With the end of support for Windows 7, your business should have already upgraded all its systems to the Windows 10 operating system (OS). But what comes after installing this new OS? Your in-house IT staff or managed IT services provider (MSP) should accomplish these tasks immediately after installation.
#1. Activate Windows
It goes without saying that the first thing you should do is activate your Windows 10 OS after installing it. To do this, go to Control Panel > System and click on the Activate Windows Now option. The activation process is mostly automatic if you're connected to the internet. However, in the event that you are not, you can still activate your Windows 10 by phone.
#2. Create a recovery drive
Your new Windows 10 OS may operate optimally now, but there will be times when it will fail to boot up properly. This is why it's necessary to create a recovery drive immediately after installing or upgrading your computers to Windows 10. This recovery drive will allow your IT team or MSP to boot from a formatted Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drive and access the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) to fix common startup problems encountered by Windows 10.
A USB flash drive is required to create a recovery drive. For a bare recovery drive, a 512-MB USB drive is needed, but if you want the Windows 10 installation files included, you'll need an 8-GB USB drive. To create the recovery drive, go to the Taskbar and click on Start > Windows Administrative Tools > Recovery Drive. For more details, check out this step-by-step guide.
#3. Secure your account
With phishing and brute force attacks on the rise, securing your user account is a must after updating your devices to Windows 10. Windows 10 comes with an option to use two-factor authentication (2FA) to keep your account safe from unauthorized access. To set up 2FA for your Microsoft account, simply go to https://account.live.com/proofs. The page contains options for activating 2FA, managing trusted devices, and configuring a mobile authenticator app.
In addition, to manage your Azure AD account, log in to your Microsoft account and go to Manage Security and Privacy and follow the links found under Additional Security Verification. Lastly, you can turn on Windows Hello if your devices come with the hardware to support it. To activate this option, go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options.
#4. Activate BitLocker drive encryption
The next step is to encrypt every device containing important data. This will protect your data from being accessed in the event one of your devices gets stolen. A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip and a Windows 10 business edition are required to use full-strength BitLocker encryption. You can still use device encryption with the Home edition of Windows 10, but it will only protect your device's system drive, not secondary drives.
#5. Configure your Windows 10 update settings
Windows 10 comes with automatic updates to ensure your devices are always using the latest security patches. The problem is these updates happen unexpectedly and have a slight chance of disrupting your company’s operations. To prevent that from happening, follow this guide that will help you configure your Windows 10 update settings. After you upgrade to or install Windows 10, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates. This will show you a list of available updates you can install.
After the updates have been installed, you can set the hours you don't want future Windows updates to interrupt your work by clicking on the “Change active hours” option on the Windows Update page. Additionally, you can adjust the deferral periods of monthly updates under Advanced options. The best time to set the update is the second Tuesday of every month since this is the day Microsoft releases new security updates for Windows.
Do note that this feature is only available on the Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions. Also, you must be signed in as an administrator to execute the steps mentioned above.
#6. Configure your privacy settings
When using Windows 10, Microsoft normally collects diagnostic information used to enhance your personal experience. You can limit the amount of information sent by going to Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Feedback > Diagnostic Data. Here, you can change the setting from full to basic.
If you're looking for a team of experienced IT professionals to help you install and configure Windows 10, give us a call today and we’ll provide you with the technology solutions that will push your business forward.