Sensei Officers Featured In Attorney At Work
November 23, 2021
In large part, remote-work tech tools have been a boon during the past months. But danger lurks behind certain tech when working from home.
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. Working remotely, whether part-time or full-time, requires a variety of technology. And, to be sure, remote-work tech tools are loaded with treats that keep our businesses humming while we work from home. But danger lurks behind certain technology, or the way lawyers and staff might use it.
What are some scary things WFH has revealed about lawyers’ tech habits? We asked our experts for some Halloween observations — as well as tricks for staying safe. Here are takes from Jim Calloway, Anne Haag, Tom Lambotte, Catherine Sanders Reach, Sharon Nelson and John Simek, and Ben Schorr.
Sharon Nelson and John Simek: Home Network Fears — Keep It in Check
The pandemic suddenly thrust all of us into work environments that we didn’t anticipate. Working remotely placed a strain on home networks as we tried to connect to law firm networks securely. We competed for bandwidth with our spouse and children. We tried to participate in virtual court hearings and prayed our video didn’t freeze or our audio wouldn’t get choppy.
What we learned (which is scary!) is that most lawyers don’t know how to maximize their success while using home networks.
The reality is that home networks are three and a half times more vulnerable than office networks. We’re using consumer-grade equipment to connect to an enterprise network. Since most lawyers are still working remotely, at least part of the time, here’s our advice on ways to stay safe.
Tricks for Keeping Safe
Router settings. The first advice is to change all the default settings on your home router. As an example, change the administrator password for the router and disable the ability to remotely administer the device. That will help with security — a lot.
Ethernet. Directly connect your computer to the router via Ethernet instead of using the wireless network. A direct connection will provide the most stable and fastest network connection. If your computer is too far away from the router for a long Ethernet cable, consider using Ethernet over powerline adapters such as the TP-Link AV-1000. If Ethernet is not an option, configure and use a separate Wi-Fi network on your router. At a minimum, most home routers can create a guest network. Connecting to a separate Wi-Fi network will help keep your data isolated from other family members. Get help from an IT professional if all this is beyond your tech skills.
VPN. For additional security, make sure you are using a virtual private network or use an encrypted connection when dealing with client confidential information.
Alternate connection methods. Finally, be prepared for a network failure. Have an alternative connection method should your primary access be unavailable or unacceptable (e.g., spotty video). Don’t forget that using the hot spot feature on your cellphone may be a good alternative for network connectivity. If you are competing for bandwidth with your spouse or children, that may be especially useful.
A lawyer’s world is a lot less scary with stable, secure and fast connectivity! Read all the cool tech tips here.