Spam is dangerous, and has become more malicious and powerful in recent years, with law firm systems emerging as a target rich environment for hackers. Just think of the wealth of client information the typical law firm contains, and what could happen if that information was obtained by someone wanting to steal assets or sell the data online? Your IT department or outside consultant should be providing your estate planning and Elder Law firm with multiple layers of protection, but often the weak link in the data security chain is the live human. What can you do to protect your firm?
Train, train and train your users to be aware of spam. We’ve seen really smart people fall prey to the simplest attempts to gain access to systems. An email about a bank account that you don’t have or a product shipment (not something most attorneys are involved with!) that demands urgent attention from a company that sounds sort of familiar? Training people to avoid knee-jerk reactions is not easy when we all move at the speed of instant messages, but it is necessary.
Spam eats time, which should be treated as a valuable commodity. If your attorneys are busy deleting emails from junk mailers, their attention is being distracted and their focus is being diluted. Most computer systems have a way to set rules or policies so that key words are blocked. It may take only a few seconds to delete an email, even if you don’t open it, but the time spent shifting from a task to the email box back to the task adds up.
Spam bots like to fill out forms. These are bots with no other purpose than to fill out contact forms in an attempt to exploit your form to send spam to others. It’s another annoyance and another waste of time. IMS clients should not be seeing these, as we use a sophisticated software program with rules that automatically detect spam bots based on how the forms are used. But if you do, please submit a support ticket so we can stop the bots.
Not office appropriate. Need another reason to make sure those spam filters are cutting spam off before they reach your employees? A lot of spam is not family-friendly, to put it mildly. In addition to the impact of malware and viruses, you may find yourself with an employee who feels like their work environment is not safe. Yes, they opened the email, but you are responsible for a safe workplace. Block the spam emails at the source before they get to employee desktops.