3 Password Management Apps: Reduce Hack Chances

The recent Lawyerist.com post How to Secure Legal Documents reveals just how quick and easy it is to crack weak passwords and is a call to action for everyone to evaluate their “password hygiene” habits!

The old saying “the best defense is a good offense” holds true in the online world of passwords too. And your best offense is to use a password manager app that remembers login information for sites you access, helps you generate strong ones, and warns you when you have duplicates.

Consider using the free version of one of these three apps to help beef up your password offensive plan.

LastPass offers a free or premium version. The free version provides:

  • Access on all devices Now Free
  • Save & fill passwords
  • Password generator
  • Secure notes
  • Share passwords & notes
  • Security challenge
  • Two-factor authentication

Dashlane is touted as the”world’s best password manager & secure digital wallet” and the free version provides:

  • Password manager
  • Auto fill
  • Digital wallet
  • Ironclad security
  • Works on all platforms – Desktop and mobile
  • Emergency sharing
  • Secure sharing (up to 5 items)
  • Security breach alerts
  • Password changer

RoboForm bills itself as “the top rated password manager” and the free version offers:

  • Password generator
  • Folders and search functionality to organize password
  • Strong security
  • Password audit to detect duplicate passwords
  • Import/export options from another file or password manager app
  • Auto-fill web forms
  • Encrypted text notes
  • Access and sync across all devices
  • Secure sharing

Creating strong passwords is an all-important defense tactic! Using one of the above apps will get you started on the path to doing so, but be certain to create a very strong master password for whichever password manager app you choose!

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Legal Bloggers: 3 Sources for Images

blog-post

Do you want to give your posts and articles a fighting chance to be noticed and read? Research has shown that Blog posts with images garner more attention and have a higher click-through rate.

Searching for photos or images for a blog post or article is easy. The difficult part is making certain you have the proper rights to use the image.  A new image search on the block and two old standbys help you do just that.

Creative Commons image search is the new arrival still in beta, that lets you limit searches by license type, title, creator, tags, collection and type of institution before you run the search.

cc-image-search

Google Images allows you to narrow the initial results list to an assortment of usage types.

usage

Flickr Commons also lets you narrow the initial results list to a variety of usage types.

flickr-images-commons

Here’s to increasing your click-through rate by inserting images in your articles and posts!

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New Legal Research Site on the Block

legal-research

In an already crowded field, CourtListener, the newest free legal research website in town, impresses with its repositories of millions of legal opinions, thousands of judge reports (primarily directory type information), an audio collection of  oral arguments, and millions of PACER documents and dockets.

That alone would be enough to garner attention, but adding to that, its advanced search options for the various databases it offers makes it even more outstanding.

Advanced opinion search:

listener-snip

Citation search using the official volume number, reporter and page number:

cite-lookup

Advanced search of PACER documents and dockets:

recap

Advanced Judge search:

judge

Oral Argument Search:

oral-argument

All in all a resource worth exploring and using!

 

 

 

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LegalBoard, Echo, and Fake News!

echo

LegalBoard is a first of its kind computer keyboard designed by lawyers for lawyers/legal professionals. Via simply plugging LegalBoard in and pressing a button you are switched to legal mode which lets “you add track changes, comments, and common legal terms, symbols (i.e. §, ¶, and ©) and citations with a single keystroke”. Genius! Wonder for which profession will get the next customized professional keyboard?

Amazon Echo appears to be the latest craze in hands-free voice activated tools. While primarily intended for personal use it does have features that could be useful for attorneys but all users should be aware of potential risks. By saying a wake word – Alexa, Amazon, or Echo – anyone within hearing distance of the device, which cannot distinguish between voices, has “access to every single account you’ve linked to it” and potentially allowing a houseguest to ask the amount of your bank account or letting children inadvertently order food, toys etc.  Moreover, due to the confidentiality of client conversations and data, extra caution is in order if using Echo in a law office as requests are stored on Amazon’s server for a yet undetermined period of time.

Developed by researchers at Indiana University Hoaxy (Beta) is a partial solution to the “fake news” phenomenon. It tracks “social sharing of links to stories published by two types of websites: (1) Independent fact-checking organizations, such as snopes.com, politifact.com, and factcheck.org … and (2) Sources that often publish inaccurate, unverified, or satirical claims.” While Hoaxy does not verify if the claim is true or false, it is a good starting point for researching the veracity of a news claim.

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Trends and Players in the Legal AI World

ai

Since my last post, Artificially Intelligent Lawyers, Oh My! a lot has happened in the world of artificial intelligence technology (AI). In this post, we’ll explore the uses, latest developments, advantages of AI adoption by law firms, and take a look at some of the current and up and coming players in legal AI.

Inside ROSS: What Artificial Intelligence Means for your Firm delves into the specifics of what ROSS Intelligence brings to the table for bankruptcy research, namely speed and accuracy by providing on-point results when give a specific bankruptcy legal question. Legal Artificial Intelligence Explained provides a succinct definition of the term and enumerates five potential uses for it in the legal field. Five AI Pioneers to Watch showcases five up and coming AI technology companies and their analytic products.

AI adoption in law firms is trending upward and the big AI players are Neota Logic, Kira Systems, Ravn Systems, Ravel Law, Lex Machina, NextLaw Labs and eBrevia. While currently the main uses are in document review and due diligence work, use of it for performing legal research is on the rise too as evidenced by the adoption of ROSS Intelligence by some law firms. Of course Lexis and Thomson Reuters (i.e. Westlaw) legal research providers have already dipped their toes into the world of AI via the latter  partnering with IBM Watson technology and the former’s recent roll-out of case analytics.

Advantages abound for law firms that embrace artificial intelligence. Because AI learns from the relationships between words and what provisions and concepts look like from samples of documents or research questions asked, it speeds and improves the process of drafting documents and doing legal research. Also as a technology that automates mundane tasks, it frees up a lawyers’ time to focus on the higher level skill of advising clients.

Is your law firm ready to jump on the AI bandwagon before it becomes mainstream? If so it better hurry because with the announcement that Microsoft merges Bing, Cortana, and Research to make 5,000-strong AI division  and Google Analytics making AI mainstream, other technology giants can’t be far behind.

 

 

 

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Artificially Intelligent Lawyers, Oh My!

A few months back in my Robots Replacing Attorneys? post mention was made of the app Fixed that has successfully assisted individuals appeal traffic tickets. The latest development is its acquisition by LawGix, a law firm that is also part technology company. While LawGix certainly acquired it for its technology, not its talent, this novel acquisition may be a bellwether for the legal industry in the arena of artificial intelligence.

If the latest news, here and here is any indication, traditional brick and mortar law firms are also quickly getting on the artificial intelligence bandwagon. From ROSS, of Jeopardy fame, which purportedly learned the basics of bankruptcy law in a mere 10 months to Artificially Intelligent Authors, Oh My! the lines of what constitutes work done by real human beings versus computer algorithms is becoming significantly blurred. All of which begs the question – can humans discern the difference? If you want to test your ability to discern computer versus human writing take this quiz. Depending on your score, it might be an indication of how you’d fare if presented with a similar quiz testing your ability to determine if a real lawyer versus a robot addressed your legal issue? Hmm…would it be better to pass or fail such a test?

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Top 5 Must Have Productivity Tools

  1. INVESTINTECH’s PDF to Word Converter is not your average document converter tool. What sets it apart from other like-tools is its ability to convert both scanned and native PDFs to Word, it requires no software installation on your computer, supports all files sizes, and is completely free to use.
  2. Do.com ($10/user/month) is designed to help managers  who hold a lot of meetings make meeting management more productive. It guides you toward better meeting practices and provides a central place for meeting archives, follow-ups and outcome tracking, and more.
  3. Doodle.com (free) has been around for quite some time now and is an excellent way to effortlessly set up polls for scheduling meetings. It is free to use, and respondents need not join to answer a poll. It delivers on its promise in cutting down on needless emails to determine the best time for a group of individuals to meet by streamlining the process of scheduling.
  4. FreshBooks (starting at $9.95/mo) is a cloud accounting tool for managing and tracking invoices, time, and expenses for very small businesses. A risk-free 30 day trial lets you try it out and determine if it works for you.
  5. Pocket (free) formerly Read It Later, lets users save Web pages, video clips, and images to their accounts and access them at a later time. The next time a blog post, tweet or link to an interesting article threatens to distract you, tap the Pocket icon and rest assured that the item will be waiting for you to peruse later.
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