Breaking out your new PC is one of the most exciting feelings in the world. You unwrap the plastic, plug in the charger, and power on to a faster, more seamless Windows experience. After you enjoy the thrill of the unboxing, it’s time to get your new setup configured. If you want to get the most out of your new PC, then be sure to follow these steps.
Set Up an Anti-Virus
There’s a bit of a misconception that PCs are virus-prone. Instead, there are just so many PCs in the world that hackers generally target them instead of wasting time on operating systems with a tiny percentage of the market share like Mac OS and Linux. Fortunately, there are many powerful tools out there you can use to protect yourself. Windows come built-in with a pretty solid firewall and antivirus setup.
However, you should take it a step further and download anti-virus software. You can set it to run in the background during your normal usage, and it will not only scan for viruses but also malware and other nasty things trying to steal data or slow down your new CPU.
Install a VPN
The vast majority of all computer hacks occur over the internet. For this reason, you must protect your internet connection. With a VPN, you encrypt and anonymize your connection with the latest in AES-256 technology — the highest industry standard. If you use it, no one can intercept your connections, even on public unprotected WiFi. And since your real IP is hidden, no advertisers or platforms like Facebook and Google can keep track of your browsing habits to sell your data to the highest bidder.
Setup a File Encryption Software
Cloud computing has become an integral part of the PC experience. It touches all aspects of our computer use. Whether we are uploading photos to iCloud, sharing business documents on Google Drive, or sending files via Dropbox, it’s everywhere. Unfortunately, these services aren’t completely secure, as hackers have broken into users’ accounts on many occasions.
With file encryption software like Nordlocker, you can not only protect the files on your computer but anything you upload to the Cloud. It’s easy to use as well. All you do is install and select which files to encrypt. You can utilize additional features like selecting who can view/edit the file and set temporary passcodes.
Choose and Install Your Default Apps
Built-in Windows apps have gotten significantly better over the last few years. Nonetheless, many of us are still wary of the days of Internet Explorer and other default Windows apps that simply couldn’t get the job done. Whether you choose to go with Edge or Chrome, set up your apps in the “default apps” settings.
This is particularly important for files that Windows may not be able to read without an additional driver or download. For example, Windows Media Player can’t read all media formats so you might want to go with VLC instead. Choose your favorites and go from there.
Use a Password Manager
Password managers are revolutionizing the way we secure our online accounts. The average person uses over fifteen login credentials across various platforms and websites. Yet, most of us are guilty of using the same password (or a very similar one) across all of them. Password managers create unique, extremely strong passwords for each of your accounts. All you have to do is login into the password manager of your choice and it will login to all your other accounts from there.
What’s more, should a cyber-criminal try to gain access to one of your accounts, you’ll get a notification right away so you can shut it down immediately. Some password managers are even going a step further and using biometric security features like facial recognition and fingerprint IDs to create an even more secure experience.
Get the Latest Updates
Even if you are first in line at the Lenovo or Dell store for a new PC, chances are Windows will already have an update waiting for you. As frustrating as this is, these updates are for your own security. Hackers are constantly trying to exploit flaws in the Windows OS to gain access to people’s data. Microsoft is quick to find this and usually releases a security patch right away. But it also means that users need to be ready to install these updates.
While it’s not exactly fun to watch an update screen as soon as you unwrap your new PC, you’ll be happy to not have a cybersecurity breach in the future. The same goes for all your other apps as well. Make sure everything is always up to date. You can set Windows to run automatic updates in the background at times you don’t use your computer, like overnight or during lunch hour, so they never get in your way.
The 6 Essential Steps to Harnessing the Power of Your New PC
Unboxing a new PC is a thrilling experience for all computer users alike. However, if you want to make sure your new computer is truly ready to use, then make sure you follow these essential steps. With Windows, everything comes back to security. You don’t want hackers installing a piece a malware that hogs your CPU performance and internet bandwidth to mine cryptocurrency, do you?
So, install an antivirus software and a VPN to protect your internet connection. Secure your files both online and offline with a file encryption service like NordLocker. Get everything calibrated by setting your default apps. Finally, make sure Windows OS and your apps are always up to date. By following these steps, you’ll ensure your PC will run smoothly for many years to come.