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New PC? Secure It!
For all of you owners of a new computer - whether you were lucky enough to receive one as a gift under the tree or you sprang for a shiny new PC to start off the New Year - a top priority is to keep that fresh machine running efficiently, safely, and securely. How do you do that? Here are five basics to start with -
- Anti-spyware, anti-virus, and a firewall - these three elements provide fundamental security, and are essential to keep your PC protected and your private information under your control. Keep in mind, the security software that is included with your PC at purchase may be a trial version that will expire if you fail to buy a subscription.
- Use a limited user account for day to day computing. You expose yourself to a variety of security risks when you run Windows using the all-powerful administrator account. Check to see which type of account you're using now, and consider switching to a limited account to reduce the effect of malware.
- Uninstall unwanted aps. New PCs often come pre-loaded with all sorts of programs and trial software. Remove the clutter by deciding what software is helpful to you, and then delete the rest.
- Run Microsoft Update (update.microsoft.com) to install all of the current Windows patches. Next, set your PC to receive automatic security updates.
- Backup your work. Even with the best precautions, you're bound to run up against serious PC problems at some point. Regular back-ups can be the difference between losing all your work or having it readily accessible. Whether you use a second hard drive, flash drive, or online server, be sure to backup your important files, documents, and photos for safekeeping.