Aah! You bought a new PC. Now what?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009, 6:47 AM | Leave Comment

Schools and colleges have started their sessions. Students and parents and many others have bought or are in the process of buying a new Personal Computer.

Now is the time to take some steps to keep your new machine clean and free of malware.

Here is what you need to do before you do anything else, especially before you connect it to the Internet.

  • First and foremost, check your Firewall settings

    Any MS Window machine with Windows XP SP2 or higher has a firewall that is built in and turned on by default. You can make sure all is well by going to the Windows Security Center, clicking Start, then Control Panel, then Security Center and Windows Firewall.

    Mac users can check and adjust their firewall settings by clicking on the Apple icon and going to System Preferences and clicking on Security and then Firewall.

  • Update your software with latest security

    A new PC does not necessarily have the latest security options installed on it. To help you keep Microsoft products up to date, Windows will prompt owners of new machines to sign up for automatic updates. To enable it, click the Start button, then All Programs and then Windows Update. On the left pane, click “check for updates.”

  • Add security software, mostly for free

    Firewalls will not help fend off viruses or Trojan horses that can come through e-mail messages, Web sites and pop-up ads. There are several free antivirus programs, like AVG 8.5 Free, Avast Antivirus and the forthcoming Microsoft Security Essentials, so the new owners have no excuse to go without.

  • Check your already installed third-party applications

    New Windows PCs typically come loaded with all kinds of third-party programs, many of which you will never use. To avoid problems, eliminate the programs you don’t need by clicking the Start button and choosing Control Panel and then Programs to see a list of what is on your machine.

    Select unwanted programs and then hit the Uninstall button at the top of the program list.

In a Nutshell
Always be careful about which software you install from the Internet, whether you have a PC or a Mac. These programs can contain vulnerabilities, and pirated programs and random add-ons may be outright malicious.

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