Just like that fresh new car scent, starting up a brand new Windows PC always puts a smile on my face. It's untouched and unsullied with pop-ups or slow, laggy performance. After a number of weeks and months, the fresh scent has faded, but I still want to keep smiling when I power on my computer. To prolong my enjoyment of my technology investment, I take the following four steps immediately when I take a new PC out of the box:
I remove most of the preinstalled software applications that come with the new computer. I'm talking about the included antivirus software, any programs with a 30-day free trial, and any free "system improvement" software that the computer company provided for me. Thanks, but no thanks.
I set up a strong password on my user account. Something that is more than 12 characters in length, comprised of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Something that is familiar to me, but completely foreign to someone else.
I install Bitdefender antivirus. It's well respected in the tech community, regularly updated, and has proven effective for me in preventing any viruses from attacking my PC workstations.
I go to Ninite.com and select my important software applications. The folks at Ninite are the internet's secret weapon. Just click on the software you want, run the small application, and everything quietly downloads in the background without any install wizards for me to have to navigate through. It's ubiquitous in my tech life.
...and I'm off and running with a solid computer setup.
Once that new fresh scent has worn off the new computer, I also proactively do the following:
- I run the Ninite.exe installer every other week to install any updates to the software I selected above.
- I run a full scan of Malwarebytes once a month.
- I save all my files to Dropbox instead of my local user profile.
- I play all my video files in VLC.
This cuts down on quite a bit of pop-ups, security vulnerabilities, and slowdowns I might experience with a PC computer. Keeps me focused on my work instead of fixing and updating software all the time.