If you are asked to help out on occasion to ‘fix’ a friend’s PC, chances are that you really could do the job simply in a few minutes. In such a case it is irritating to have to organise both your time and your friends time to sort out the problem. Nine times out of ten is a simple fix, so wouldn’t it be easier for all involved if you could set up their PC to make it secure and thereby reduce the probability of the computer having faults and also enable some way that you can connect to their PC without ever leaving your house?
These tips will help you secure a PC and also help you to connect to it remotely, so if it has a fault you can fix it quickly and with minimal hassle.
First up, you need to enable remote access. I recommend software called TeamViewer for this job. All you need to do is set up unattended access in TeamViewer and then you will be able to access the PC from anywhere. TeamViewer is totally free for personal use.
Next on your list is securing the computer from potential attacks. You need to ensure the PC has some security software installed. I recommend Avast Antivirus, it is free for basic protection and the database of potential threats is updated on a regular basis. It is also wise to configure the computer’s other software to automatically update. You should configure Windows, any web browsers and browser plug-ins to automatically download and install updates.
Once you have completed those steps, you then need to uninstall not used and vulnerable software. For instance Java is an older plugin for the web and most websites use other technology so it would be useful to uninstall Java. If in the future you need it, you can always reinstall it.
Now you want to set up an account on the PC that has limited access. With a ‘standard’ limited user account, users will not be able to install software or change system settings without entering an administrator password. If the user is requires the password to make changes they are comfortable with, that’s fine for them to have access to do this, but if they are unsure about using their PC, then it would be wise to keep the administrator password for yourself. If a person uses a ‘standard’ user account they could still download malware and run it, which would infect their own user account, but hopefully would not be able to infect the entire system.
If you are setting up a computer for use by younger children, you should also set up parental controls. If you are using an up to date PC that is running Windows 8, the operating system has built-in parental controls called Family Safety. Family Safety allows you to configure such things like filtering websites, limiting computer time, restricting access to specific games and apps and you can also view information about computer use. A great feature of Microsoft’s Family Safety is that it allows you to view and tweak all these details from Microsoft’s Family Safety website.
It is important to remember that even if you follow all these steps and secure the PC, there is still the possibility that malware can infect the machine. No Computer is 100% Secure. But with best practices in place, the risk is severely reduced.
[Image via pcadvisor]