Now what?

You just got a new computer, or you upgraded to the new version of Windows 10.

Now what?

This week, I’ll show you a few things you should do to make your computing experience a good one.

Protect yourself at all times

If you got a new computer, it probably came with a trial version of an antivirus product installed. That product is going to expire in a short time, usually a month, leaving your computer unprotected.

You have some choices.

  • Pay for the product, which is by far the easiest choice. Pay for it now or wait until it expires and pay for it then. Trust me, it will remind you.
  • Uninstall the product and replace it with a different product, which is more complicated, but you end up with the product you want.
  • Uninstall the product and don’t replace it, relying on the built-in Windows Defender. This is not a good option because Windows Defender on its own is not an effective anti-virus product. But it is a choice.

Once you’ve decided on a product and it’s installed, make sure to check the settings, so you know it’s set up properly.

You want it to do daily scans, you want the real-time protection on, and the rest is up to you to decide.

If you don’t have a new computer, but instead have completed a major update to the new version of Windows, all you need to do is remember to turn your anti-virus product back on and check the settings so you know it’s working.

Don’t forget to create a recovery drive and a backup.

Check your network properties

Windows 10 includes two types of networks, Public and Private. For a good discussion of the characteristics, check this article.

All you really need to know is that if your computer is in your home, you probably want your network set to Private, and if your computer is in a coffee shop or other public place, you certainly want it set to Public.

To change this:

  • Click on Start | Settings (or, press the Windows Key and the I key simultaneously)
  • Click on Network & Internet | Status | Change connection properties
  • Under Network profile, choose Public or Private

(Yes, there is a third type called Domain. If you have that, check with your IT person at work for more information.)

Check your privacy settings

This will get a lot easier when the spring update rolls out (It’s — finally — starting now), but in the meantime:

  • Click on Start | Settings (or, press the Windows Key and the I key simultaneously)
  • Click on Privacy
  • Review and/or change the settings for every link down the left side of the page.

Install your stuff

If this is a new computer, you’ll need to install your printer/scanner software, your Microsoft Office (or alternative) program, maybe an email program, and whatever else you need.

Just because you had it on your old computer doesn’t mean “it comes with” your new one. It probably doesn’t.

If you’ve upgraded your Windows 10, you’ll need to make sure your printer/scanner is still working. Sometimes, they need to be nudged with a reinstall of the software or drivers.

Still want to play those Windows 7 games like Solitaire and Mahjong Tiles?

Me too, but you won’t find them on a new Windows 10 machine and so far, every Windows 10 upgrade has managed to break them. Reinstall them from here.

Have fun!

Enjoy your computer!

And while you’re at it, how about sponsoring my ride for the Canadian Mental Health Association? Here’s the link.

Thank you!

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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