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What are the major steps to take when securing a newly purchased windows 7 pc to make it internet ready?

Here's what I've done so far:

  • Check the antivirus. (it's a free trial for 57 days of norton internet security, which I plan to replace with something else before the trial period ends).

  • Check the firewall (configured by the antivirus to reject some incoming things and allow all outgoing, which is fine by me)

  • Run all windows updates.

  • Run the optional update to IE 9.

  • Install google chrome & firefox (mainly just to lessen the security potential of windows browser-addition installs).

Going to:

  • Set up the built-in backup system.

  • Create a restore point.

  • Install ubuntu via "wubi" dual boot.

What areas am I missing?

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Install Linux. =) Got an antivirus? –  tjameson Apr 18 '11 at 22:50
    
Actually, I plan to do that, via ubuntu's wubi, just so that I (and the computer's owner) have a backup os to use in the event windows does get trashed, and to give them an alternative os if they end up wanting to use it. –  Kzqai Apr 18 '11 at 22:55

2 Answers 2

With UAC Windows 7 is fairly secure, the most important thing is probably to make sure you run as a non-admin user. So the complete list I'd go through is:

  • Use a normal user account
  • Turn on the Windows firewall
  • Turn on the Windows anti-virus - Windows Security Essentials - which is the newer version.
  • Windows Defender download page to guard against malware.
  • Let Windows Update install what it recommends
  • Install Google Chrome and set that to be the default web browser.

That should be enough.

If you really want to you can install 3rd party anti-virus, but the Windows one does a good job these days.

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What is "the windows one"? Windows itself, or a provided-by-windows antivirus product? –  Kzqai Apr 18 '11 at 23:00
    
@Tchalvek - I was going to put "Windows Defender" but I wanted to check the name first. –  ChrisF Apr 18 '11 at 23:02
    
Gotcha. I did notice that the installed user was set as administrator by default, so that it something that I'll have to change. –  Kzqai Apr 18 '11 at 23:05
    
windows security essentials is pretty much the free AV of choice for quote a few people. Its solid and fairly troublefree –  Journeyman Geek Apr 18 '11 at 23:22
    
Windows Defender is spyware only. It does not detect viruses. To get a full AV/spyware/malware product from MS you must use Microsoft Security Essentials. –  Bacon Bits Apr 19 '11 at 1:39

I agree with the Microsoft Security Essentials and adjusting your firewall settings accordingly. I think the key thing is to stay away from sites that can compromise your PC. I would also recommend using IE9 (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/products/ie/home) as well.

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