I bought a MS Surface Pro 4 yesterday: I bought the model with 4GB RAM, i5 processor, and 128GB ssd storage drive.
I read that "Windows Defender" is now considered an Anti-virus, so I felt secure and went on with browsing, downloading programs, installing Firefox add-ons. Running programs off the net that I usually use, but also some new ones I haven't used before.
Then I read late last night that Windows Defender is not such a great Anti-virus program and I'm not freaking out.
So I would like to:
1) Reformat disk or rollback or reset or do a recovery my Windows 10 operating system. I don't know if I can do a Factory reset or reformat the internal drive because I think it installed firmware update(s).
I have a new USB 3.0 USB thumb drive (32GB), if needed. I need step-by-step instructions for how to revert the OS back to as safe a place as possible. I have no data to back up, so that's not an issue (system is too new). The OS is 64 Bit Windows 10 Pro.
How do I proceed with this step? I opened disk management and noticed there are 3 partitions on the drive:
The first partition says: 260MB Healthy (EFI System Partition).
The second partition says: 117.96GB NTFS Windows (C:) Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)
The third partition says: 920MB Healthy (Recovery Partition)
This is the step that's most complicated for me to figure out, where I need the most help.
2) After the reset/recovery, I would do Windows Updates again. This requires getting on the Internet. Probably via the WiFI network, unfortunately. There is no Ethernet jack on this computer. I bought the dock which has Ethernet jack, but that may require driver installation the first time I plug it in.
Should I buy and install Anti-Virus protection first?
Pros: I'm more protected during that extended period when updates are being downloaded from the Internet and installed.
Cons: Potential for some updates to fail if live AV protection is enabled, and the Windows Updates can take longer if the AV program is real-time verifying all the updates as they are happening.
Do you normally install your AV and leave it running before or after the first set of Windows Updates after a fresh install?
3) Next, buy and install ESET NOD32 Antivirus. See rationale for getting the less featured product below.
4) Install Malware Bytes Anti-malware Free, and possibly the Anti-Exploit Free app too. Do I need both? (I haven't educated myself yet on the difference between them.)
5) Check for more Windows updates.
6) Install Firefox, Firefox plug-ins and other applications I use.
7) Then what? Set up backup? What other steps to take to secure my computer?
Note: Rationale for using ESET NOD32 AV instead of more fully featured ESET Multi-Device Security product:
I think the regular NOD32 AV uses less resources, and is probably good enough. The Multi-Device Security product has a lot more features in it, but could take up more space on my 128GB drive in the long run, or it may create noticeable performance delays on the i5/4GB RAM Windows 10 system. Does anyone recommend the extra features of ESET Multi-Device Security?
I am using one of the Bitdefender products on another computer and I find it very intrusive, and also seems to take up a LOT of disk space on my C: partition, and that's going to open another can of worms on that other system soon.
I do intend to use this computer for banking and on-line shopping, but I use a stand-alone password vault program to encrypt and hold my account information. I won't need that feature from the ESET product.
Although I have Android devices, the free ESET app seems to be the same as the paid except I get reminders to download definition updates instead of auto-updates of definitions. Also the free one doesn't remind me to scan my device; the paid one can be scheduled to scan on a regular basis. I avoid doing financial transactions on Android devices as much as humanly possible.