In the digital age, there is a greater focus on data security. You should understand how to protect your electronic documents just as you protect your physical documents. Not only do you have ethical obligations to do so, under Massachusetts Professional Rules of Conduct, but also statutory requirements under the Massachusetts Data Privacy Laws. You have a responsibility to secure from damage or loss and also a responsibility to keep certain data private. Privacy issues arise with confidential information that you may need to exchange with your client or another person. Most practice management software products include secure portals to exchange confidential documents. Without a secure portal, you need to encrypt information before making a digital transfer.

OBLIGATIONS

Massachusetts Bar Association Ethics Committee Opinion 12-03

Secure Your Data: Part 1, An Update on the Massachusetts Data Privacy Laws

RECOMMENDATIONS AND TOOLS

Secure Your Data: Part 2, Top Digital Data Security Tips

Secure Your Data: Part 3, Encryption Basics

Formulating A Comprehensive Written Information Security Program (Mass OCABR)

Encryption Resources

FURTHER READING FROM OUR LENDING LIBRARY

Locked Down: Information Security for Lawyers (Sharon D. Nelson, David G. Ries, John W. Simek, American Bar Association)

Data Security & Identity Theft (Stephen Chow, MCLE New England)