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Senior Lawyers
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Senior Lawyers

June 2013, vol. 4, no. 3

Technology for seniors

This is the fourth of what has become a regular column in the ISBA Senior Lawyer Section Council newsletter. If you like it (or even if you don’t), if you have suggestions on  improving it or what we should write about, please let us know. Hopefully you will take a turn in contributing a column on your own “Best Practices” or problems you have in using technology. Please feel free to join our committee, and let us know what you need.

Technology for Senior Lawyers Concerned with Security

Each one of us needs to use the Internet safely to minimize the danger from cyber security attacks.  Standards have been created recently because sensitive information is frequently stored on computers, IPads, Smart phones, etc that can be attacked through the Internet. Identity theft is big business.

Start by creating strong passwords. Do not just use your name or initials with your birthdate or 1234. Use a different password for logging on to your computer, your e-mail and other things needing a password.  Change your passwords on a regular basis.

Do not share personal or financial information with strangers on social networking, through e-mail or on special interest sites.

Do not get tricked into e-mail scams.  I get over ten e-mail scams every day telling me I have won a lottery, some foreigner wants to give me a bundle of money, or a close friend is out of the country and needs me to wire money to them.  People trick you into clicking on a link to a bogus site which will download malware that will infect your computer.

Know who you are connecting with. It is easy to set up a website that can take over your computer and access bank accounts or important information about you.

Be very cautious opening attachments that may have malware that will damage your computer or install code that will track your activities.

Update your software to find and eliminate viruses, spyware, and other malware.

Create safe e-mail aliases and usernames. Do not give too much information away in the profiles sites request.

Learn how to identify how others might expose personal information about you. Stop others from giving out information about you.


Follow up by checking some of the following websites:

<>: Fight against identity theft

<> identifies safe online stores to do business with

<> helps you protect investments and access investment calculators

<> look up common scams and file complaints to inform of bad experiences you had with spammers or scammers.

VERY, VERY BASIC Computer Workshop for Senior Lawyers

The Technology Committee of the Senior Lawyer Section Council has, for a long time, contemplated a workshop for senior lawyers who have never/seldom used a computer. While it may be hard to believe, there are still a lot of practitioners out there (you know who you are or know of someone who is technologically challenged) who leave anything to do with computers to others. While a very small number may mean it when they say “I like the feel of paper” or other similar statements attempting to excuse why they resist technology, most of the time it is either fear or lack of motivation to learn something new this “late in the game.” These excuses are fueled by a feeling that everyone else is so far ahead that they will never be able to catch up. Sound familiar? Well, keep reading--there is no need to hide any longer, nor cross the street to avoid the CDW, Microsoft or Apple stores!

Get out your paper calendars and block out October 18, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for this program designed for those who literally, if not too embarrassed, would ask “is this thing on?” Really, this workshop is designed to help the senior lawyer who is a genuine novice. While later workshops will cover more advanced topics and other devices such as smart phones and tablets, etc., this workshop is truly for the beginner.

The main computer lab at National-Louis University (on Michigan Ave. in Chicago) with 25 computer stations has been reserved for virtually no cost (I mean it--how about $10.00?!), and will feature hands-on training by other lawyers (not “geeks”). The curriculum will be as basic as it gets and will be flexible enough to accommodate each individual’s rate of progress. The instruction will be informal, without boring lectures or demonstrations. While there is no MCLE credit available for this workshop, the goal is to have the novice get acquainted with the basics of computer use—other than a place to leave stick-it notes for a staff member!

Please watch for a sign-up at the Annual Meeting and/or other notices which will be out soon. Better still, call the ISBA office and ask to be put on a list, or contact any Senior Lawyers Section Council member. The Senior Lawyers Section listserve can also be used by someone in your office to get you connected (if you yourself already use the listserve, you may want to wait for later workshops, better attuned to meet your more advanced knowledge). If you know of any senior lawyer who could benefit from this program, please let him or her know about it, sign them up or give them a registration as a gift (it’s cheaper than buying a drink, and will feel much better the next day!). We promise we will keep the sign-up list confidential. ■

Member Comments (1)

I am happy to be a senior member and do know a bit about computer technology. If you are looking for additional "instructors" to assist with this terrific program, please contact me. Best place to get me is either on my cell phone at 312-719-8451 or via my email address at