Client Confidentiality and WiFi

The next time you log into your work email from the corner coffee shop on a sunny Sunday morning, or from your hotel room or a seat at the airport in the midst of business travels, this article from The Legal Intelligencer may give you pause. 

"Free" WiFi "hotspots" are springing up everywhere.  But they may cost more than we think:  when we take advantage of unsecured wireless access, the information we input does not go directly from our laptops to the nearest connection.  Instead, it floats out there in the air (I believe that is the technical term...) for a radius of up to 500 feet.  Highly tech-savvy miscreants (ok, hackers) can misroute these transmissions to their own "Evil Twin" wireless access sites, and capture the confidential information of unsuspecting users, with devastating consequences.  Of course this raises concerns about data security generally, but it also could implicate - or compromise - the attorney-client privilege and work product protections, and land attorneys in ethical trouble. 

Fortunately, the article provides some helpful tips on how to secure your computer and avoid misappropriation of your clients' - or your own - confidential data.

On a more whimsical note....I like to think that when I stopped for my morning latte in Los Angeles, dialogue from 2010's Best Picture could have been floating in the air right past my head.