Securing Electronic Waste for a Remote Workforce

Posted on September 15, 2020

What if you’re working from home and it's time to replace your aging laptop and smart phone.  Now that you can’t just drop off your old machines in the IT Support office to be ‘wiped’ clear of client sensitive data, is there some other secure way to dispose of your old devices?

 “Electronic Waste” or “e-waste”  is growing faster than any other waste stream. This presents a significant environmental challenge, with 50 million tons of e-waste produced each year, which is projected to more than double by 2050.  For businesses – and particularly for lawyers working from home -- there is another major problem presented by end-of-life electronics: data security.

High-profile data thefts and losses have been all over the news in recent years. We have all seen movie scenes of folks going through dumpsters to try to find print-outs or notes which turn the entire plot around.  But what about the data present on old electronics or devices that are being retired and discarded? Secure handling of the data at the end of life electronics is just as critical as your online data.  It requires at least the same level of discipline, care, and safeguarding. 

Just recently, New York State and its Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) levied the first cybersecurity enforcement action under its Cybersecurity Regulation, known as NYCRR 500.  A lawsuit was filed against First American Title Insurance Company (Natl. Law Review Article) for a massive data breach, marking the first civil suit brought forth under the new regulation which went into effect in July of 2017.

The trend towards remote working, greatly accelerated by COVID-19, has amplified the security risk posed by end-of-life electronics because companies now have much less control regarding the means and methods for disposal of home electronics. Fortunately, we have found a cost-effective solution to the problem.  

"RemoteReturn”  is a new direct mail service that makes e-recycling easier than ever for you and your remote workforce while ensuring both secure and sustainable recycling practices.  The name of the organization providing the service is 4THBIN. The remote employee can simply ship their e-recycling assets directly to 4THBIN for processing.  All that is needed to start is either filling out the form at 4thbin.com/remotereturn or by contacting its head, Jeffrey Zink, at jeffrey@4thbin.com.


Breakout Rooms for Microsoft Teams 

Posted on August 31, 2020

Have you ever been in an online meeting where you wanted to have a side conversation with some, but not all, of the meeting participants? Will the experience of meeting in the virtual world ever come close to enabling the back and forth and sidebar exchanges that are a vital part of in person negotiations in your law firm's conference center?

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Before the Next Storm Comes 

Posted on August 12, 2020

At this point it’s only natural to wonder what will go wrong next. Hurricane season is here and a majority of us are still working from home, in varying states of lockdown. Ten days ago, tropical storm Isaiah swept up the East Coast, knocking out utility service for millions of homeowners from South Carolina to Maine. So what is your back-up plan to ensure you can stay productive working from home in the face of the next named storm?

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How to Dictate a Memo While in Lockdown 

Posted on July 20, 2020

Working from home means we must adapt and change our long-established routines.  That can pose a major challenge for some lawyers, particularly those who depend on their legal assistants to take dictation for all correspondence and legal memos.  In this week's column, we describe an easy way to dictate correspondence and documents while working at home in lockdown.

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Is There an Easy Way to Expand Screen Space in Your Home Office? 

Posted on July 7, 2020

Over the last few months, we’ve all had a chance to discover there are both pros and cons to working from home. One of the major drawbacks is that all too often we end up feeling bleary eyed and unproductive because there never seems to be enough screen display available in our home office setup.  Whether we’re working on a laptop or with a single desktop monitor, it feels woefully inadequate compared to the desktop space we used to have back in the office.    

Admittedly, many of us got spoiled with our old office setups, where we had multiple monitors, which made it easy to open multiple versions of a document for side by side review, and even then, we still had ample space to monitor email and other communication channels. Now suddenly we find it’s much harder to multi-task as we’re accustomed to, working with much less desktop real estate. 

What if there was an easy fix to provide you with much more screen space in your home office? In fact, there is and all you need is a standard Microsoft P3Q-000 wireless display adapter which you can buy from Best Buy for around $50. This allows you to deliver your laptop or desktop display to a TV screen through an HDMI port (which will be well marked and easily found on the back of most digital televisions today). Problem solved. Once again, you’re living large, or at least working comfortably off a much larger screen.

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This new column is produced in collaboration with the consultants from Kraft Kennedy, a firm that has been at the forefront in bringing innovation and technology solutions to the legal market for more than 30 years. Our goal is simple. We’re tapping the expertise of Kraft Kennedy to provide practical suggestions and creative insights about how our readers can become more productive in their working lives. Feel free to contact us with questions if you find yourself wondering how legal tech can help improve your legal practice.   

 

 

 

 

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Jeffrey Brandt, Editor

Connect with me on LinkedIn Jeffrey Brandt
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Website:PinHawk.com | Blog: PinHawkBlog.com

Affiliations:
Founding Circle, Association of Legal Technologists (ALT)
Advisory Board Member, Lexpo'19
Chair, The 2020 Legal AI Forum
Judge, Litera 2020 Changing Lawyer Awards


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