Confidential information is everywhere during the litigation process. Attorney-client privilege requires firms and solo practitioners to take reasonable steps to safeguard that information. But how can you ensure security when most of this information is stored on computers or in the cloud? One solution could be password management tools!

What is a password manager?

Did you know you might be using a password manager already, without even realizing it? Many popular internet browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox have password storing capabilities. Whenever you check the “Remember my password” box on a login screen, you’re using a form of password management system.

Recently, dedicated password managers have become more popular in the legal industry because they allow you to maintain security over a high volume of information, without having to personally remember hundreds of access codes. Some password management systems are strictly cloud-based, while others are local programs. Some popular choices are LastPass, 1Password, and Keeper.

How will a password manager benefit my firm?

Utilizing a password management system is a great way to balance your organizational needs with your duty to protect client data. For larger firms, password managers may be the only efficient way to ensure that everyone can access relevant documents. Additionally, they allow for secure access across multiple devices, meaning that you’re just as protected on the office desktop as you are on your cellphone. You can also set up multi-factor authentication, allowing you to use your fingerprint or FaceID in some cases.

Perhaps most importantly, a password manager dramatically reduces the risks of human error. Typically, people select passwords that they know they will remember and repeat them across different platforms. These passwords are weaker and substantially more vulnerable to attack.

What are the risks of using a password manager?

As with any technology, even password managers have some risks. These companies are specifically dedicated to security and invest in encryption technology, but there have been global-scale hacks in the past. It’s important to note, however, that despite the hacks, no usernames and passwords were ever released due to the companies quick response.

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