource for information. This site will give tips on all aspects of computer security, including mobile devices. They take this stuff very seriously.
  • Top 9 Computer Laptop Safety Tips from About.com. You have to trust a site that does not try to stretch the list to 10 tips if there are only nine. What I like about www.about.com is that they keep it practical and simple. More detail can be found elsewhere if needed, but sometimes I find that this is all that is needed. http://mobileoffice.about.com/od/usingyourlaptop/tp/laptopsafety.htm. This particular article talks more about keeping your laptop safe from problems as opposed to security risks, and you are probably already familiar with some it, but it still merits reconsideration, because sometimes our biggest disasters come from easily preventable problems.
  • OnGuard Online (www.onguardonline.gov). Another government site, OnGuard Online, works in conjunction with the technology industry to address laptop security (www.onguardonline.gov/topics/laptop-security.aspx) and “help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer and protect your personal information.”

    There is also a video quiz that can reveal how little you really know about cyber security.

  • Setting a screen saver password. Last month, I gave directions on how to set a screen saver password, which you absolutely must do.  In the event that you have not done so, visit Computer Hope (www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000790.htm) for directions.

Reviews

We all want to read reviews of various technologies, but because technology changes so quickly, by the time a review is written and published it is often already out of date. Always check Internet sites for reviews of all types of products and services. In addition, you should also post a question to the various MSBA Section e-discussion lists. You will always get great responses.

Some good and reliable sites to look for information are listed below:

  • CNET. This site has been around for a long time and is well respected. To look at just reviews for everything electronic, go to www.cnet.com and search for your product/software. There is also a link on the site to download free software.
  • Top Ten Reviews. I have mentioned this site (www.toptenreviews.com) many times and use it for all types of products. Bookmark it.
  • PC Magazine. While not legal specific, this site (www.pcmag.com), along with Mobile Computing (www.mobilemag.com), is still one of the best.
  • ABA Law Practice Management. The ABA (www.abanet.org/lpm/magazine/home.shtml) is a good resource for law office technology, and it has issues dedicated to various topics, including mobile and laptop computing. Their 2010 Tech Issue is available at www.abanet.org/lpm/magazine/articles/v36is2_toc.shtml.

What to Do if your Laptop is Lost or Stolen

No matter how many precautions we take, the possibility of our laptops being stolen, misplaced or lost always exists. Here are some tips and checklists on what to do if this happens:

How many of you know your serial number to report it to the police or pawn shops?

I hope some of these sites help. There is more to come next month, or follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MSBALOMA.

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Publications : Bar Bulletin : February 2011

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