ABA Techshow

'60 in 60' highlights cybersecurity, workplace productivity and social media

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Counter with 60 on it

An app that takes dictation. A talking doll that’s a goldmine for cyberhackers. A service that preserves social media posts for posterity (or more likely, litigation).

Those were just a few of the “60 Tips, Tricks, Gizmos, Gadgets and Sites in 60 Minutes” showcased during ABA Techshow’s traditional conference closer, formerly known as “60 Sites in 60 Minutes.” The popular event has gone through several iterations during the 30 years of Techshow, and the session has long ceased to be limited to websites.

That was certainly the case this year as the panel—comprised of outgoing Techshow chair Steven Best, 2006 chair Sharon Nelson, 2008 chair Tom Mighell, 2013 chair Britt Lorish and incoming chair Adriana Linares—recommended tablets, smartphones, apps, services and even tips on how to stay active while chained to your desk doing work.

Cybersecurity was one of the major themes of Techshow 2016, and several panelists recommended websites and services designed to help lawyers safeguard their confidential information. Best recommended Epic Privacy Browser, a web browser that hides users’ IP addresses and blocks third-party cookies, among other things.

“It’s a little slower than Chrome and other browsers, but that’s because it’s doing a lot of things in the background to hide your information,” said Best.

Another tip from Best was to secure your home router to make sure neighbors and others weren’t leeching off your network. “Or you can just name your router ‘FBI surveillance van #5’ or something,” joked Mighell.

Nelson, a cybersecurity expert, gave out a few more tips, using the new Hello Barbie interactive talking doll as an example of how insecure our information can be. “Lots of parents are buying it for their kids, who use it like a friend and give it a lot of info. A lot of that info is personal information that then goes on the Internet and is hackable.” Nelson noted that we all do this as a result of talking to things like Siri, Cortana, Echo and even cars that take verbal commands.

Workplace productivity is always a popular area to cover. Lorish touted Dragon Anywhere, a mobile version of Dragon’s dictation program, while Mighell recommended Microsoft’s FindTime, an Outlook-integrated program that figures out the best time for everyone to meet and then sends out emails to the participants.

Best had a couple of tips for people whose email inboxes had become unruly, mentioning unroll.me a website that combs through your emails and allows users to automatically unsubscribe to mailing lists. Linares, meanwhile, took a different approach to workplace productivity, giving out several tips about how to exercise while at your desk. Linares showed off her treadmill desk, which allows her to exercise while taking phone calls.

“Don’t just sit there,” Linares said. “Sitting is the new smoking.”

Social media was also an important theme. Nelson talked about X1 Social Discovery, a service that preserves social media discovery, albeit at a hefty price. “It costs $1,495 for a one-year license,” said Nelson, “But everyone in the digital forensics field uses it.” Nelson also spoke about crowdsourcing evidence on Twitter, noting that you could use Twitter to draw a square around an intersection where there was an accident and get tweets and photos from people who were in the area and witnessed it.

Finally, “60 in 60” is nothing without whimsy. Nelson got some laughs after showing a video of self-parking office chairs in a bit that was inspired by Nissan’s self-parking cars while noting that, according to the Cyber Squirrel 1, the highest number of infrastructure cyberattacks have been conducted by squirrels.

Mighell, meanwhile, underscored the importance of securing your computer’s webcam by talking about a Twitter account that randomly hacks into people’s cameras and posts pictures of them.

“He has promised he won’t show private or personal stuff, but I’m still sort of secretly hoping that he’ll do it,” said Mighell. “I’m a little unsettled by that.”

Watch this space for the full “60 in 60” list when it becomes available.

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