What To Do on Getting a New PC?

Kurt Knutsson offered a checklist for this in a recent Fox News article, and it could be a useful checklist, but for one glaring error (IMNSHO).

That error relates to securing the new PC from hackers. In Knutsson’s checklist, that doesn’t occur until the fourth step. His first step is thereby made the most dangerous thing a new PC/laptop owner can do.

When you first open your new PC, Windows will ask…to connect to your Wi-Fi. Select whatever network you use and input your password. You can then click on “connect automatically” so Windows won’t ask you for a password every time you want to connect to the internet.

Years ago, I bought a new laptop from a major seller, and in short order, it arrived, direct from the seller’s factory in Shanghai, PRC. At the time, in my naivete, I thought that was pretty cool. However, before I connected the laptop to my LAN, much less to the Internet, I swept it with an anti-malware software package that I moved onto it via a thumb drive, something I’d always done heretofore just on GPs. My brand, spanking new, fresh from the factory laptop had come with a factory-installed Trojan malware package. (When I corresponded with the seller about this, that entity showed zero interest in dealing with the matter. I’ve declined to do business with that company since.)

So. Contra Knutsson, it’s a Critical Item that the first thing you do after applying power to your brand new PC/laptop, wherever it was assembled, is to sweep it with your anti-malware package, which you install from a thumb drive (not by any connection to your LAN or to the Internet), and clear out any malware that may already be present. In truth, preinstalled malware is a pretty rare thing, but it would take only one occurrence to infect all of your devices.

Once that sweep-and-clear operation has been done, it would be good to work through Knutsson’s checklist. One further recommendation, though: if the Windows OS (or the Mac OS) allows it, do the computer security settings step next, then install your preferred browser and set up its security/privacy settings. Then do the Windows (Mac) update step, and then proceed through the checklist.

But malware sweep first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *