By Pegeen Turner
Even though anyone can create a PDF file now with Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat remains one of the most popular programs in the office today. While many attorneys and staff “think” they know about all the uses, think again. There are a number of time-saving tools that most people are not aware. Before we dive into the details, let’s first take a look at what you already know about Adobe Acrobat.
You Know What You Know
- You don’t need Adobe Acrobat to create PDF files anymore. The last several versions of Microsoft Office have that ability built in when you choose Save As.
- The standard for emailing files outside of the office is a PDF file. With the emphasis on metadata and metadata removal, attorneys and staff should already be converting documents into a PDF format to send them out of the office.
- Limiting access to PDF files. Attorneys and staff should already be limiting access to PDF files by removing the ability to print, copy, and change PDF files for those receiving PDF files. By changing the file properties (FILE menu-Properties), attorney should already be limiting access and securing PDF files.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Now that we have established some things that you know about Adobe Acrobat (you knew all those, right?), let’s talk about some tips that you might not know.
The leak of the Panama Papers has done more than reveal the underbelly of the international tax-dodger trade. This massive security breach, the biggest document leak in history, also serves as a wake-up call for lawyers and law firms about our responsibility to keep client information confidential.
The files, leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, came from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama. Their contents are incredibly incriminating for several multinational organizations and many world leaders as they describe the ways powerful and knowledgeable people have gamed the financial system to create tax havens in off-shore accounts. It’s important that you understand the contents and repercussions of the documents, certainly, but even more important is that you understand what this leak means for law firm security in the future.
Here’s the takeaway:
- If you keep it, it can be stolen. Encrypt.
- If you send it, it can be misdirected. Encrypt.
- If you give access to it, it can be retained. Restrict Downloads.
- If your data is stored on your network, it can be accessed by anyone who has network permissions. Firewall it.
By Ginny Allen
Almost two months ago, I left my job as head of marketing and business development with a large North Carolina law firm to start my own company. Until recently, my interest within the law practice management and technology world had largely been technology, specifically marketing technologies.
Over the course of these last months, my eyes have been opened to the resilience, hard work, and investment of time it takes to get a business up and running.