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Protect Your Computer from Malware

Malware includes viruses, spyware, and other unwanted software that gets installed on your computer or mobile device without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash, and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. They also can make your computer vulnerable to viruses and deliver unwanted or inappropriate ads. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.

Here are reminders plus additional tips on how to generally keep malware off your computer.

Don’t immediately open email attachments or click on links in unsolicited or suspicious-looking emails. Think before you click! Instead of clicking on a link in an email, type the URL of a trusted site directly into your browser. Criminals send emails that appear to be from companies you know and trust. The links may look legitimate, but clicking on them could download malware or send you to a scam site. Either ignore unsolicited requests to open attachments or files or independently verify that the supposed source did send the email to you (by using a published email address or telephone number). Even if the attachment is from someone you know, consider if you really need to open the attachment, especially if the email looks suspicious.

Install good anti-virus software that periodically runs to search for and remove malware. Make sure to set the software to update automatically and scan for the latest malware.

Be diligent about using spam (junk mail) filters provided by your email provider. These services help block mass emails that might contain malware from reaching your email inbox.

Don’t visit untrusted websites and don’t believe everything you read. Criminals might create fake websites and pop-ups with enticing messages intended to draw you in and download malware. Anyone can publish information online, so before accepting a statement as fact or taking action, verify that the source is reliable. And please, don’t click on a link to learn more. If something sounds too good to be true, then most likely it’s fraudulent or harmful.

Be careful if anyone — even a well-intentioned friend or family member — gives you a disk or thumb drive to insert in your computer. It could have hidden malware on it. Don’t access a disk or thumb drive without first scanning it with your security software. If you are still unsure, don’t take a chance.

To learn more about how to protect against malware, visit OnGuardOnline: https://www.onguardonline.gov/articles/0011-malwareExternal Link icon 

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The Florida Bar President Ramon A. Abadin Presents: CARE (42 min.) External Link icon 

As part its ongoing commitment to address gender inequality with the goal of engaging members to improve the legal profession, The Florida Bar is offering a free online continuing legal education (CLE) course. "CARE to Improve the Conversation" (Course 1602559N) -- addresses gender bias and discrimination in the legal profession. The course, based on a presentation delivered by The Florida Bar President Ramon A. Abadin to a number of voluntary bar associations and local chapters of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers statewide, aims to bring greater awareness to sensitive workplace issues and elevate the conversation on how the profession can do better to narrow the gender gap. The course is designed to be completed over a single sitting taking roughly one hour to complete. Participants will receive one CLE credit upon completion.

PRI Interviews With Law Practice Management Industry Experts

How to Get Your First Client External Link icon 

Peggy Hoyt, Partner at Hoyt & Bryan, LLC., discusses how to attract your first clients when launching a new practice.


Choosing a Business Entity External Link icon 

Stefan Rubin, Partner with Shutts & Bowen, LLP., discusses the considerations when choosing a business entity for your new law firm.


Ethical Consideratons when Sharing Office Space External Link icon 

Keshara Cowans, Bar Counsel with The Florida Bar, discusses considerations to make to ensure you meet all Bar Ethics and Rules requirements when sharing office space with a non-lawyer.


Holding Retainers in a Trust Account External Link icon 

Matt Herdeker, Orlando Branch Auditor with The Florida Bar, discusses considerations to make with depositing retainers into your trust account.


Considerations for Malpractice Insurance External Link icon 

Jason Fogg, President and CEO of Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, discusses considerations to make when selecting a malpractice insurance provider and plan for your new law firm.


Hiring Support Staff External Link icon 

Liz McCausland, Owner of Liz McCausland, P.A., discusses considerations to make when deciding to hire support staff for your new practice.



The Florida Bar Podcast

Listen To The Latest Episode

With the legal industry’s increased efforts to integrate new technology into the profession, it has never been more important for law firms to protect themselves and their data. However, what happens when a breach does occur and privileged information is compromised? More specifically, what is a breach notification and what procedures are Florida law firms required to follow immediately after the incident? In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares sits down with Orange County Bar Association Technology Committee Chair Daniel Whitehouse to discuss data breach notification procedures and what constitutes personally identifiable information. Daniel breaks down what Florida statutes consider a data breach (basically an unauthorized party accessing restricted data) and gives a few examples of situations within a law firm where this definition applies. He then provides an in-depth explanation as to what types of data fall under personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers, medical records, and email addresses, and discusses what Florida’s data breach notification law is. Daniel takes time to explain what the Florida attorney general’s office will require from law firms that experience such a breach and analyzes what ethical obligations legal professionals have to their clients and the prevention of future unauthorized access. He closes the interview with tips on how law firms can encrypt their data and proactive changes companies can implement to increase their security policies. Daniel Whitehouse holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), both from Webster University. He interned for The Honorable Susan C. Bucklew of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and attended Stetson University College of Law where he graduated Co-Valedictorian. Daniel is currently the chair of the Orange County Bar Association Technology Committee.

About The Florida Bar Podcast
The Florida Bar Podcast is a monthly series brought to you by The Florida Bar's Practice Resource Institute and will feature esteemed leaders in law discussing new and innovative topics. Its purpose is to help members of The Florida Bar as well as attorneys from other states run better practices and provide better legal services to their clients.

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