Ask Jack: Home Office Data Security First Steps

By Jack McCalmon, The McCalmon Group, Inc.

I am setting up a home office. Any data security first steps?


There are some first steps, but like all things data security, daily vigilance is the most important step.

A good "first step" you should make is to be sure that strong and unique passwords are employed on your devices and online accounts and, when possible, use multi-factor authentication, and biometric recognition. Devices would include your laptop and/or desktop, but also your phone and other IoT like printers, virtual assistants, tablets, etc. 

Next, update all your software and patch any vulnerabilities.

Make sure your firewall on your modem and/or router is activated and that your virus-scanning software is running on your laptop, desktop, and mobile devices.

Next, lockdown your wi-fi signal with a strong and unique password. Unfortunately, 89 percent of users do not password protect their wi-fi, so be different and you will be less vulnerable than your neighbors.

The final takeaway is these steps are just the first steps. Data protection requires much more, including using encryption for communications, training to prevent breaches, and employing a lot of common sense - especially when it comes to links and attachments in emails and texts.


Jack McCalmon, Leslie Zieren, and Emily Brodzinski are attorneys with more than 50 years combined experience assisting employers in lowering their risk, including answering questions, like the one above, through the McCalmon Group's Best Practices Help Line. The Best Practice Help Line is a service of The McCalmon Group, Inc. Your organization may have access to The Best Practice Help Line or a similar service from another provider at no cost to you or at a discount. For questions about The Best Practice Help Line or what similar services are available to you via this Platform, call 888.712.7667.

If you have a question that you would like Jack McCalmon, Leslie Zieren, or Emily Brodzinski to consider for this column, please submit it to Please note that The McCalmon Group cannot guarantee that your question will be answered. Answers are based on generally accepted risk management best practices. They are not, and should not be considered, legal advice. If you need an answer immediately or desire legal advice, please call your local legal counsel.

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