QR codes and smartphones are a match made in heaven when it comes to tracking everything from goods to information. Although they are incredibly convenient and they make things much, much more efficient, there are concerns about using smartphones to track particularly sensitive information. Here are the pros and cons associated with using QR codes to track case files in your legal practice.
The Advantages of QR Codes in an Attorney’s Office
QR codes have one primary advantage – they help reduce the risk of human error when it comes to accurately recording and reporting important information. They make it easier to stay organized, and they give you access to the information you want at the touch of your screen. They can even help you market your practice since they give consumers the option to scan the code to learn more about what you have to offer.
Attorneys, paralegals, and even legal secretaries stay incredibly busy. These individuals work with volumes of information each day about each and every one of their clients, and failure to accurately keep track of that information could mean the difference between winning or losing a client’s case. When it becomes possible to scan a QR code beside a client’s name and pull up all of the vital information about that case, organization becomes simpler and legal firms save time.
The Potential Disadvantages
Of course, like any other technology out there, QR codes can be exploited. Identity thieves can use them to get the information they need, and other people can hack into QR code systems and software to retrieve information they might find useful. Fortunately, many of the software providers out there these days go to great lengths to protect that information, but the service providers themselves can only do so much.
If a lawyer who has an application installed on his or her phone actually loses the phone, or if the phone is stolen, it’s very possible that whomever is in possession of the device could access very sensitive information about clients. This can be detrimental not only to your clients’ cases, but also to your entire practice as an event like that could put your reputation on the line.
Should You Use QR Codes and Smartphones?
Although the potential for data theft exists, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risks. In fact, hospitals use QR codes and smartphone or tablet devices to keep track of patient records, and they do so incredibly safely. First and foremost, keep the hard copies of your client files in safe places, and make sure that only your firm’s devices have the credentials to gather information via those codes. The other thing you can do is make sure that you protect your device by using a lock code or password and setting up a remote device wipe in the event that it is lost or stolen.
When it comes to using smartphones or other devices along with QR codes in your legal practice, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s the right choice. There are certainly some risks involved, but you can mitigate these and enjoy many, many benefits – including organization and efficiency.