Windows operating system installation or re-installation is a time consuming task. And as we use, it requires a re-installation at some point in time. It's always a good practice to secure our operating system as this helps in the long run and helps increase our online security.
Once you have successfully installed the windows operating system, first and foremost thing to do is to create a restore point. This helps in getting back to clean installation state in case your system crashes avoiding a full re-install and save time.
After you create a restore point, you can continue with drivers and other software installation which are required for your daily use.
Run the windows update and install latest security updates available for your Windows operating system. For additional security, go to Control Panel and enable automatic update as this feature will help in download and installation of all security pacthes as and when they are released by Microsoft. Cyber criminals have always tried to exploit the operating system vulnerabilities and this setting will help avoid that.
Anti Virus Software
There are many anti virus software companies and you may purchase as per you requirement. It is very important to have an anti virus security system which provides realtime prevention, scanning, scheduling, update and firewall. Even if firewall is not provided, you may use windows built in firewall and enable it. This option is available in control panel.
Anti Spyware and Malware
If your computer is infected by Spyware or malware, it directly impacts your browser experience and security. You may start seeing pop-ups, redirecting your browser to malicious websites or browser history monitoring. Typically you may see some fake banners on websites that asks you to install Outlook patch, free anti-virus scanner or video codecs to see Britney Spears or Jenifer Lopez videos. Never click or download such fake software as this leads to your system getting infected by spyware or malware. Never click on suspicious links or pop-up windows even if they prompt you that you PC is infected.
You may install any reputed anti spyware or malware software like Malwarebytes, Spybot Search and Destroy, Lavasoft's Ad-Aware and others.
HEIMDAL PRO protects users with 3 key layers of security:
- Active shield against ransomware & malicious content
- Protection against financial malware & data leakage
- Keeps security critical software up-to-date through automatic and silent patching
Like Windows update, it is important to keep your software updated as well. Popular software like Java, Adobe Flash, Adobe Shockwave, Adobe Acrobat
Reader, Quicktime or browsers like Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, should be updated at regular intervals. Most of these software have auto update setting which should be set to automatic.
Over a period of time, you may encounter hardware issues like hard drive crash which could result in loss of precious data. To ensure your data stays safe, you should always enable a backup service. These online services help in synchronizing your files across multiple devices. There are many free and paid services available, depending on your volume of data, you may choose any. You may also enable windows backup and restore feature which can periodically backup your data on external drive. This feature can be accessed from windows control panel.
Windows standard user account
After you install and setup windows and setup an administrator account, create standard user accounts for daily use. Use administrator account only to install or modify settings and software on your computer. Use of standard account will help in safeguarding critical windows files and also prevent malicious activities since a standard user account have very limited privileges. Also you should use complex passwords like minimum 8 characters and a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters.
User Account Control
Always keep UAC or user account control enabled since this feature helps in avoiding system changes by suspicious programs and malware. This feature will always prompt you to give administrator level access if any system level changes are attempted and then you can take an informed decision.
A simple windows account password can not stop attackers to get access to your files and documents. Your PC can still be booted from an external source and all data can be accessed. Thus data encryption is used to protect unwanted access. Even if you lose your laptop, no one will have access to your data and it cannot be misused. BitLocker is available on the latest Windows operating systems and can be turned on at any moment for any logical drive be it internal or external. You may access Bitlocker from control panel or doing a right click on any drive in windows explorer.
IMPORTANT - When you enable Bitlocker, it creates a recovery key. Always keep it safely and securely at different location outside of encrypted computer as this will help in decrypting data in case windows crashes or you are unable to boot to desktop.
Safe Browsing Habit
Always keep your browser updated and use latest version. Before clicking any link, just check whether it points to a legitimate location by hovering your mouse on that link. If you see it is pointing to unknown source, never click. You may install VirusTotal which helps you in checking suspicious links.
These steps will help you in keeping your computer safe and secure. Do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback and suggestion or in case you need any assistance.