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How to Secure a New Computer

Chris Harrison on Flickr

With the holidays fast approaching, you might expect to find a new laptop or computer under the tree this year. While you may be excited to get started with your new gadgets, it’s very important to be patient and set up your computer properly.

When you first get your PC or laptop running, the first thing to do is check for updates. Your computer may feel new to you, but it may have been sitting on the store shelves for weeks or months!

Since then, the people who made your computer have released new software updates to help protect it. Your new computer won’t have these updates, however, because it’s been dormant from the factory to when you powered it on.

When you turn it on and connect it to the internet for the first time, the computer will “catch up” on all the updates it missed and will ask you to download them. Be sure to let your computer do this! This will cover any security problems on your computer so it’s ready to go.

But hold on a moment; your operating system also needs its updates too. Much like how your computer can be attacked by hackers, your operating system can also contain flaws that can be used against you. As such, your operating system will also ask for updates when you boot up your computer. Don’t put it off because you want to use your new gadget; give it its updates before you do anything!

Once all the updates are downloaded and installed, it’s time to think about an antivirus. These days, computers come with an antivirus running right-away. Sometimes this is the system’s default antivirus solution, and sometimes this is a trial antivirus that expires after a month or so. It’s a good idea to get to grips with what’s protecting you; after all, it’s your only line of defense from protecting your computer from viruses!

If you’re not sure about what’s protecting your computer, or you have a trial antivirus that expires unless you pay monthly, you can download a free antivirus to protect you. Don’t worry; even though they’re free, there are some top-quality options to help you out. Programs such as Avast, AVG, and Kaspersky Free are all good choices to protect your computer with.

Once that’s all done, update the drivers on your computer. A driver is a special kind of software that tells your computer how to use the hardware connected to it. These receive updates as the people who produce the hardware make their products work even better with your PC.

Many computer manufacturers these days have a page that lists all the drivers for your system; if not, you can look up the drivers manually by searching for the name of your hardware online.

Once you’ve done these tasks, you’re free to use your computer as you wish. It may seem like a hassle, but a virus on Christmas Day is definitely something you want to avoid!

Learn More

AVG Antivirus


Kaspersky Free




New Computer Set-up


Installing Mac updates


Importance of software updates