August 15, 2019 Technology

Ask Techie: Scan Documents Outside the Office, Exchange Files with Clients Securely, Change Your Windows 10 Pro Password

Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly Q&A column, where a panel of experts answers your questions about using technology in your law practice.

This month we answer readers’ questions about the easiest way to scan documents outside the office, the simplest method for exchanging files with clients securely, and how to change your password in Windows 10 Pro.

Q: What’s the easiest way to scan documents when I am outside of my office?

A: Your phone! Sure, portable scanners such as the Epson WorkForce or the Doxie Q work well, and if you need to do a lot of out-of-office scanning, then shelling out $250 for a dedicated scanner is probably a good idea. But if you only need to scan the occasional few documents, your smartphone is all you need. Phone camera technology has advanced to the point that what you are getting is a true scan, not just a photo of the document. I use the Tiny Scanner app. When I take a photo of a document, the app automatically finds the corners and defines the document edges (which I can then manually refine). The app then extracts the document and e-mails you a PDF file that looks just like any other scan.

—Jordan L. Couch, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor, Palace Law, jordan@palacelaw.com

Q: How can I easily and securely send files to and receive files from clients?

A: Let’s face it. All too often lawyers send sensitive client information via e-mail. Why? Because sending and opening encrypted files is a hassle.

In my continuing quest for elegant, easy technology for lawyers, I have identified a free, secure service that actually simplifies the use of encryption.

In a February 2019 Ask Techie answer, I described options for encrypting e-mail messages and attachments that you send to clients. Since then, I have identified the free version of Attachmore as another secure option that is especially easy to use.

Attachmore makes it simple for your clients to open encrypted documents. Even the free version of the service can comply with the strict requirements of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996).

To securely send one or more files:

  • Log in to Attachmore.com.
  • Click Upload Now and select your file(s).
  • Click Security Settings and assign a password.
  • Click a button to share the link via e-mail using your own e-mail or directly from Attachmore.

You can phone a password to your client for use on all documents you send securely. You may also send each of your clients a secure link that they can use to upload files securely to you.

It is important to check into the reputation of any vendor you consider working with. I have done that for Attachmore. Both the service and its founder, Brent Young of San Diego, California, have good reputations. The service is supported both by donations from users of free accounts and payments for accounts with more features and capacity. Unlike many other, similar services, the free account has a full feature set.

What I like most about Attachmore is its simplicity both for you and your clients.

—Wells H. Anderson, JD, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor, Active Practice LLC, 952/922-1727, www.activepractice.com

Q. How do I change my Windows password in Windows 10 Pro?

A: Changing your Windows password is an easy and quick way to increase the security of your data.  There are some slight differences if you are using Windows 10 as a local account or as a Microsoft 365 account. 

To change your password as a local account, start by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete. This pulls up a menu of action items where you can select:

  • Lock
  • Switch User
  • Sign Out
  • Change a Password
  • Task Manager

From here select “Change a Password.” You will then be taken to a screen where you will have three boxes to fill in. The first is your old password; you will enter this to confirm the appropriate person is altering the password to the account. The next box is where you input your new password. Following this, you will confirm your password in the third box. Once you have confirmed your new password, click the arrow on the right end of the box and you will be back in Windows with your new password in place.

To change your Microsoft account password online:

Go to Microsoft.com. In the top right corner of the web page, you will see a link to Sign In. Click it. This will pull up a screen that looks like this:

Signing in to Microsoft.com

Signing in to Microsoft.com

If you know your username and password, enter those as requested to log into your account. Once logged in, your name and account details will appear on the top left corner of the screen. Under your name and the e-mail associated with your account, there is a menu for more actions; clicking that menu link will pull down a menu with options to edit your profile, view your in-box, or change your password.  Select Change Password. You will need to verify your account with a code that Microsoft will e-mail you. Once verified, you can change your password by entering your current password, then the new password, and finally re-entering the new password to confirm it:

Changing Your Password in Microsoft.com

Changing Your Password in Microsoft.com

—Ashley Hallene, JD, GPSolo eReport Editor-in-Chief, Macpherson Energy Corporation, 661/393-3204, ext. 4105

What’s YOUR Question?

If you have a technology question, please forward it to Managing Editor Rob Salkin (robert.salkin@americanbar.org) at your earliest convenience. Our response team selects the questions for response and publication. Our regular response team includes Jeffrey Allen, Wells H. Anderson, Jordan L. Couch, Ashley Hallene, Al Harrison, Patrick Palace, and Nerino Petro Jr. We publish submitted questions anonymously, just in case you do not want someone else to know you asked the question.

Please send in your questions today!

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