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On a new PC, there is only one important security measure you should always enable

The unwrapping of Christmas presents is cued. You’ve got a brand new computer and you’re bragging about it. When you initially turn on the PC, Windows prompts you to register an account and choose a password. To avoid having to deal with memorising login information, your first reaction is to attempt to avoid the prompt.

Your family’s chosen IT expert is having an internal primal scream right now.

Having a password is the greatest way to prevent unauthorised access to your laptop, which is especially vulnerable to theft due to its portability. More specifically, if you’re using a more recent version of Windows and log in with a Microsoft account, that is. Use Find My Device to look for your computer, and on supported platforms, your data will be secured automatically.

Using a Microsoft account to sign into your PC offers the most protection. But even for a local account, a password should be a must.


Since you’re probably installing Windows 11 on your PC, these precautions need to be enabled by default, and the setup wizard makes using a Microsoft account for sign in appear inevitable.

However, this is not the situation with Windows 10, which is still present on certain PCs, especially those that were built by the user. It’s simple to set up the system to use a local account that doesn’t need a password. In Windows 11, it’s still easy to find instructions on how to create a local account instead of using a Microsoft account. Alternatively, how to switch from a Microsoft account to a local one. To paraphrase: (Don’t do this.)

Set up a password for your computer, ideally one linked to a Microsoft account, and then add an additional login method, such as a PIN, security key, or biometric identification, to make accessing your computer faster and simpler. (The last choice is restricted to laptops that include biometrics hardware for fingerprint or face recognition.) You’ll be safe, simplify your life, and give your family’s IT guru a break.