We know that installing or reinstalling your Windows operating
system takes time and proves to be a laborious job, which none of
us likes to follow. But, as we all know, once in a while we have
to find the old Windows installation CD/DVD and reinstall the
entire operating system.
Since it is a job we don’t do every day, we have to make sure that when we install/reinstall the Windows operating system, we also take additional measures to improve our online security.
We may choose to install Windows on a new machine or we may have to reinstall our operating system due to technical issues or security reasons caused by malware. Whatever the case may be, we always have to ensure that we follow additional steps in order to increase our online security.
First of all, we hope you didn’t install/reinstall Windows XP. As you may know, Windows XP operating system is no longer supported by Microsoft. Therefore, make sure you have installed on your system Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or Windows 10.
As soon as you finish the Windows installation, we encourage you to follow the security measures below to increase your security:
1. Keep your Windows operating system up to date
The first important step is to check if you have the latest security updates and patches available for your Windows operating system.
2. Keep your software up to date
It is important to have not only your Windows operating system up to date, but the software you are using, therefore make sure you have the latest updates and security patches for your main programs and applications.
3. Create a Clean Installation restore point
After you have installed your security updates for your Windows operating system, make sure you have created a Restore Point for your installation.
4. Install a traditional antivirus for reactive protection
Use a known antivirus product from a big security company. It is important to have a reliable security solution on your system, which should include real-time scanning, automatic update and a firewall.
5. Install a security solution against spyware
First of all, what exactly is spyware?
Spyware refers to that category of software which installs on your computer sending pop-ups, redirecting your browser to malicious websites or in some cases, it may even monitor your browsing history.
6. Install a proactive security solution for multiple defense layers
We need to say that a traditional antivirus solution cannot fully protect you against the latest malware out there. Financial malware epecially is created to steal private data and confidential information and it uses sophisticated methods to do so.
7. Back up your system
You updated the operating system and your system applications, you have installed additional security products for your system safety and even created a Clean installation restore point for your Windows.
8. Use a standard user account to access your Windows operating system
Windows grants a certain level of rights and privileges depending on what kind of user account you have. You may have a standard user account or an administrator user account.
9. Keep your User Account Control turned ON
Many users have the tendency to turn off User Account Control after installing/reinstalling the Windows operating system.
We don’t recommend this. Instead of disabling the UAC, you can decrease the intensity level using a slider in the Control Panel.
10. Secure your web browser before going online
Since our web browser is the main tool used to access the Internet, it is important to secure it before going online.
The vulnerabilities in your web browser are like open door invitations to attackers. Using these vulnerabilities, the attackers will try to remove private information or destroy important data.
11. Use BitLocker to encrypt your hard drive
Even if you set a password to your Windows account, intruders can still get access to your private files and documents. They can simply do this by booting into their own operating system – Linux, for example – from a special disc or USB flash drive.
12. Lock it up!
A final touch for the security of your system is to add a Kensington lock.
And why wouldn’t you? It’s so easy these days to have your mobile devices stolen, especially a laptop or a notebook, that adding a physical security measure doesn’t seem to be a bad idea.
13. Be careful online and don’t click suspicious links
To make sure you won’t be infected by clicking on dangerous links, hover the mouse over the link to see if you are directed to a legitimate location. If you were supposed to reach your favorite news website, such as “www.cnn.com”, but the link indicates “hfieo88.net“, then you should resist the urge of clicking the link.
It’s not just about staying safe.
The steps above are meant to keep you safe online. But, at the same time, following them means that you also set up your system to work smoothly for online browsing and financial operations, activities we do every day.
Since there are many other solutions to protect a system after a Windows installation, we would also like to know your opinion.
How do you increase your security after a Windows installation?
Do you have an established routine? We’d love to add your tips to the list, so share them in the comments below.