If you’ve recently purchased a new computer, or even upgraded machines across your whole office, there are some key things to do before you start relying on a new PC for daily use. Before trying to figure out an unfamiliar operating system or exploring your device’s new features, make sure your computer is secure and easy to navigate by taking the following steps.
Check for Windows updates
You probably know by now that keeping your PC updated is vital to prevent vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of falling victim to a cyberattack. You might not know, however, that it’s important to check for Windows updates even when using a brand-new machine. Microsoft releases new patches on at least a monthly basis and often more frequently, so it’s not uncommon for new PCs to require updates upon first use. Not all of these updates will be security related, but it’s better to be safe and make sure you’re up to date.
You can use the Windows Update service within Settings to check for and install updates. Select ‘Update and security’ then ‘Windows Update’ before clicking on the ‘Check for updates’ button. In Windows 10, download and installation is automatic and will happen right after your computer has carried out a check.
Your new PC will probably come with an antimalware program installed, but it’s unlikely to be updated and therefore may not be capable of protecting your device against the most recent threats. If you’d like to continue to use the pre-installed software, take the time to update it. You can open the software and go into settings to update the virus scanner’s ‘definitions’, which are the instructions that teach the program how to identify and remove new viruses. If you’d like a more complete antivirus software, you may want to install your own, as the protection that comes installed on your new PC is unlikely to be the best available.
Install a file recovery program
You’re probably not thinking about lost files just yet – after all, you haven’t created any documents! However, installing file recovery software now could benefit you later on if you do encounter any trouble. These programs usually have to be installed before you can make use of them, and the installation process could actually result in your deleted file being lost forever. Download and install one now to prevent this from happening; that way, if you do need it further down the line, it’ll be there ready to recover that important work.
Sign up for an online backup service
Another way to ensure your data stays safe is to sign up for an online backup service now, keeping your documents protected from the outset. Online backup services keep selected data protected on secure servers and are a fool-proof way of preventing data loss or unauthorised access.
Uninstall unwanted programs
New PCs come loaded with a variety of pre-installed software, also known as bloatware. This software often runs in the background and takes up memory and processor power, so it’s worth uninstalling it now if you’re unlikely to use it. Look over the programs already on your computer to decide whether there’s anything you’d like to keep, then go to Control Panel to remove the rest. You can also use a dedicated uninstaller to remove bloatware for you, if you’d rather not do it manually.
After taking these steps to protect your data and ensure your new computer is running smoothly, you can start making use of its great features without worrying about security or data loss.
This guide has been brought to you by the experts at Syntax IT Support London.