Essential security steps when setting up a new phone or computer

For the new tech in your life, there are options to secure your privacy and security.

Most tech is easy enough to set up and start using. The secret Big Tech companies don’t want you to know? Some settings are great for them but not for you. Tap or click for privacy defaults you need to change.

It’s never too late to go back and change your settings or do some cleanup to get more years out of even an older gadget. Tap or click for the smartphone cleanup you need to do if yours is more than three months old.

For the new tech in your life, there are countless options. Here are a few important ones to prioritize:

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If you got a new computer

Microsoft places ads and suggested apps in the Start menu. That’s annoying, but it’s simple to turn them off:

• Click the Start menu, then open Settings.

• Choose Personalization.

• Select Start from the left pane.

• Toggle off Show suggestions occasionally in Start.

On a Mac, this quick privacy step stops companies from tracking you across websites to advertise products and services.

• Open the Safari browser. Go to Safari > Preferences > Privacy.

• Next to Website tracking, check the box for Prevent cross-site tracking.

• You can also choose to hide your IP address for extra privacy.

Get the most out of it: Malware can ravage your new computer. Here are five ways to think like a hacker, starting today.

If you got an Amazon Echo

Amazon Sidewalk is basically a mesh network that extends your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection range by up to a mile by using some Echo speakers and Ring gadgets into bridge devices.

That gives internet-connected tech far from your router, like lights at the edge of your driveway, a real boost. That’s nice, but what does it mean for your security?

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