When you buy a brand new computer
Before you connect to the Internet for the first time
of ideas, articles and links
to computer security resources .
When you buy a brand new computer, you are
probably not well protected from security threats on the Internet until you set it up
properly, and even then there are risks unless you know enough to take certain precautions.
Here is what I think is a list of basic
things to do immediately when you get a new computer. The list is not exhaustive, but should
give pretty good safety for reasonably cautious users, especially those without children.
This list is a supplement to the
main security page, which should be consulted for
more detailed info.
Before connecting to the Internet:
Check to see if
you have a virus checker, like AVG, Panda, RAV, Norton, Symantec, McAfee, etc. and if
it will check your email for risks. Make sure you update the virus definitions as
soon as you hook up to the 'net if updates are not automatic, since the viruses that
threaten your machine, change rapidly in their distinguishing characteristics as new ones
Check to see if
you have a firewall. If you have highspeed, you may not need a software firewall, since your router may do the job, but find out.
If you need a software firewall, ZoneAlarm is my choice, and for home use, you can download the free
version. There are others as well. There is a built-in firewall in windows, XP,
but I am not too impressed with it. If it is turned on and you have a better
firewall, turn this one off (under the connection settings). Otherwise use it until you get
a better one, then turn it off.
Once you have a
router and/or firewall working and an anti-virus program set up, connect to the Internet
and immediately update the anti-virus definitions, then run a scan. If the machine
has been used before, run some scans from the Internet when you have a chance later. Also
run Ad-Aware, etc...
After or while
that is happening, go to Windows Update and do all the 'Critical Updates" suggested and any
driver updates. If your copy of the operating system is not brand new, and you are on
dialup be prepared for hours of waiting while it all comes in. Be prepared for some
dialogue boxes requiring an 'OK' along the way, and several reboots.
main security page and keep up-to-date.
Update your software, virus definitions, and operating system weekly at minimum. Scan
If you have
been away for a while and start using your machine after it has been idle for a week , or
days, update everything FIRST.
Use this information at your own risk, however.
Of course, I can't give you any
They say that free advice is worth exactly what you pay
I hope these pages are an exception, but even the pros don't have 100% success and new threats come
out of the blue with great regularity. A few years ago, all this nonsense and nastiness
we combat daily was not even imagined.