It is only natural, when you get a brand new PC, especially one with broadband capabilities built-in, you want to connect to the Internet and see it action. For many, the browser and the World Wide Web are the “killer-apps” of the modern PC—the Internet is what you have a PC for, everything else is just extra fluff.
However, connecting to the Internet with a new unprotected and unpatched PC is practically inviting the nefarious and malicious to infect your PC. According to research published by Sophos in July 2005, there is about a 50 percent chance that an unpatched PC will be infected with malicious software within 12 minutes of connecting to the Internet. Once infected, it is almost impossible to get a PC clean again without completely re-installing the operating system. (We are restricting this conversation to Windows PCs for the moment.)
To prevent the frustration that comes with re-installing Windows, you should take the necessary steps to update, configure, and patch your new PC. Keep in mind that no matter how new your PC is, it will most likely need patching and it will definitely need to be properly configured. Here are 10 basic things you should do before attaching the Internet to a new PC.