• Make sure your firewall is turned on
    In Windows 10, this is on by default. You can check it by following this path:
    Windows logo key + I  ⇒  Update & Security  ⇒  Windows Security  ⇒  Open Windows Security

  • Make sure your software is up to date
    In Windows 10, Automatic Updates will take care of all your Microsoft software. For any other applications that you use, such as Adobe Acrobat, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc., be sure to turn on the automatic check for updates feature found within those apps.

    You can access your Windows Automatic Update settings using this path:

    Windows logo key + I  ⇒  Update & Security

  • Make sure your antivirus software is running and up to date
    In Windows 10, you can check it by following this path:
    Windows logo key + I  ⇒  Update & Security ⇒  Windows Security  ⇒  Open Windows Security

  • Use 2-factor authentication
    On Windows 10, you have the option of using either a local account, or a Microsoft account to log in. The recommended approach is to use a Microsoft account, and if you are, you can enable 2-factor authentication. You can manage your Microsoft account settings, including 2FA, here:

    Note: Make sure you are familiar with 2-factor authentication before deciding if you want to make this change.


  • Use real passwords and update them regularly
    A good practice to follow in terms of passwords is to make them long, make them complex, and update them frequently. If you are using a Microsoft account, you can update your password here:

  • Don’t click that link and don’t open that attachment
    Receive an unexpected attachment in an email? Don’t open it. See a link in an email that does not look quite right? Don’t click on it. These are both common techniques used by hackers to install malware on your system, steal your identity, or send you to ransomware hell.

    Malicious links can appear anywhere, including email, social media posts, online ads, text messages, or chats. Sometimes it can be very hard to tell that the link is malicious. I’ll post an article on how to check a link before you click it here soon.

  • Be safe on the web
    Sites that offer illicit or pirated content can be very risky. These sites can quickly install malware or hijack your system. Anything you download from these sites is also a potential risk.

  • For your laptop or mobile device, be sure to use a VPN
    Anytime you connect to a wireless network, you expose your device and any data you send over that connection to potential malware, or theft. A VPN encrypts all data you send and receive over that network connection. Never connect to a wireless network without a VPN running on your device.


  • Don’t connect portable memory devices, such as USB sticks, that you don’t own to your PC
    Unless the device came from a reputable source, don’t connect it to your PC. If that device has been exposed to malware, it is potentially infected, and that malware will install itself on your system as soon as you connect to it.

  • Don’t connect your portable memory device to a computer that you don’t own
    If the system you are connecting to is infected with malware, it is very likely that it will install itself onto your memory device (USB stick, portable hard drive, etc.) as soon as you connect it. When you return that device to your PC, the malware will transfer to you.

  • Make frequent backups
    This is critically important because every hard drive ever created, including new solid-state drives, will eventually fail. The good news is that with Windows 10, backing up your personal data is simple to do. Microsoft OneDrive is a built-in cloud storage that provides you 15GB of free space. You can add more capacity if you need it. To learn more about how to back up your important data to OneDrive, see this article from Microsoft:

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