Set Up Windows 7 and Protect against Viruses and Spyware - dummies

Set Up Windows 7 and Protect against Viruses and Spyware

By Woody Leonhard

Part of Windows 7 All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Here are some Windows 7 setup tasks to complete immediately to make your computer more effective to use and safeguard against viruses and spyware:

  • Show filename extensions. Windows 7, by default, hides the filename extension — that’s the last (usually three) characters at the end of each file’s name. This extension dictates how Windows treats the file and is a key piece of information that can help you identify and avoid viruses. So set up Windows 7 to show the filename extensions.

  • Create a password reset disc. If you have a password on your Windows account, drop everything and go make a Password Reset Disc so that you can regain access if you forget your password.

  • Protect your PC from scumware and spyware. Use PC Safeguard to clean up after computer users who install smiley face programs and other spy-versus-spy scumware.

  • Clear out any messages in the Action Center. Click the flag in the Windows 7 notification area, next to the clock. Then choose Open Action Center from the resulting menu. The Action Center lists the tasks that Windows 7 wants you to take care of, and you can do so one by one.

  • Turn off Automatic Updates. Let Windows 7 tell you when updates are available, but don’t download or install them until you’re good and ready.

  • Get the rest of what you paid for Windows Live Essentials. Microsoft tore three major applications from Windows 7 and put them on the Internet; you have to download and install them. If you use instant messaging, download Windows Live Messenger. If you want to put mail on your PC and you didn’t buy Outlook, download Windows Live Mail. Windows Live Photo Gallery has a few features that make it better than Google Picasa, but if you already know Picasa, stick with it.