New PC / network security tips?

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KK4JW

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Oct 25, 2018
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Just dropped some coin on a new laptop. I understand that the included Windows Defender stuff is decent for keeping me safe from all of the little nasties floating around out there, but is there anything I can do to enhance my security online?

As far as my home network, it is password protected, however I live in a rather rural area without nearby neighbors (who aren't technologically advanced). I don't think I would have a problem with wifi-mooching or unauthorized access in that regard.

I have a couple Raspberry Pi's for ADS-B and scanner audio feeds, an Amazon Fire TV device, and of course a couple smartphones that utilize wifi. Is there anything in the router's settings that I should take note of and perhaps adjust for enhanced security?
 

RT48

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Always keep Windows updated. I also keep computer firmware updated and I use the manufacturer's provided program to keep all drivers updated. If you have other family members using the computer, create a separate login that does not have administrative privileges.

When I managed a network for 13 years at a high school (750 students, 80 teachers/staff) , no one had administrative privileges in that building except me. That paid off a number of times when someone clicked on the wrong email attachment or web link. It makes cleaning malware off the computer much easier since the malware cannot effect Windows. In the early days of ransomware a user clicked on an email attachment and infected her computer. It was easy to remove since it couldn't touch Windows. The departmental shared folder was encrypted but I restored that from the previous night's backup. Everything was back to normal after 1 1/2 hours.

As for the router, turn off Universal Plug n Play and don't let the router's administrative interface be exposed to the Internet. Router security holes are routinely discovered and published. Keep the router firmware updated to plug any known security holes.

Never use default passwords for any device.
 

prcguy

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For the last 15yrs or so the really sharp IT people at the large company I worked for recommended a couple of programs to run now and then to supplement Windoz security. CCleaner, Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware, all free. There was another program I forget that they used to find and weed out registry items that are suspicious and when I had a laptop that was possessed by demons that found the file that had been installed by some malware that other programs could not find.
 

JDrisc3480

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While running various programs like Windows defender and antispyware are great, the best thing you can do be mindful of what you are doing online. For instance not going to suspect sites, not clicking on links in emails from people you do not know. If you go to a site and you get a pop up saying a program on the computer is out of date and asks you to click a link to download an update. Don't click the link (more then likely if you get a pop up it will be for the Adobe Flash).
 

relicwr

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Pushing on a nearly month-old post; personally, no protection is worth it. Today, 10's protection does a fairly decent job but that all depends on what you get into. I don't run anything because I don't have a need to. But if you want a recommendation, ESET does a good job.
 
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