Using Dropbox: Security Issues for Attorneys

Dropbox, an online cloud computing tool, makes it easy for attorneys to instantly share large computer files with clients, experts and opposing counsel. Yet Dropbox also has a dubious privacy policy that raises security concerns for attorneys who are transferring highly sensitive or confidential information.

To help raise awareness among Portland lawyers of the potential pitfalls of using this increasingly popular web tool, personal injury attorney Charley Gee has published an article about Dropbox in the recent Multnomah Bar Association newsletter.

“Dropbox and other cloud computing solutions can provide law offices with tools to manage and transfer large amounts of information painlessly,” Gee states. “However, this emerging technology requires lawyers to be mindful of the risks involved and to use common sense and diligence in protecting client information.”

In order to protect themselves when using Dropbox or similar tools, there are a few security measures attorneys can take, he adds:

Use common sense. Extremely sensitive or confidential files may be better off sent via the postal service.

Use third-party encryption. By using an outside program to encrypt files sent via Dropbox, attorneys can add an extra layer of security to their data.

Password-protect files. By compressing data into a .zip file and adding password protection, lawyers can add some minimal protection, although not enough to stop a determined hacker.

Read the full article (p. 20).