When you have to install or reinstall Windows operating system it is a laborious task that takes far too much time, and none of us like to follow through all the steps of the process.
We don’t do this every day – in fact, we don’t do it very often, so you have to make sure that during your Window’s install/reinstall you take extra measures to improve your online security.
#1 Ensure your Windows operating system is up to date
The first important step you need to do is check for the most current security updates and patches available for the Windows operating system you installed.
Once you initially install the available updates for your Windows operating system, make sure that you keep the automatic update turned on so that in the future, updates will automatically download.
This is a key step to ensuring your operating system is always running as safely as possible, since cyber criminals are waiting to take advantage of security holes in your system.
#2 Create a clean installation restore point
Once your security updates are all installed for your Windows operating system, you need to create a restore point for your installation.
As soon as Windows installation is ready, you can create the restore point. In case one of the drivers you install leads to system issues, you will be able to go back to the clean installation restore point.
There is much more information on creating restore points available online if you need it.
#3 Keep your software up to date
You need to have your software up to date, as well as your Windows operating system, so you need to make sure you always have the most current updates and security patches installed for all of your main programs/apps.
It is very well known that malicious hackers look to exploit popular software/apps such as Adobe Shockwave, Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Java, etc. This software is always under threat from the criminal element, so never just rely on your memory to update your software applications – you have many programs running on your computer and it is much wiser to install a dedicated solution that will take care of these actions.
#4 Install a security solution to deal with spyware
If you aren’t aware of what spyware is, it simply refers to that category of software which will install drop pop-ups on your computer, redirect your browser to malicious sites, monitor your browsing history, and more.
There are many top-notch anti-spyware products you can use to protect your computer from malware. There are a number of security solutions that can remove spyware from your system including Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware, Malwarebytes, etc.
#5 Install an antivirus for protection
Use an antivirus product from a big security company that has a reputation for being reliable and working well. It is critical for you to have a security solution on your computer that you can rely on, which should include automatic update, real-time scanning, and a firewall.
For you to find the best solution, you should have a look at the antivirus test results that the big companies in the security industry run.
#6 Install a proactive security solution
The traditional antivirus solution won’t be able to protect you from the latest malware that is constantly showing up. Even though you have the protection from traditional viruses and spyware, to protect you from data stealing and financial theft you will need specialized software.
#7 Access your Windows operating system using a standard user account
Windows will grant you a certain degree of rights and privileges that is dependent on the type of user account you are using. You may have a standard user account or an administrator user account. It’s a good idea to use standard accounts for your computer so that users can’t make changes that affect everyone using the computer, like delete important Windows files that the system needs.
#8 Always have your User Account Control turned on
Users tend to turn off User Account Control after they install/reinstall Windows operating system. We recommend not doing this. Instead of disabling the UAC, decrease the intensity level by adjusting the slider in the Control Panel.
UAC monitors the changes being made to your computer. When the important changes appear like the installation of a program or the removal of an application, the UAC will pop up and ask for the administrator-level permission.
If your user account should be infected with malware, the UAC aids in keeping suspicious programs and activities from being able to make changes to your system.
#9 Before you go online, secure your web-browser
Your web browser is going to be your main tool on the internet, which is why it is so important for you to secure it before you go online. To remain safe and secure while you browse the many web pages, go into your settings and make a series of security changes.
#10 Encrypt your hard drive using BitLocker
Even when you set a password on your Windows account, there is still the potential for intruders to gain access to your private files/documents. They can do this just by booting into their own operating system – using a special disc or a USB flash drive. The solution to avoid this is to encrypt your hard drive and protect your files. If you use a laptop, which has a high risk of being stolen, it is a good idea to use this degree of security.
BitLocker is available on the most recent Windows operating systems and you can turn it on anytime and anywhere in a moment’s notice.
#11 Be cautious when you are online
To ensure you aren’t going to become infected by clicking on a dangerous link, hover your mouse over the link, and you will see the website’s address. This is how you can see if you are being directed to a legitimate site.
When links are created it’s common to use services that shorten the link length, but sometimes unknown links can send you to a malicious website where malware may be installed.
To make sure you are going to the right place, you can use a free tool like Redirect Detective, which lets you see the complete path of a redirected link.
#12 Backup your system
After you update your operating system and all your system applications, you need to make a backup of your system.
The steps we talked about will keep your computer safe from online threats and malicious software; however, you can still have hardware issues that can threaten your private information. To ensure your data remains safe, use a two-fold strategy that includes backing up to an external hard drive and using an online backup service.
It’s more than just being safe
The steps we have talked about are designed to keep you safe online. At the same time, you get the benefit of having a system that will work smoothly for both browsing online and financial operations – activities we do online every day.
There are many solutions you can choose from to protect the system after you install Windows. Choose what works for you best!