Secure Communication Portals Are Becoming Common

Envelope confidential.Manila envelope with confidential stamped on it.
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4-Step Computer Security Upgrade

Learn to encrypt your files, secure your computer when using public Wi-Fi, enable two-factor authentication, and use good passwords.

Just because you need a secure option for communicating with your clients (yes, you do), that doesn’t mean you have to learn to encrypt your email. In fact, email encryption is hard to do right, which makes it a poor option for most attorney-client relationships. (Here are some email encryption options that do work, if you want to try.)

The best option is to use a secure communication portal that is integrated into your practice management software. It’s easier (and probably cheaper) than using yet another tool, since you already use your practice management software all the time and don’t have to remember to log in to something else just to send a confidential message.

So it’s good news that CosmoLex just joined Clio, MyCase, and Practice Panther (I’m sure I’m missing a couple) in offering secure messaging to its feature list. Starting today, you can send secure messages, share documents, invoices, events, and tasks within CosmoLex.

You can also use the messaging system with others in your firm. That means it can effectively replace a lot of your email (for which CosmoLex already has a solution/workaround), and all those messages are neatly associated with your matters. And because of the document-sharing features in the portal, CosmoLex can manage your documents without Dropbox or Box.

Which is all pretty neat, but the greater significance, I think, is that secure messaging is becoming more common. Under Rule 1.6(c), lawyers must make “reasonable efforts” to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized access to client information, including communications. If your practice management software includes a secure communication portal, how reasonable an effort are you making if you stubbornly insist on using email, especially if you know your client’s employer or belligerent soon-to-be-ex spouse can access it?

So if you have access to a secure communication portal—and most users of cloud-based practice management software do, now—learn to use it. And talk to your clients about why it’s necessary. It shouldn’t be an inconvenience, it should be part of the valuable service you offer.

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