Cybersecurity can be fickle, especially if you do not use the proper security mechanisms. For one, you could skip updates and use an outdated version of programs. Then, you remain vulnerable to flaws others fixed on their devices weeks ago.
Luckily, there are ways to reduce the risk of losing data or having your device compromised by malware. However, you must take advantage of these potential solutions. For the best results, you need to begin as soon as possible. And if you have just bought a new computer, learn how to secure it properly.
Why start securing early?
New digital devices are often within the hacker’s crosshairs. They are vulnerable to breaches as they haven’t received any security updates. Most of them don’t even have password protection, which makes them convenient targets for thieves and shoplifters. Reliable protection from unsecured connections or viruses is rare in the current year.
If you have a brand-new PC, it is best to take a few critical steps before showing it to your friends and family. You’ll find more details about them in the following section.
Ways to secure your computer from the start
Once you’ve powered up your new computer, it is tempting to install a new game or start editing a video. However, all that excitement can turn to grief if you’re not careful with the security of your new device. But you need not worry for long. A few detours to ensure your device’s safety can get you back on track. These include the following:
When you purchase a new computer, it is hard to ignore pre-installed software that makes it easier to resume your day-to-day tasks. But many of these applications have backdoors that the developers can utilize to gain access to your personal information.
Therefore, experts recommend you uninstall all bloatware once you turn on your computer for the first time. You can install the regular, legitimate software and log in with valid credentials.
Install a reliable anti-virus tool
Today, default security apps like Windows Defender and Apple XProtect are more than capable of keeping you safe from common virus infections. Nevertheless, you may need robust anti-virus software to protect your system from more complex threats such as trojans from cookies and rootkit malware.
You can choose from various applications available online or at your local electronics store. They have inexpensive plans for individuals and teams that offer all sorts of additions to your PC’s firewall. You can obtain more details from their official websites.
Once you’re done creating or logging into the relevant accounts, enabling auto-updates for most applications, especially for the anti-virus, is best. It keeps your PC free from bugs and syncs files with a cloud-based backup if you have one active.
An excellent feature with Windows auto-update is that you can set it for when you most likely have your PC in low-power mode. It won’t affect other aspects of your work and eases some stress on your internet connection.
Utilize 2-factor authentication
Even if you keep all your passwords secure, there are ways that hackers can utilize to guess the right ones. Thanks to AI, there are numerous ways to decrypt a database and obtain an appropriate password related to an account.
A proven method to avoid it is using 2-factor authentication (2FA). It is popular with service providers like Google and Steam. It registers a trusted device into the system that verifies your identity every time you log in. That occurs through a text message or an app notification. So, even if an unauthorized person has your password, they can’t log into your account.
Install a secure browser
The default browser with Windows or macOS devices often contains vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Additionally, those browsers can send your website and login data to their parent companies without your consent.
A workaround is to use independent browsers created using open-source platforms. You can use Mozilla Firefox, Opera GX, or Vivaldi web browsers. Each has its own advantages that you can look up on their respective official websites.
Get a Virtual Private Network
If you plan to use your PC on office-based or public internet networks, having a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on standby is a good idea. Unknown networks are often a hunting ground for malicious hackers, and a VPN for Windows can help discourage them from accessing your computer.
A VPN masks your IP address by routing your connection through a remote. It helps confuse trackers that use location as a parameter. Furthermore, the VPN encrypts all incoming/outgoing data from your system, rendering all data packets unreadable unless someone has the appropriate key.
And that’s all it takes to secure your new PC. Has your friend or family member just bought a new computer? Ways to secure it from the start can ensure a gainful life cycle.