This was one of the survey questions we asked in the recent “South African Legal Market Survey – The Impact of Recent Challenges on Law Firms” survey. Not really a shocking discovery, but more so as an interesting topic for discussion.
In the graph we see what most are using email, which makes sense – it is quick, cheap and there is proof of sending. Then phone calls, which I would imagine is not really reporting on matters, but more so on matter and case discussions and research.
WhatsApp will continue to gain ground here, as more and more software application integrate the business side of WhatsApp into their day-to-day systems.
SMSs, almost the “WhatsApp of the past” is being used less and less. Also, I think smartphone users hardly check SMSs anymore.
Website and mobile apps and client portals are there but not used as the norm – I would imagine these are for big clients, who want almost daily updates on their matters. Out of these I would envisage that client portals will grow, as people are wanting less clutter on their phones. They might use the portals to initiate a simple report to WhatsApp, for “on the fly” reporting.
Signal, I would imagine is being used for more sensitive communications.
Then the one that had me puzzled was the “None of the above” – which means they communicate on another platform. When I saw the answers, it made sense, as these are used, but not as much as the others in the question:
· Important documents sent by courier
Improved Security when Communicating
We cannot chat about client communications and instructions without covering the vulnerability of the messages being sent and received.
For example, email is the front runner – just about everyone uses it, but it is also the most targeted system to defraud the client and/or the firm out of money.
The simplest solution is to use two systems to communicate sensitive data – like banks, PayPal, Payfast and other payment systems – send part of the message in an email and the balance on a WhatsApp or SMS. That way the sniffers/hackers will rather move onto a simpler target. It is not a full proof system but will go a long way in reducing the risk.
Oh, and almost forgot – educate your staff on what suspicious email look like and how to handle them.