Bought a new Windows PC? Want to secure Windows PC. Here are the top ways to make your new Windows PC more secure.
Setting up your brand-new Windows PC gives you a fresh start. Before you connect it to the Internet, this would be a good time to revisit some of the basics in computer security. Here are some tips to make that new Windows PC more secure:
Table of Contents
Tips to Secure Windows PC
1.Secure Your Wi-Fi Router and Your New Windows PC
Remember that when you plugin that new PC to the internet, you are connecting to millions of other computers, and an unsecured connection allows attackers access to everything. If your router still has the manufacturer’s installed password, this would be an ideal time to strengthen your security and change your Wi-Fi password.
The best way to secure a router is to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on the router. The advantage is that every device connected to the router is protected and needs no special configuration for any device. However, not every router is VPN-compliant, so you may need to upgrade.
Even if your router is not VPN compliant, you can still download a VPN for PC to protect your new Windows PC and your other devices. A VPN adds another layer of security and privacy by:
- routing your internet connection to another location, making tracking more difficult
- encrypting your connection through a “tunnel”
- keeping your online activity private and untraceable
The final bullet point above applies exclusively to premium subscription-based VPN services. Premium services provide a “no-logs” policy with the guarantee that no user’s web activity is ever recorded. Free VPN providers, on the other hand, can only be free when they meet their expenses, often to the detriment of their users—adware, user data mining, slower internet performance, etc.
You’re Not There yet…
A word of caution: A VPN does not provide protection against malware and social engineering. Think of a VPN as a means to make you a moving target, mask your location, and protect you from data miners and geo-blockers. You need to do more.
Now that you have secured your router and added the VPN, take the following additional steps to improve the security of your new Windows PC:
2.Set up your firewall
Your new Windows PC comes with built-in security, which includes a firewall. The Microsoft Defender Firewall protects your Windows PC from unauthorized access. Read more about understanding firewalls here. Make sure your firewall settings are active.
3.Secure the web browser
Your new Windows PC comes with Microsoft Internet Explorer, and you will undoubtedly use it frequently. It is important to configure your browser securely. When you first log into the Internet Explorer, it comes with default security settings. You can increase or enhance those settings, but those enhancements come with the cost of more restricted operation.
Important note: Your best security safeguard for internet browsing is to look for the telltale “S” following the “HTTP” header on the internet address. The HTTPS means that the connection between you and the web server is encrypted. This adds yet another level of security when you log into a VPN server.
We suggest you use the most secure browser Brave Browser.
4.Install anti-malware software
Antivirus software provides protection against known malicious threats. It detects, quarantines, and removes a variety of malware, such as worms, viruses, and ransomware. Most antivirus software is easy to install and use. All computers and devices on a home network should run antivirus software.
5.Do not install unnecessary software
Avoid the temptation of downloading and installing free software. Anything you load that has weaknesses makes your whole system/network vulnerable to attackers. Make a note to inventory your new Windows PC six months from now to discover and remove all that unnecessary junk—games, media players, browser extensions, etc. If you haven’t accessed the program and can uninstall it safely, remove it.
6.Allow automatic Windows updates
Both the Windows operating system and the software that runs on it are under constant attack by hackers. Microsoft sends out periodic updates and patches as they discover vulnerabilities and breaches. Always allow automatic updates and install them the same day they arrive.
You can use the IObit Driver booster (25% discounted link) to automatically update your drivers.
7.Use commonsense best practices
There are other simple, non-technical measures you can take to improve the security on your new Windows PC:
8.Don’t trust email with suspicious attachments and unrecognized links.
Most malware disasters—ransomware for example—are spread by someone clicking on a poisoned email link or an attachment disguised as a friendly image file. Even if the email comes from a person you know, don’t assume those attachments or safe and never click on a link in the email. That link could take you to a dark web site that downloads malware to steal all your personal information.
9.Don’t give out personal information
Beware of social engineering. You could get an email that appears legitimate and links to a reputable looking website, but it may be a scam. Maybe the email is from a “system administrator” who requests your password or login information by means of a fake sign-in page. If you receive such a request, visit the site separately and see whether the message “Your account has been temporarily been blocked” is really true. Chances are about 100 percent that you have been targeted by a scammer.
10.Look at your passwords
Choose the strongest passwords that are unguessable and resistant to password cracking software. Don’t use the same password for everything. If possible, employ two-factor authentication login where you enter the site with your strong password and receive a one-time password via an instant email or smartphone. You can store your extensive listing of passwords with password management software like StickyPassword (85% discounted link).
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