Technology Issues continued

A Sample Checklist

The following is a sample checklist. It is not exhaustive.

Consider these technology issues:

  • Determine what type of computer you need, and how many, as well as what peripheral devices are required (e.g., printers). If you operate multiple computers, determine whether you need a centralized server.
  • Determine what software programs (e.g., word processing, practice management, accounting,etc.) best suit the needs of your practice.
  • Consider taking courses or tutorials to learn how to best utilize the software.
  • Before you connect your computer to other computers, make sure you have firewall and antivirus software installed.
  • Make use of passwords, and keep them secure. Your staff must also be reminded of this.
  • Don't let your security software become obsolete. Update your security software regularly.
  • Ensure that you use an operating system that is sufficiently current to provide robust security features.
  • If using a laptop, protect its contents with passwords, or store the confidential information in a removable storage device.
  • Seek professional help if you don’t have the technological skills to ensure the security of your equipment and information.

Establish a system for ensuring you and your staff use technology responsibly:

  • Create a policy for using computers and technology, including one for working from remote locations, and make sure staff is familiar with the policies. Keep in mind that most people now have access to work email/files on their smartphone. Passwords and policies with respect to phones are also necessary.
  • Make sure staff are sufficiently trained to use the software you have installed.
  • When staff leave or are terminated, ensure their access rights are terminated.
  • Establish a policy for use of your computer equipment by staff for non-work purposes to reduce the risk of viruses, Trojans, key stroke counters and other malware.

Engage in proactive information management:

  • Establish a system for regular backup and capture of information, whether off-site or to a digital storage media kept off-site or locked in a fire-proof cabinet.
  • If you have critical information in paper form, store copies at a secure facility outside your principal place of business.
  • Establish a system for file retention and destruction and integrate it into your computer system for reminders.
  • Arrange technical support from a professional who is familiar with the special issues lawyers face regarding confidentiality and trust rules.