NEW HOLIDAY COMPUTER?
It would be nice to think that you can just drive a new car off the lot but you need to register it and make sure that it is properly serviced. Your new computer needs some attention too.
Don't just throw away the packaging, keep it for a few months until you are convinced that it won't be making any trips back to the store or manufacturer. Make sure that you keep any warranty papers or license documentation. All computers should have a license sticker. If you need to reinstall windows, you need that number. If you don't have that number, you can't prove that you are the owner of the Windows operating system and you will not be able to reinstall Windows.
Don't forget to keep any "extra" cables or little parts. You might discover that "extra" part is required a few days after you toss all the "stuff" that you didn't think that you needed.
Most new systems include demo or temporary computer protection programs. You will need to install a virus scanner but there is an excellent FREE alternative for home computer users. Go to FREE.AVG.COM, download, and install the free AVG virus scanner. Businesses are expected to pay for AVG but the protection is free for home users. Don't forget, demo version programs will expire quickly. Be proactive and make sure your virus protection is up to date.
Don't go overboard on computer protection. There are many different protection programs and they do not play well together. If you install two different virus scanners, your computer is not double protected. Most likely, the products will conflict and your computer will run like a turtle.
Free AVG provides enough protection for the average computer user.
Does the computer function properly? Did it turn on? Did you plug in everything properly?
Did you purchase a surge protector? Don't just buy a generic surge protector. Purchase a name brand surge protector that provides real protection. APC surge protectors and most other quality surge protector manufacturers offer a warranty. If anything plugged into their equipment fails, they pay for the repairs.
A lot of people are victims of their friends. Some of my clients have allowed friends or relatives to use their computers. People are always more daring on other people's computers. Make sure that you lay down the ground rules BEFORE you allow anyone to use your computer. "OOPS!" doesn't help get your computer running again.
If you replaced your old computer, is there a friend or relative who needs a computer? Try to find a home for the old system. Let's think green!