My office was burglarized over the weekend, a valuable reminder of the need to backup and secure your files, both paper and digital.

All the jerks stole was a few rolls of stamps and my video camera. Expensive for me, to be sure, but nothing particularly disturbing. They didn’t touch my external hard drive that I use for backup (and to store movies for lazy Friday afternoons). Apparently stamps are hot items. The building management may have been negligent, and I hope they will buy me a shiny new video camera before my next depositions.

I was irritated, but largely unfazed due to the fact that my files are well-protected and I have multiple backups. I back up my files daily to my external drive, and my laptop comes with me every night. I backup weekly (or so) to a second, portable external hard drive, so I had a backup just a few days old. All my backups are encrypted, so I wasn’t worried about losing client information.

The only paper files in my office are public information like original pleadings. So although I am quite irritated at having to blow a few hundred dollars on a new video camera when the one I had was perfectly good, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.

But it is a reminder to back up diligently and make sure your client files are protected, whether paper or digital. You don’t want to have to send a letter to your clients notifying them to look out for identity theft, since you never encrypted your files.