How to Encrypt Data on Your Mac in a Few Simple Steps

Back by popular demand: Encryption!

In 2013, I wrote an article for this blog on how to encrypt data using your Mac computer. Since then, I’ve given numerous presentations and spoken to many attorneys about data security and, in particular, using encryption as a means of protection. As attorneys rely more heavily on electronic communications and storage, encryption, as I see it, is far from going out of style. And, if the National Security Agency uses it to protect their “top secret” documents, it should be safe enough for your purposes. Here, at the Legal Technology Resource Center and on the Law Technology Today blog, contributors and staffers have provided a plethora of resources on data security.

For a baseline understanding of encryption and how it can benefit attorneys, take a look at this quick overview.

As a supplement to my 2013 article, I’ve produced this step-by-step video tutorial on how to encrypt files, folders, and hard drives using native Mac tools. Armed with encrypted files, you can securely attach a sensitive document via email to share with a client or counsel. Encrypting files on your end also provides an extra layer of security when uploading confidential documents to a cloud storage provider. For mobile attorneys, encrypting the hard drive of a traveling laptop helps you rest assured that your data will be safe in the event of a stolen or lost laptop. Follow along with this video to start implementing better protocols in your practice.

About Heidi Alexander

Heidi S. Alexander, Esq. is the Deputy Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, where she helps manage organization operations and leads the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (LOMAP). LOMAP provides free and confidential practice management assistance, guidance in implementing new law office technologies, and methods to attain healthy and sustainable practices. She is the author of Evernote as a Law Practice Tool and serves on the ABA's TECHSHOW Planning Board. In 2017, Heidi was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on Professionalism. She can be reached via email at, Twitter @heidialexander, or LinkedIn

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