- Click Start > Control Panel > Security Center
Now you can connect to the internet. But, no, you cannot "surf the 'net" yet. Remember, between the time that computer was shipped from production and the carton pulled out from under the Christmas tree, a fair amount of time has passed. You first need to check that your new computer has all the latest security updates. Click this link to go to Microsoft Update where you can get the latest updates for Microsoft Windows, Office and other Microsoft applications all in one place.
Now that Windows is updated, check that the other software on your computer is up-to-date. Read about Secunia Software Inspector.
An important thing to note is that most new computers come with trial versions of anti-virus software. You will need to obtain a permanent anti-virus software. Before the trial period expires, find a permanent anti-virus software. If funds are short after the Holidays, consider the following free anti-virus programs.
- Active Virus Shield (KAV provided by AOL)
- Avast Home Free Scanner
- BitDefender Free Edition
- AVG Anti-Virus
Next, you need to take a couple preventative steps. Start with SpywareBlaster and SpyGuard to prevent the installation of spyware and other potentially unwanted software, including ActiveX-based spyware, browser hijacker's dialers, and more.
Of course no computer is complete without Scotty on Patrol with WinPatrol. Read about the great features of WinPatrol here.
Lastly, consider the recommendations by Nellie2 in "Christmas is Coming".
Happy Safe Computing!