So you’ve just got a new computer, what now?
Below are a few recommendations we would like to share to help you keep your new computer secure and running smoothly. Ideally, these are all things which after the unboxing and initial setup, or even if you’re had the system longer, you should be considering.
Before you dive into your favourite social media site or hit the web, there are several things you can do to help keep you safe.
Your computer is new to you, but this doesn’t mean it was assembled, installed, and ready to roll a few minutes ago. Your shiny new equipment is a few weeks old at best, traversing the globe to make its way into your arms. It could have been sat on an empty shelf in a dusty warehouse for the past few months.
During this time, hackers will have been doing what they do best. They’ll have found new and ingenious ways to break into your system. Programmers will have been punching out new updates and software with the potential of introducing new vulnerabilities with each line of code.
Regardless of your Operating System (Windows, MacOS or Linux), running system updates to get your OS up to speed is an excellent place to start.
Install security software
Your computer may have come with security included straight out the box. If not, now’s the time to obtain some reputable anti-virus software.
Security suites often come with a host of additional features as well as anti-virus protection. Typical extras include:
- Encryption – Which can help secure data should your laptop get lost or stolen.
- Device Control – To lock down various media such as the CD drive, USB ports, etc. which may act as a point of entry for something nasty.
- Web filtering – To help prevent the device from visiting a dangerous website
- Email filtering – To help reduce spam, block virus-ridden emails and thwart phishing emails
Setup a backup
You may not have your data on the computer yet but configuring a backup at this stage is a good idea. Don’t leave setting up a backup for a later date. Sometimes, people only think about backing up data when it’s too late, and they’ve already lost data. The phrase about “shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted” springs to mind.
There are several options, such as USB drives, NAS drive, or a cloud storage system, to name a few.
If you use Microsoft Office 365, OneDrive can now back up your documents and desktop to the Microsoft cloud.
Clear the bloatware
As vendors battle to bring down prices of their hardware, computers often come preloaded with software known as bloatware.
You may be perfectly happy with some applications preloaded onto your computer. But if there’s some software installed which you’ll never use, then why not get rid of it? If the software’s not there in the first place, then it can’t slow down your system. It also adds to your system security as it can’t fall out of date and act as a potential foothold for hackers.
Use a Password Manager
If you aren’t using a password manager to organise your passwords, then why not start now?
Password managers, such as LastPass, can help you get into the habit of using secure passwords without you having to remember them all. It also means you only need to remember one password and not use the same one for all your log-ins.
No doubt you can do even more on your computer but these few basic steps can help things running like new.