How to Protect a New Computer from Harm

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Getting a new computer can be an exciting time, but you shouldn’t let your guard down. When you first get your new PC or laptop, you need to be sure to start keeping it secure immediately. Too often, people only remember data security once it’s too late. So how exactly do you go about securing a new computer? Below are the steps you can take to make your new computer as safe as possible.

1. Antivirus Software

Kaspersky - Cloud Free
There are several options when downloading and installing Kaspersky Cloud, but if you read everything carefully, the options should be clear. | Source: Kaspersky

It’s an old standby, but realistically antivirus software is one of the first things that you should install when you get your new computer. If you’re running Windows 10, then your computer technically comes with an antivirus already built-in. However, Windows’ own version is very basic. If you want the best protection possible, you should consider downloading third-party software.

In particular, we recommend Kaspersky Cloud. Not only is the software free, but it also offers extra features like a password manager and a privacy cleaner. There are other free options out there, but Kaspersky Cloud is one of the highest-rated. You can find it on Kaspersky’s website. Simply follow the on-screen instructions to install the software on your computer.

2. Update Your Computer

Windows Update
You should make sure to keep your computer as up-to-date as possible to keep it safe. | Source: Windows 10

Updating your computer is a pain. It takes a long time and can interrupt whatever you’re doing at the time, which stops a lot of people from wanting to do it. However, keeping your computer and software up-to-date is very important from a security perspective. As hackers and scammers come up with new ways to exploit computers, companies keep coming up with ways to protect against them. The best way to ensure that your computer has the latest protections is to update it.

Of paramount importance is your operating system itself, and your virus software. In both cases, new viruses are constantly being discovered and defined. These new virus definitions are only included when you update your software.

3. Be Careful When Opening Emails and Messages

Email Spam
Spam filters do a good job of keeping you safe from hackers and scammers, so don’t invalidate it by clicking on them! | Source: W.S.Worrall

When you’re checking your emails or messages, you should always be vigilant. Any links or attachments you click on could potentially lead you to a harmful website, or to download a virus. While checking emails, make sure that you don’t open any from people you don’t know, especially if they seem strange or are caught in the spam filter. The same applies to Facebook or WhatsApp messages, even if they’re from someone you know. It’s not hard for someone to mask their identity or hack your friend’s accounts without them knowing. When in doubt, just don’t click or reply.

4. Don’t Download Random Software

CNET - Downloads
Sites like Cnet offer free software, but you often take a big risk using them. | Source: Cnet Downloads

While your antivirus software should keep you protected against most viruses, that isn’t a guarantee. You should not think of your software as blanket protection against attacks. When you’re looking for software on the internet, always use a trusted source. Downloading random programs and installing them is a quick way to leave yourself vulnerable to attack. Especially if the software you’re downloading is very new, as it may contain undefined viruses that will get around your protection.

 

5. Make Sure Your Firewall is On

Windows - Firewall
On Windows, you can tell that the firewall is on when the green shields are displayed. | Source: Windows 10

This step hopefully won’t be necessary. When you first get your computer, the firewall should be on by default. While setting up if the computer asks you if you want your firewall on, always select yes. If you need to make sure it’s turn on, go to your computer search bar and search for ‘firewall.’ In the settings for your computer, you should be able to see if your firewall is on or not. Your firewall protects your computer from being access by unwanted external sources.

Featured image by Alfa Photostudio from Shutterstock.com

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Author:
A gaming and technology writer who has been building computers and tinkering with software since he was a teenager. Previously involved with various prestigious websites, including TechRaptor.net and CCN.COM