Check list of things to do when hooking up a new PC

  1. Install ALL Critical Windows Updates.
    1. Make sure you update your operating system by visiting
    2. Important! Before doing this you must be behind a hardware firewall. Otherwise your PC will get hacked and infected before you are able to finish downloading and installing the updates.
      1. FIREWALL? What is a firewall?
        1. Definition: A firewall is a piece of equipment that protects your home network from other computers on the internet. Like a firewall on a car protects the passengers, a network firewall protects your PCs.
      2. If you do not have a firewall or are not sure you can set one up call someone that can or bring your computer over a friend or family members house that has a firewall and plug it in over there to complete the updates. A DSL/Cable Modem connection is highly recommended. Otherwise it will probably take a day to finish downloading everything.
    3. Repeat
      1. After doing windows update the first time run it again to make sure that you really got them all.
    4. Make sure Automatic updates is set to automatically check for new updates.
  2. Install Antivirus Software
    1. Make sure that you have antiviral software installed, updated and running. Just using the 90-day trial that comes with the PC is not good enough. Either pay for that software so you continue to get updates or uninstall it and install a free option such as Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG free.
  3. Install Anti-Spyware/Adware programs
    1. Install Spywareblaster before browsing to any other websites.
    2. Install SpyBot
      1. Vista and Windows 7 come with something called Windows Defender. I prefer Spybot. It works with Windows Vista and will provide a better set of protection.
  4. Secure Your PC
    1. These are some things that you should do you secure your PC (Minimum)
      1. Account Management.
        1. By default Microsoft Windows (Home and Professional Editions) make the user accounts administrators of the machine when you first set it up. This means that all accounts by default are able to install software and modify the system. This is a BAD thing.
      2. How to change this? Please see “’s-How to create and configure user accounts in Windows XP
        1. In summary you must make one account that will be an administrator on the machine. This account should not be used when browsing the Internet, reading email or other regular tasks. It should only be logged onto when you need to install software.
        2. All other accounts should be limited or regular users. This way if you get a virus in the email or accidentally visit a malicious website then it will only affect that account and not the entire computer.

Note: Windows Vista/7 makes the first user an administrator. You should only use this account to setup your computer. Make another account or two for those that will use the computer to do work and make them Normal users.


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