December 2010

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If you’re lucky enough to get a new computer for Christmas there is a big temptation to get it connected to your network and start surfing.  However, it’s a really great idea to do the less interesting stuff such as updating your anti-virus and installing security patches before you get too carried away on the Internet!

For Windows:

  • First thing I always do in make sure my anti-virus (AV) application is up-to-date.  Most new computers come with a time limited AV package pre-installed that they want you to pay for at some point in time.  You can either uninstall this now and install <https://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials> or make sure the current one is up-to-date and worry about it when it’s due to expire – but never run a computer without up-to-date AV.
  • Second thing I do is visit Windows Update, this can be found under Start->All Programs
  • Lastly, there are always some essential applications that need installing. A great site called <http://ninite.com/> allows you to easily install many applications in one go.  I’d recommend installing Firefox, MSN Messenger, iTunes, Adobe Reader, MalwareBytes, and all the items under ‘runtime’.  Of course there are plenty of other things to install from <http://ninite.com> and it save a whole load of time.

For MAC OSX:

  • Second, go to the Apple icon in the top left corner and click Software Update.

I hope this helps you avoid some of the pitfalls of owning a new computer, but if you do get stuck and need a hand then the Student Laptop Clinic is open from Wednesday 12th Jan 2011.