Don’t use free wi-fi for secure matters!

Don’t be tempted to use the free hotel wi-fi to do work while traveling.  Or, for that matter, any free wi-fi.  How do you know that you are not logging into a spoofed account that is set up to steal your personal data?  Lawyers need to consider this as part of their duty to maintain client confidentiality. (See Oregon Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6(c) (“A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.”)

You can keep your data, and legal research trail, safe by purchasing a relatively inexpensive Virtual Private Network (VPN).  Here’s a description of what a VPN is and does:

“a VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection—which can be thought of as a tunnel—between your computer and a server operated by the VPN service. In a professional setting, this tunnel effectively makes you part of the company’s network, as if you were physically sitting in the office.

While you’re connected to a VPN, all your network traffic passes through this protected tunnel, and no one—not even your ISP—can see your traffic until it exits the tunnel from the VPN server and enters the public internet. If you make sure to only connect to websites secured with HTTPS, your data will continue to be encrypted even after it leaves the VPN.”,2817,2403388,00.asp

I use NordVPN, which is available for Mac and PC.  It was easy to download and set up, and cost about $80 for a two-year subscription.