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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 technology  research  practice

A Technology Tip

  • Technology

In just the last few weeks, I have talked to two lawyers dealing with hacked email accounts. In the past year or so, I have seen frauds perpetrated where a hacker hacked into a client’s email account and waited until the opportune time (just as a real estate deal closed) to send instructions to the lawyer (pretending to be the client) on where to disburse funds; and a situation where a lawyer’s email account was hacked and the hacker, pretending to be a lawyer, sent instructions to a client on where to send funds. In both cases the funds went to the hacker.
A hacked email account is a big problem, especially if it is the account you use for your practice, and it can be time verydanger consuming to deal with a breach of confidential client information and to get your account back. There is no doubt here, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
On top of not falling for a phishing scam in the first place (giving your password to the hacker by answering an email that appears to come from someone you know and trust– see this LAWPRO Magazine article for more details on phishing scams and how to avoid them), there are a number of fairly simple steps you can take to help prevent unauthorized access to your Gmail and to secure your account if it was recently compromised. This excellent checklist from Google walks you through these steps. And while the advice here is specific to Google, you can apply most of the steps to other types of email accounts.
Please review this checklist and take the steps to lock-down and protect your Gmail account. Ten or fifteen minutes of work can make your account much more secure and save you hours and hours of unnecessary work.

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