Can refurbished computers have viruses?


It is highly unlikely for a properly refurbished computer to have any viruses. All devices returned to the manufacturer for renewal are tested, cleaned, and have their data wiped.  Some companies even install a fresh version of Windows 10.

On the other hand if you buy from a online store or eBay, ask the seller if the device was wiped and cleaned. If not, the moment you have it, clean the computer and wiped the data from the storage drives.

Never, ever use a PCs with preinstalled software form untrustworthy sources. Always format and reinstall the OS. The device may have all kinds of malware – backdoors, viruses, keyloggers, a nasty stuff.

Here some basic tips to keep your Windows 10 safe.

Enable automatic updates

Hackers find security vulnerabilities all the time, and Microsoft has to fix them quickly. These vulnerabilities are fixed with security updates. So it is important to install updates as soon as possible. Windows will automatically notify you for important updates, don’t hesitate to install them immediately. For the updates to take effect you need to restart your computer if prompted.

Apps that were downloaded from the Microsoft Store can also be updated automatically. This function can be activated in Microsoft Store settings page under “Update apps automatically”.

Turn on Windows Defender or install antivirus software

Antivirus programs protect the computer from malicious software. Windows 10 conveniently comes with its own virus scanner. You can find Windows Defender under “Updates and Security”. Unlike other free antivirus programs, it doesn’t annoy with any advertisements.

Once activated, it works unnoticed in the background, regularly checking the computer for threats. Windows 10 also includes a firewall that should always remain active to and  unauthorized access to the system. Firewall settings are under “Windows Defender Security Center / Firewall & Network Protection“.

Customize user accounts

If the PC is used by several people you can use different user accounts and limit the rights. This function is very useful for children. If they use the computer for playing games you can lock them form other software and keep the system safe.

For example you can deactivate and not let them surf the Web. You can find these options under  “Accounts / Family & other contacts“. There you can set a new account new accounts, and set the app access under “Set up assigned (kiosk) access“.

Create backups

Ransomware or a hard drive crash are just two of the countless possibilities that can destroy your important data. Making regular backups on external drives or on the cloud is must. There is also a Windows 10 feature to  backup your data – File History. To backups your entire system, including the operating system, installed programs, and all the data, visit or search “Settings / Backup“.