There are times in which a person may have to re-install their entire Windows operating system, which is a headache for most people. For whatever reason a person is doing this though, it is a great time to ensure that you are securing your operating system as much as possible. Through ensuring the security of an operating system, you are protecting yourself even more than the standard operating system allows.
The first step in this process is to re-install the operating system of your choice. This is going to be Windows Visa, Windows 7 or Windows 8, since Windows XP is no longer a supported by Microsoft. After the installation process has been completed, which simply involves inserting the CD or downloading this online, you will be ready to start ensuring that your operating system is ready for any security threats that come your way.
To ensure that your operating system is up to date means ensuring that any patches are being used and all security threats that are known by Microsoft and have been fixed by the company are found in your system. It is very easy to do this, as you simply need to:
1. Go to the Control Panel on your computer and access the Windows operating system
2. Type in update
3. Select Windows Update
4. Then click to Change settings
5. Make sure that the Install Updates Automatically (recommended) is selected
Through doing this, you are ensuring that you are keeping your operating system up to date, no matter what, as this is going to be completed for your automatically. These security holes that are found by operating systems are often the first place that online criminals go when trying to hack into a system.
Online criminals often use other software programs as a way to hack into a computer. Some of the more popular programs to use are Java, Flash, Shockwave and Acrobat. Therefore, you will want to ensure that you have the latest downloads that utilizes all the security patches that may be out there for the program. You can have a program that is going to help with ensuring that everything is up to date, which is a great idea as you do not want to rely on your memory in order to do this.
There may be times in which you have to restore your system to a certain point, for whatever reason. This is why you want to take to create a Clean Installation point that your computer can restore to, that is going to allow you to pick up where you have left out. This process can be a bit more tedious, but the system can walk you through doing this.
This point cannot be emphasized enough. Anti-virus programs are a great way to ensure that you have added protection to protect your operating system. You will want to search for the best anti-virus program for you, which is going to depend mainly upon your personal tastes, budgets and your needs.
Be sure that you have Windows Firewall turned on when using an anti-virus program, especially if your program does not have firewall protection. You can access this option via the Control Panel.
Spyware is a way in which online criminals can send your computer to malicious sites or even monitor what you are doing online. There are some signs that show that you are infected with spyware such as you notice that your online settings are different, you have a lot of pop ups, or even the computer is running slower.
In order to practice good online activity that is going to avoid spyware be sure that you are not clicking on pop up ads, and also be careful of what you are downloading. If there is spyware downloaded onto your machine, there are many solutions for removing this spyware, some free and others are paid for.
The online world is a dangerous place when it comes to viewing financial activity online. That is why most people recommend that a person have some sort of program that is going to allow their financial information to be hidden while online. There are several pieces of software that a person can use in order to be protected, that is not only going to monitor to ensure that there are no harms coming to you, but is a deterrent to those who normally steal financial information. This is a heightened form of protection that you are not going to find with traditional anti-virus programs.
Now that you have a Clean installation point, you still need to make sure that you are backing up your entire system. This means backing up those programs that you need, the files and other important pieces of information that you would miss if you were to lose everything on your computer. There are several ways of doing this including using an external hard drive, or even using an online back up system such as OneDrive, Box, or Google Drive.
It is tempting to have an admin account within your operating system, but the best option is to utilize a standard account. With a standard account, in the even that your computer was hacked, the hackers are not going to have access to information that could destroy your files or change settings permanently.
Along with having a standard account, be sure that you password protect your account. And this password needs to be strong. A few rules to help with setting a password include:
- Make sure it is at least 20 characters in length
- Have uppercase and lowercase letters
- Use numbers and symbols
- Don’t use the same password that is on other accounts
- Change your password every month
There are several people who turn this off once their system has been uploaded and is ready to go. However, this is decreasing your security as this is not going to inform you when there are changes to your computer happening.
Always make sure that you are using the latest version of the browser that you choose to use. Having a weak or insecure browser is a great way for hackers to get into your operating system and wreck damage on your computer. There are other ways to protect yourself while browsing, all of which differ according to which browser you are using. You can read more about securing each and every browser through our online guide, here.
Encryption is one of the best ways that you can protect your information and be secure, though many people do not think about this. Those who utilize Windows 7 and Windows Vista can utilize BitLocker to encrypt their hard drive which is included with the operation system. Others who use the latest Windows will need to find their own source of data encryption.
Add a lock to your devices in the event that they are stolen, which will allow these to lock and for the criminals to not be able to access the information on these. Though these locks are usually used by locations that are large, or by companies that have security issues, these can still be used by you and can add a world of security to your life.
Being online is a great way to find new information, but it proves to have several dangers lurking around each corner. You want to be careful online and what websites you go to. Be sure that when you click a link, it is going to this link. This is where having a virus tool and other software additions can make you safer.
Through a few tweaks and being aware of your situation at all times, you can make Windows operating system more safe for you. This can be a great relief knowing that there is just one less threat that you have to worry about.