No matter the size or type of case your legal team is working on, keeping all legal documents safe and secure is of the utmost importance to the success of your case. There are many ways to store documents, with some being more secure than others. We’ll look at some of the different ways that you can keep your legal documents safe and accessible for your team, and boost your chances of success.
Why is the Security of Legal Documents Important?
Firstly, it’s important to look at exactly why the safety of legal documents is so crucial. From your case to your reputation as a law firm, how secure your legal data is has an impact on many areas of your business.
According to transperfectlegal.com, this makes document security a key aspect of any legal case, and highlights why law firms should consider it extremely carefully. If information was to get into the wrong hands or be compromised, the whole case can be jeopardized and the implications could affect both your practice and your clients.
The biggest reason to ensure the security of legal documents is because of how influential they are to the success of your case. If details are leaked or exposed about your case, it can give away crucial information to the opposing party or even compromise the validity of information sources. To ensure your team is in the best position to win your cases, all of your information must be kept confidential and secure.
Safety of Witnesses
Secondly, information can be highly sensitive in legal cases, and the risk of that information leaking could endanger or invade the privacy of any witnesses who have given testimony. Keeping this information safe is hugely important for all parties involved.
Like any other business, a law firm’s reputation is a crucial part of its success. To secure clients and win their trust, you must have a reputation as a firm that provides a high quality service and understanding of client needs.
In the event of an information breach or loss of a case due to poor document security, your firm’s reputation will suffer and clients won’t be as trusting of you. A lack of document security compromises your reputation because it infers a lack of due diligence and carelessness on your part.
Peace of Mind
There are so many aspects of a legal case to consider and manage, from proceedings to documentation. Your legal team will be extremely busy when they handle cases, and ensuring that your documents are secure and safe provides peace of mind for your team. When the security of legal documents isn’t a concern, your team can focus fully on developing their arguments and gathering evidence.
Ways to Keep Legal Documents Secure
The ways in which you store your documents can greatly affect how secure your legal documents are. We’ll look at how you can store your documents, and what measures you can put in place to make sure that the way that your team operates also contributes to document security.
How to Store Your Documents
When it comes to storing your documents, you have two main methods: paper copies and electronic storage. The latter is the modern method that many associate with better, more secure document security. However, both have their advantages and disadvantages. A combination of both methods is the most comprehensive way of storing documents securely and safely.
Secure Cloud Storage
The most popular way to store information and data in today’s modern world is digitally on cloud servers. These online storage facilities store and protect data in off-shore servers that can be accessed by an internet connection on a variety of devices. Cloud providers are responsible for maintaining these servers and making sure that people can access their information whenever they need to.
In terms of legal documents, cloud storage is even more suitable because it can offer the highest protection against hackers or leaks. Servers can have passwords and limit access to only authorized personnel so only those who have the login credentials can access data and information. Not to mention, keeping your documents in cloud storage allows you to save on both energy and resources as you don’t have to print so much information.
While cloud storage is a secure and reliable way to store documents, it shouldn’t be the only place that you put them. There is still a risk of your cloud server being compromised or malfunctioning, therefore you should keep backup copies of your most important documents elsewhere. These could still be stored electronically on a computer or hard drive, or you could keep hard copies in your office.
You can also keep paper copies of your documents. Traditionally, offices were full of large filing cabinets filled with endless files of paper. Nowadays, that isn’t the most efficient or eco-friendly way to store documents, which is why so many firms opt for cloud storage. But paper copies of important documents that need to be delivered, signed, or used in court are an inevitable necessity for practicing lawyers.
So keeping paper copies for some of your documents is still a secure way to store your documents, so long as they are kept in a safe, secure place. It’s best to keep your most important documents in paper form as well as in the cloud, as we mentioned previously.
Measures to Enhance Document Security
Train Team Members in Document Procedures
As well as your documents being in secure storage facilities, there is a role that your legal team has to play in keeping those documents safe too. It’s important to train team members to:
- Understand procedures with document handling
- Be clear on who is and isn’t authorized to access certain files
- Define responsibilities within the team regarding document security
Make Use of Security Features on Word Processing Programs
Many word processing programs also allow you to set passwords on highly sensitive documents or limit who can access them. This acts as another layer of security for your legal documents. These practices will help you to keep your documents secure and safe, and let your team focus on winning cases and securing clients.