Ask the Expert!
Firstly, get some good antivirus software and make sure you keep it up to date by making sure automatic updates are enabled within the software. Then, be sensible about how you handle email, web sites, and downloads.
If you receive an email from an unknown sender, or the title doesn’t make sense, don’t open it until you’ve verified it’s legitimate. Banks will never ask you to update your account security details in an email, Microsoft will never email you updates to Windows, and if you didn’t enter a lottery in Nigeria you certainly haven’t won it...
Treat anything on websites you’re not familiar with, or in unsolicited emails with a healthy cynicism; if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is too good to be true.
That depends what you need it for. In general you’ll always get better value by buying a desktop rather than a laptop. Also, desktops tend to be more reliable, and you can get the ergonomics right more easily if you’re using a desktop.
Having said that, if you need portability, it really has to be a laptop. Other reasons you might want a laptop instead of a desktop are that you can put a laptop away after you’ve used it, or if you’re short of space to leave a desktop set up.
Generally speaking this is not possible. Most programs are now so complicated, and the way they’re installed makes so many changes to the file system on your hard disk, that simply copying a folder from one PC to another won’t work. You can buy software that claims to be able to do this, but we don’t use it at SITM. It’s better to start from scratch in most instances and install the software from the original installation media. The other consideration is the type of license each software package has as some don’t permit use on any system other than the one it was originally installed on.
Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that if you’ve bought a new system, it’s better in the long run to set it up as you want it rather than moving across all the junk you will have inevitably accumulated during the life of your old system. Think of it as an opportunity for a spring-clean of your system.