Have you just bought a computer and don't know how to proceed to keep it safe from threats? The first thing you have to do is install an antivirus and check that the firewall is activated. But it is not the only thing. It is also recommended to install the latest available updates or to create multiple user accounts. Also, if your device has a fingerprint reader, don't forget to activate Windows Hello. Another recommended step is to add different tools to the team to control security. And it is not only necessary the antivirus. There are programs like CCleaner that will help you improve performance and eliminate everything you don't need. If you are a bit lost and want to be as safe as possible, don't stop reading. These are the things to keep in mind to protect your new computer.
Install an antivirus
This is the first step to take into account when you have a new computer in front of you. The one you bought may come with a test antivirus. The truth is that they usually only work 30 days updated. Then you will have to pay if you do not want to be left unprotected. In order not to get confused, it is best to uninstall that one and install one from scratch. In this way, you will not have to be aware if the date has already passed.
One of the most current is the G Data Internet Security 2017. A year of protection costs 35 euros, which is not bad for all the advantages it offers . The main one is that it detects and neutralizes ransomware, one of the most dangerous and widespread threats in recent months. In addition, it also has protection for browsers and applications, exploit detection and protection against keyloggers. Another of its main features is its firewall. With it you will prevent unauthorized access to your system, limiting and encrypting the traffic that arrives through the Internet.
If you don't want to pay for an antivirus, you also have free alternatives , such as AVG or Avast.
Activate the firewall
Another thing to check when buying a new computer is that the firewall is activated. This is an important function to keep your computer safe, as it serves as a barrier between your PC and the outside world. We can say, by way of example, that the firewall is like a customs office that monitors who can access the information you have saved. Mainly it takes care that everything you do, the traffic you are driving, is controlled by you.
When you connect to the Internet you access an external network that is made up of thousands of computers of many other users. Your computer sends information, but it is also receiving. The problem is that if you have a virus installed on your PC, it could send data without your consent. Or, worse yet, allow unwanted access. Furthermore, a cybercriminal could make a connection to your computer without your knowledge and access all the content. Hence, the importance of having a tool installed to filter the connections that enter and leave the computer.
The operating system itself usually includes a firewall, although most antivirus on the market also include a firewall option. The important thing is to choose only one and have it activated, but only one. And it is that, if several are working simultaneously, they can end up in conflict.
Install cleaning tools
As you use the computer, especially while browsing, cookies and different files are recorded and stored that can put your computer in check while causing lower performance. Installing a cleaning tool is quite important if you want to avoid this problem. One of the most popular is CCleaner. It is free and you can perform different functions. These are some of them.
- Find and Repair registry errors
- Create a backup of the system logs
- Clean temporary system files
- Free up hard drive space
- Monitor privacy by deleting saved passwords, history, or auto-fill information
The installation of this program is simple and its handling very intuitive. You just have to mark those options you want to execute and wait for them to be carried out. Be patient because CCleaner takes its time. However, we recommend that if what you really care about is privacy and security, you use it exclusively for this purpose. Don't forget to activate "Windows registry files". With this option, various LOG files that may contain sensitive information will be deleted.
Install the latest updates
The normal thing is that when you are in front of the computer a message will appear with the notice of new available updates. As soon as you see it, we recommend that you do it without thinking. In this way, you will prevent security flaws from being used by hackers to enter your computer and start doing their thing. Note that when a new security problem appears in the operating system, Microsoft and other rival manufacturers correct it and release a security update to fix it. Everything is done automatically, so you just have to give authorization and wait for the security update to finish. Typically, the computer will restart to complete the installation.
Create different user accounts
It is highly recommended to protect your new computer that you create different user accounts. One of the most important reasons is that this will prevent someone other than you from seeing your stored personal information. Imagine that you share the equipment with other family members or colleagues. It will be like having a single computer for you without running the risk that no one can enter your small plot.
Also, keep in mind that if the PC is infected with a virus, you can rescue files and data before having to format. If, for example, it is an account with administrator permissions, the virus will end up gaining full control of the computer. But, if instead the account has limited permissions, the consequences of the virus will be less dangerous. To create a user account in Windows 10 you just have to select the "Start" button, "Settings" and go to "Accounts, Family & other people", "Add another person to this team". Then enter a username, password, and password hint. Then select "Next".
Sign in with Windows Hello
Most of today's computers are ready to use Windows Hello through the fingerprint or the iris. This feature allows you to log into Windows 10 devices with just a touch or look. In this way, when you activate it, you will enjoy greater security without having to waste time typing a password.
To select Windows Hello you just have to enter "Start" and then "Settings", "Accounts" and "Login options" . You will see several options, for the iris, face or fingerprint. All this if your new device has a compatible camera or fingerprint reader. When you have configured it, you can log in with a swipe or a simple glance.
Make a backup
When you have everything working, and the other options above updated and installed, feel free to make a backup. In Windows you only have to enter "Control Panel", "System and Security", "Backup and Restore" to start it. Once you get to the last section, you can start making an image on a storage unit that has enough capacity for it. Having a backup is very important . You already know that the moment something fails, you will have in your possession a very powerful weapon to restore the system as soon as you need it.
Encrypt the hard drive
If you are going to fill the hard drive of your new computer with sensitive information that you do not want to be exposed to others, do not hesitate to encrypt it. In Windows it can be done through the BitLocker tool, but only in the enterprise versions of the platform. Enter "Control Panel," "System and Security," and "Bitlocker Drive Encryption." You can enable both hard drive data encryption and removable drives.
To what extent is it worth using this tool? Think that if your computer is stolen or someone ends up accessing your hard drive or removable drive, if they do not have the encryption key they will not be able to enter your hard drive. And that is precisely what is achieved by activating Bitlocker. This is essential, especially in professional environments, where security is very important, since files and data can end up being exposed for fraudulent purposes.
When you have everything up and running, it may take some time before you have to deal with a crisis situation. But don't trust yourself. Therefore it is important to have everything ready from day one for if it occurs a safety issue, but above all, to prevent it .