Friday, March 30, 2007

Top 5 Things To Do After You Buy A PC

If you just bought a PC (is it too late to convince you to buy a Mac?), you want to enjoy your new purchase - especially if your PC is connected to the Internet. To that end, here is what you should do - in order - as soon as you get your computer home.

NOTE: #1 should be done BEFORE you connect to the Internet.


When you connect to the Internet, your PC is accessible to anyone and everyone. A router puts up a wall between you and the rest of the world, letting in and out only what you tell it. If you have a router, you can always add a software firewall (such as ZoneAlarm), but turning on Windows Firewall (if you have XP) is probably more than enough for most people. BOTTOM LINE: Don't even think about connecting to the Internet without a router!!!


I recommend AVG, which is a FREE download from Grisoft. Yes, I like it because it is free, but I use it because it works as well, or better, than Norton (it is less of a CPU hog than Norton). AVG scans my e-mail and updates its virus database almost daily.


Spyware and malware can be just as bad, if not worse, than viruses. Indeed, the need for anti-spyware software is crucial to the health of your PC. Thus, I recommend running multiple spyware software, as you will have a greater chance at a spyware-free computer than if only running one. I recommend Webroot's Spy Sweeper, which costs $29.95 and gets your PC as close to spyware free as it's going to be. I would also recommend running Microsoft's FREE Windows Defender.

NOTE: I would not advise running multiple Anti-virus software, as I suggest here with Anti-spyware software, as Anti-virus software tend to conflict with each other and you may run into issues.


If you have a PC than, by default, you have the Internet Explorer (IE) browser. However, this does not mean that IE has to be your default browser. Indeed, while you will still need IE for a number of web sites, including banking and financial sites, it is not your best option if security is important to you. (Also, they are a bit behind the times as well - IE only just added tabbed browsing. I mean, come on!)

Firefox is more secure than IE and is amazingly customizable with hundreds of extensions, or add-ons.


When you start using your PC, no doubt you will be creating documents, writing e-mails, downloading music, videos, etc. If any of what you save to your PC means anything to you, you will begin a monthly (at minimum) backup routine. There are a lot of good options out there for your backups, but my recommendation would be Maxtor's OneTouch II - it really is one touch and you're done!

Please feel free to write in with any questions you may have about your new PC.


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