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Things You Must Do When You Get a Computer

Things You Must Do When You Get a Computer

Whenever you get a new computer whether you built it yourself or you bought it off the shelf there are several things that you should really do or should have done as soon as you get home and go set it up. So that's what this article is gonna be about. So the next time you go to get a computer you'll know what to do. Or if you've been using your computer for a while you may have realized you never really did some of these things so you can do.

1. Make sure all the software is up to date

So basically Windows Update but also things like graphics card drivers which you probably have to get from Invidia or AMD's website. And this is obviously important because when you buy a computer off the shelf you don't know how long it's been sitting there. It might have a couple months old versions of Windows. You don't want to go around browsing and then be a security risk.

So this is simple enough you literally just go into the Windows Update settings and then run the update and install it wait for it to go and you're good to go. If you're doing graphics card updates you probably have to look to see what the manufacturer is either Nvidia or AMD. I believe they all have automatic tools for getting the latest updates for those.

2. Good antivirus

You should definitely do is install a good antivirus specifically one that has some kind of real-time network protection and web protection. The one that comes built-in with Windows or another OS isn't necessarily bad for Super basic antivirus stuff but what you also need to worry about these days are exploit attacks on your web browser you're using or other software which can potentially infect you without you even doing anything.

Bit Defender is more than just antivirus it's a complete security suite covering all major platforms. It is the best antivirus for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. It's highly rated by Independent Labs and one product of the year from AV comparatives in 2019 and won the best protection and best performance from AV test. It has a wide array of features such as network threat prevention which can stop attacks before they begin by blocking malicious attempts on system vulnerabilities and brute force attacks.

Plus it has antiphishing web protection which will warn you when you come across fraudulent web pages. Again, in my opinion, this type of real-time protection is key because it can protect you against attacks that are not your fault and happen in the background or so-called drive-by attacks.

Bitdefender Total Security also has multilayer ransomware protection including ransomware remediation which basically instantly backs up any files that detect is trying to be encrypted by ransomware and restores it after that malware is blocked. Plus there's plenty of other features such as webcam protection and microphone usage notifications from untrusted apps as well as performance profiles that detect when you're playing a game, watching a movie, doing work, and automatically adjust background tasks and pop-ups so you aren't disturbed.

3. Uninstall all that bloatware

Even if you build your own computer and install a fresh copy of Windows it'll still probably include crap like Candy Crush which is in the Start menu. It's so annoying but this will likely be even worse in terms of bloatware if you buy a computer off the shelf. Because a lot of times those manufacturers get paid by certain software companies to include their software preinstalled on the computer and a lot of times it's unnecessary.

So this is really easy. Whether you're on Windows or Mac you just go into the list of apps to install anything. You know you're not going no use. You know it's preinstalled is just junk and then you won't have to deal with it again.

4. Privacy & Personalization settings

1. You should definitely do is go through the Privacy settings to defend your online privacy on your computer and I'll go through a few specific examples in Windows that you can take a look at but really you want to go through all the other ones too.

1. So for example in Windows, if you go to Settings Privacy and General.
2. 2 Things I would definitely disable right away are let apps use advertising ID and also show me suggested contents in the Settings app.

The first one basically disables a unique tracker ID that Windows has for you and then allows advertisers to basically target you for ads. This isn't gonna disable ads completely or anything and it'll probably make less specific ads for you but it's definitely more Privacy-conscious if you don't want to be advertised too specifically.

And the other one is basically just for advertisements. So I'd keep that disabled.

2. The other setting is in Settings > Personalization and Start and definitely disable where it says show suggestions occasionally in Start. Again these are just advertisements for more Bloatware. You don't need to see that in your Start menu so definitely disable that.

Next are a couple of settings I would actually recommend enabling.

1. So if you go into Windows Explorer
2. Go to the View tab you'll see two options for filename extensions and hidden items. I would enable both of these.

So the file extension one is important because this will actually let you see the full file name of a file so you know exactly what it is. So instead of just looking at pictures on your desktop, you'll see a picture.png or jpeg which first of all is just nice to know exactly what kind of file it is. But also in terms of security is very important because if you accidentally download a file it might trick you into making you think that it's a type of files such as a text file or a music file.

But then it might actually have an Exe file extension that you can't see if you don't have this enabled. So you think you're opening a picture or a document but really you're running an executable that could be a virus. So this way you'll know exactly what type of file something is. Every single time you just have to look at the final file extension.

The other one for hidden items is also kind of just good to know. In case you're looking for a file it could be a hidden file. They're usually kind of rare. But also again in terms of security a lot of times if a virus installs itself it'll be a hidden file. So if you're reading instructions on how to remove a virus or something then you might not be able to find it unless you have this enabled.

5. Set up a recurring backup plan

This one is definitely essential when you get a new computer. And again if you haven't done this already on your existing computer do it now. And that is set up a recurring backup plan. Windows makes this Super easy. You literally just have to plug in any kind of external drive. It's a Supercheap hard drive whatever. And then it'll automatically by default back up the most common documents, videos, folders all that stuff. But also you can of course add folders to be backed up as well.

But what's also really cool is in Windows 10 I believe by default just by having backup enabled. It'll also have this feature called File History which makes it so it'll actually keep versions of the file. So say you're working on a word document and you screw it up in some way that really can't go backward but you saved it already. Then you can actually access previous versions of that file from previous backups so you can actually change how frequently this occurs.

So this could be a real lifesaver. If you screw up some file and you need to access a previous version of it Windows will automatically do that. You just go to the properties of the file and then file history and then you can see all the previous ones.

6. Check the Power plan for your computer

1. You can find this by just searching in the Start menu for Power and Sleep options
2. Go to where it says additional power settings. Here you'll see probably a few of them. It'll probably by default be unbalanced. But you'll also see options for high performance and low power.

If this computer is going to be either a desktop or a laptop that's going to remain plugged in all the time I would definitely recommend just putting it on high performance. There's not really a need to have any kind of Power savings if it's going to be plugged in all the time. And that way you'll know you'll always get the best performance out of it. Now if it's a laptop that you are going to be using mobily then the balanced is fine. And then of course if you're going to be using it for long extended periods of time you might choose to put on Power Saver mode for that amount of time.

But it is really important to know which Power mode you're on. I told this story in the past but one time I was editing a video and I had my laptop plugged in and I realized it was running really slow. It was editing the videos horribly. And I was kind of confused because this was a brand new high power laptop and it wasn't able to do even Super basic functions. And then I realized that it was on Power Saver mode even though it was plugged in.

So I was getting a fraction of the performance. And once I put it on the high-performance mode it was working perfectly so if your computer is running way slower than you think it should check to see if it's on a power saver.

7. Save the serial number of your computer or really any other accessories that you're getting for

So for this is basically just take a picture of the serial number. It might be beneath the battery for example. And that way you'll have easy access to it. So for example, if the thing needs to be sent in for warranty repair usually they'll ask for that serial number. Then you'll have easy access to it. You don't have to go look it up take it apart. You'll already have a picture of or another example is if it gets stolen then you might want to be able to give the police the serial number. So if it gets recovered they'll be able to identify it.

But Here's a tip
I've been using it for years and that creates an actual Photo album on your phone whether you're using Google Photos or iCloud create an album that is specifically for serial numbers. And that way every time you get a new product you just take a picture of it. And what you can also do is create a text note on that file. So this is available in both iCloud Photos and Google Photos. You make a note.

So then you can actually literally just search for the product name whenever you need the serial number. And it should come right up. This is especially useful for maybe bigger items like your TV. If you need to access the serial number this can save you from having to climb behind the TV and look at the serial number or something like that.

And if you from now on just do it on basically any new products you buy it'll make it really easy to kind of have a database of all your serial numbers. So after having done all those things and getting that out of the way now you should be able to get to the fun part of your new computer which is customizing it and installing all your favorite software. But I don't think I need to go over that you should probably be able to handle that yourself.

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