10 Reasons to Buy a MacBook Pro for Your Solo Practice

What kind of performance do you expect in a laptop?  Do your “must haves” include:

  1. Fast startup
  2. Applications that load quickly
  3. Long battery life
  4. Top-notch camera and display
  5. Built-in hard drive encryption
  6. Built-in password management
  7. Automatic security screening for downloaded apps
  8. No preinstalled adware or spam
  9. Ability to run locally installed office productivity software
  10. Preloaded productivity and creativity apps

If so, get a MacBook Pro for your law practice.  Hands down.  The reality is that Macs are difficult, if not impossible, to outshine.

Aren’t Macs more costly?  It depends on your point of view.  In the short run, a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display starts at $1999, but in the long run I doubt you’ll regret the features or investment in quality.  In this age of security issues, privacy concerns, and data breach worries, the free (and incredibly easy to use) hard drive encryption is reason alone to pic a Mac.

Even Before Superfish Lenovos Weren’t the Greatest

Just before the Superfish adware/spam scandal came to light, my husband decided he wanted a new laptop.  He thought he found a great deal on a Lenovo that had a reasonably fast processor and a decent graphics card.

Within a week’s time, he returned the Lenovo to Best Buy.  To their credit, it was a no hassle process.  Why did he take the Lenovo back?

  • It was incredibly slow to boot, a long-standing problem for Windows OS.  [For kicks, compare the discussion about boot times on Apple Support Communities to this thread on Microsoft Community.  The Apple folks are miffed about waiting 30-60 seconds; the Windows users are experiencing delays of 20+ minutes.  It’s all about perspective.]
  • The apps were slow to load.
  • He detested Windows 8.1.
  • The keyboard started acting up.  Specifically, the Windows Logo Key developed a mind of its own.  It worked only when it felt like it.
  • The touchpad was a pain.
  • He didn’t like the camera.

Why did he buy the Lenovo in the first place?  In part, because a family member (not me) swayed him in that direction.  He also thought he needed a laptop running Windows OS to meet specialized software needs.  (Incorrect.)  This is old news, but let me reshare:  users can run any Windows program using Mac’s Boot Camp utility.

From the moment my husband opened his MacBook Pro with Retina Display, he’s been in love.  And kudos to the Apple Store personal setup station – they helped configure the hard drive encryption, iCloud keychain, iCloud drive, and other settings. (You won’t get that help anywhere else.)

I Told You So

I’ve said it before: Once You Go Mac, You Never Go Back, so why would you fuss with a Windows OS laptop to begin with?  I am an even greater fan of Mac now after my husband’s experience.  If I left my job today to reenter private practice, I’d buy my own MacBook Pro in a heartbeat.  (P.S. Office 365 runs like a dream.)

Can it Get Any Better?  Yes it can!

One of the best parts of using a Mac in the law office is Macs in the Law Office (literally). MILO is 4,500+ members strong and “the premier source for lawyers who want to maximize the use of Macs in their law practices.”  Great people like Ben Stevens (aka The Mac Lawyer) and Jenny Stevens (Mrs. Mac Lawyer) have made it happen.  Bottom line, nothing holds you back when you’re a Mac user.

[All Rights Reserved 2015 Beverly Michaelis]

 

Mobile Security Tips from the ABA

Great tips at Law Technology Today on mobile security. Don’t take confidential client data outside the office without taking these precautionary steps:

Encrypt devices
Password protect all technology (phones, tablets, laptops)
Enable remote wiping capability
Limit what you carry when outside the office
Mark your property and don’t leave it unattended
Consider computer locks for laptops
Use less conspicuous carrying cases

Read the full post.

12 Steps to Take Now if Your Laptop is Stolen

Is there any worse feeling than having your laptop stolen?  It’s an awful experience to be sure.  While it can be difficult to bounce back into “action mode,” try your best.  Here are 12 immediate steps you should take if this happens to you:

  1. Notify your IT department
  2. Change your network user name and password
  3. Consider changing your user name and password for all personal accounts – anything you access over the Web
  4. Check the Lost-and-Found – laptops do get turned in, so don’t give up hope until you try
  5. Request a police report
  6. Monitor Craigslist, eBay, and local pawn shops
  7. Make an insurance claim
  8. Notify clients – A sample notification letter is available on the PLF Web site.  Select Practice Aids and Forms > Client Relations > “Notice to Clients re Theft of Computer Equipment.” 
  9. Use laptop tracking software – MyLaptopGPS offers free help, even for non-customers
  10. Going forward, consider storing passwords or other sensitive information in an encrypted storage vault application
  11. Backup, backup, backup!  Online backup services are a great way to automatically back up your laptop’s data.  Read more about backup protocols and available resources on the PLF Web site.  Select Practice Aids and Forms > Technology > “How to Backup Your Computer.”
  12. Call your friendly Law Practice Management Advisor for help.

Source:  Inc. “What to Do When You Lose Your Computer.”  (Read the full article for great advice and further explanation of the 12 action steps.)

Keep in mind that your duty to inform clients is more than an ethical one.  The Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act requires that you immediately inform clients of any security breach.  A security breach is defined as “unauthorized acquisition of computerized data that materially compromises the security, confidentiality or integrity of personal information.”  Notification can be by mail, e-mail, phone, or substitute notice,  but whatever you do, document your efforts.  Read more about the act here, and also see these informative articles posted on the PLF Web site:

Copyright 2011 Beverly Michaelis

Recover Lost Phones or Laptops with GadgetTrak

If you’ve ever felt the pain of losing your cell phone or laptop, you may want to read this post from Gearlog. Here’s an excerpt:

Aside from spilling a hot cup of coffee on your laptop keyboard, there’s nothingworse than that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize that your laptop or your smartphone is gone. Whether you accidentally left your briefcase in a cab, or your smartphone is stolen while you’re on the subway, the end result is the same:  You just want your mobile device back, and quickly.

Many owners are never reunited with their mobile devices, but here may be some hope. According to ActiveTrak, as many as 95 percent of devices running their proprietary GadgetTrak software are actually recovered. That’s encouraging news for mobile technology buffs, as both the financial investment in and emotional attachment to those devices can be substantial.

GadgetTrak recovery software uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and/or cell tower triangulation to find your device and is accurate to within as little as 10 to 20 meters. It can also take a photo of the suspect using the stolen device’s camera or trigger a loud noise (even in the device is in silent mode) to aid in finding the exact location when the owner is near.

Read the complete post here.