Securing Your New PC
Home > 
Securing Your New PC
< back

Securing Your New PC

Don't forget to implement necessary security measures when you set up your new PC at home. Just taking a new computer out of the box and connecting it to the Internet is not safe. You are exposing your PC to a number of security risks, such as malware infection, spam emails, denial of service attacks, disclosure of personal or sensitive information and so on.

Take necessary precautions to ensure that your computer is well protected before you connect it to the online world.

Step 1: Set up the administrator account and other user accounts.

You should set up the administrator account and other user accounts properly. It is important to assign a strong password to the administrator account. This account is often used for configuring the computer.

In addition, configure other user accounts properly. For example in Windows 7 go to the "Control Panel" and select "User Accounts". Make sure that the Guest account is disabled. Then check that every account that is subtitled "Computer administrator" is set up with a strong password. If your computer is going to be shared by other members of your family, you should consider setting up a 'Limited' user account for their use. You may create personal folders for different members of the family.

Click here to learn about handling account and password.

Step 2: Install and configure anti-malware software.

To protect your computer from malware attacks, you should install and properly configure anti-malware software. Some new computers come bundled with anti-malware software, but the software is often a limited-time trial version. Check the terms and conditions before use. If your computer does not have any anti-malware software installed, you should buy some and install it before connecting to the Internet. For effective protection, you should update your software with the latest definition files, scan your computer and enable the real-time detection feature.

Click here to learn more about installing & enabling anti-malware software.

Step 3: Install and enable a personal firewall.

You can use a personal firewall to keep intruders out of your PC.

Step 4: Secure the wireless network.

If you are using a wireless network, you have to configure and set up the wireless network properly and in a secure way.

Step 5: Configure your web browser.

As your web browser will likely be the primary interface with the Internet, a poorly configured web browser can allow malware to be downloaded onto your computer. Use the following tips to configure your web browser.

Disable any active content options e.g. Java, JavaScript and ActiveX, in the browser, except when communicating with a trusted source.
Use up-to-date browser versions and apply the latest patches.
Disable the password auto-complete/ remember password feature.
Enable the pop-up blocking feature, except when communicating with trusted sites.
Regularly remove cache files or temporary files from the browser to protect your data privacy.
Disable automatic installation of plug-ins, add-ons or other software.

Step 6: Apply the latest patches.

You are ready to connect to the Internet now. The first task is to apply the latest security patches and updates to your anti-malware software, operating system and all other installed software. Restart your computer after the installation is complete and check that all updates have been successfully installed. Also, remember to ensure that you have turned on the auto-update features for your anti-malware software and operating system.

Please note that these steps are only basic security precautions. You should learn about other security measures and stay alert to the latest security news, threats and vulnerabilities.