Advanced Plus Security Gandalf_The_Grey's Laptop Config 2024

Last updated
Apr 24, 2024
How it's used?
For home and private use
Operating system
Windows 11
On-device encryption
BitLocker Device Encryption for Windows
Log-in security
    • Biometrics (Windows Hello PIN, TouchID, Face, Iris, Fingerprint)
Security updates
Allow security updates and latest features
Update channels
Allow stable updates only
User Access Control
Always notify
Smart App Control
Off
Network firewall
Enabled
About WiFi router
Ziggo SmartWifi modem by Sagemcom in bridgemode. TP-Link Deco XE75 mesh system.
Real-time security
TP-Link HomeShield
Microsoft Defender Antivirus
Firewall security
Microsoft Defender Firewall
About custom security
Windows Hybrid Hardening
  • ConfigureDefender at High settings.
  • WindowsHybridHardening Light with SWH on and WDAC on.
Windows 11 Pro 23H2
Periodic malware scanners
HitmanPro and Norton Power Eraser
Malware sample testing
I do not participate in malware testing
Environment for malware testing
N/A
Browser(s) and extensions
Microsoft Edge with AdGuard, Bitwarden and Bitdefender TrafficLight as extensions
Secure DNS
From my ISP (Ziggo)
Desktop VPN
AdGuard VPN
Password manager
Bitwarden browser extension
Maintenance tools
Maintenance tools: CCleaner Professional, Disk Cleanup, Optimize Drives, Autoruns, Driver Store Explorer
Update tools: Patch My PC, UCheck, Driver Easy Pro, LG Update & Recovery, Intel Driver & Support Assistant
File and Photo backup
Windows Backup, OneDrive with Microsoft 365 ransomware protection (always on sync)
Subscriptions
    • Microsoft 365 Family 6TB
System recovery
Windows system image
Risk factors
    • Browsing to popular websites
    • Browsing to unknown / untrusted / shady sites
    • Working from home
    • Making audio/video calls
    • Opening email attachments
    • Buying from online stores, entering banks card details
    • Logging into my bank account
    • Downloading software and files from reputable sites
    • Streaming audio/video content from trusted sites or paid subscriptions
Computer specs
Notable changes
2022.01.01 new config for the new year.
2022.01.31 removed Bitsum Process Lasso, Samsung Magician. Switched from DefenderUI Free and VoodooShield to the all-in-one DefenderUI Pro.
2022.02.12 back to Ziggo Safe Online by F-Secure
2022.02.16 added Quad9 secure DNS
2022.03.22 have to use Adobe Reader for work, removed KVRT.
2022.04.09 trying the AdGuard extension instead of uBlock Origin
2022.04.10 back to uBlock Origin
2022.05.01 removed Ziggo Safe Online, back to Microsoft Defender and installed Kerish Doctor
2022.05.04 installed the latest VoodooShield
2022.05.13 installed fs protection by F-Secure 18.4 beta 2
2022.05.20 back to Microsoft Defender Antivirus and Andy's tools
2022.05.23 changed from ConfigureDefender to DefenderUI
2022.06.07 back to fs protection and VoodooShield
2022.07.18 back to Microsoft Defender Antivirus with DefenderUI and VoodooShield
2022.08.14 reset of Windows 11 and added (back) Simple Windows Hardening
2022.08.31 small changes because of my new laptop
2022.09.06 went from uBlock Origin to AdGuard
2022.09.12 up to date with the latest changes in this form
2022.09.26 back to FS Protection
2022.10.23 reset of Windows 11 22H2 and using Microsoft Defender with ConfigureDefender on high
2022.12.12 filled the new fields and Smart App Control has turned itself off.
2023.01.01 back to FS Protection and running a trial of NoVirusThanks SysHardener
2023.01.29 removed NoVirusThanks SysHardener and switched from AdGuard MV3 to uBlock Origin
2023.03.20 back to Windows buit-in protection configured by Hard_Configurator
2023.03.15 back to Simple Windows Hardening
2023.05.19 up to date with the May 2023 Update of this form
2023.07.05 back to FS Protection
2023.08.17 testing Windows Hybrid Hardening
2024.02.02 using Windows Hybrid Hardening Light an added the I don't care about cookies extension
2024.04.20 removed I don't care about cookies and Bitdefender TrafficLight
2024.04.20 removed McAfee WebAdvisor
2024.04.24 changed from uBlock Origin to AdGuard
What I'm looking for?

Looking for minimum feedback.

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Oh, didn't know that they reworked the Sophos Virus Removal Tool. So is it basically HitmanPro without the Bitdefender engine?
Not sure, it seems to be the free version of HitmanPro without some of the extra's:
 

Kongo

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Not sure, it seems to be the free version of HitmanPro without some of the extra's:
Alright, confirmed. Sophos Scan & Clean only uses Sophos engine.

HitmanPro:
Screenshot 2022-04-10 144609.png


Sophos Scan & Clean:
Screenshot 2022-04-10 144803.png
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Alright, confirmed. Sophos Scan & Clean only uses Sophos engine.

HitmanPro:
View attachment 265693

Sophos Scan & Clean:
View attachment 265695
Thanks for testing (y) Back to HitmanPro, because it gives me one more engine.

And back to uBlock Origin.
The latest AdGuard extension is very good, but I still prefer uBlock Origin, because it's more flexible, slightly faster and I prefer its interface.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Banking protection and safety ratings of the browsing protection of Ziggo Safe Online (F-Secure Safe) stopped working.
Maybe because the extension got an update or because Microsoft Edge got an update and Ziggo Safe Online was still at version 18.2, I don't know.

So, I went back to Microsoft Defender Antivirus set to high by ConfigureDefender.

Got a one-year license for Kerish Doctor from a fellow forum member.
 

blackice

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Banking protection and safety ratings of the browsing protection of Ziggo Safe Online (F-Secure Safe) stopped working.
Maybe because the extension got an update or because Microsoft Edge got an update and Ziggo Safe Online was still at version 18.2, I don't know.

So, I went back to Microsoft Defender Antivirus set to high by ConfigureDefender.

Got a one-year license for Kerish Doctor from a fellow forum member.
I had the opposite experience. I couldn’t access part of my bank (one of the biggest in the USA) website. Which reminded me why I don’t usually bother with banking protection and just use an up to date browser.
 

blackice

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I had the opposite experience. I couldn’t access part of my bank (one of the biggest in the USA) website. Which reminded me why I don’t usually bother with banking protection and just use an up to date browser.
I actually have to amend this. I had an idea after posting this as I've had other issues. Quad9 DoH was the actual issue. Banking protection worked with the part of my bank I was trying to access on Saturday. Anyway, this is the second time I've had resolution issues with Quad9 encrypted. Which is a shame. First it was DoT, now with DoH. Anyway, not F-Secure's issue at all.
 

blackice

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I actually have to amend this. I had an idea after posting this as I've had other issues. Quad9 DoH was the actual issue. Banking protection worked with the part of my bank I was trying to access on Saturday. Anyway, this is the second time I've had resolution issues with Quad9 encrypted. Which is a shame. First it was DoT, now with DoH. Anyway, not F-Secure's issue at all.
And for anyone noticing this post, it is a problem with the authoritative name server and their lack of support for ECS. So, I just switched to plain 9.9.9.9 and all is well again. My apologies for cluttering your config thread @Gandalf_The_Grey .
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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And for anyone noticing this post, it is a problem with the authoritative name server and their lack of support for ECS. So, I just switched to plain 9.9.9.9 and all is well again. My apologies for cluttering your config thread @Gandalf_The_Grey .
No problem, learned something about Quad9 in the process (y)
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Banking protection and safety ratings of the browsing protection of Ziggo Safe Online (F-Secure Safe) stopped working.
Maybe because the extension got an update or because Microsoft Edge got an update and Ziggo Safe Online was still at version 18.2, I don't know.

So, I went back to Microsoft Defender Antivirus set to high by ConfigureDefender.

Got a one-year license for Kerish Doctor from a fellow forum member.
Found and reported the issue to F-Secure:
Use the MS Edge browser on Windows with the Browsing Protection by F-Secure extension enabled.
Reputation for websites on Google search and banking protection works.
Clean MS Edge with CCleaner and reputation for websites on Google search and banking protection stops working.
Confirmed by a random search on Google or by visiting a banking site.
Go to the Edge extension settings and disable and reenable "Allow access to file URLs".
Now reputation for websites on Google search and banking protection works again.
Hope that F-Secure support can find what CCleaner removes that causes this behavior 🤔

Now beta testing fs protection by F-Secure 18.4 beta 2 together with the latest VoodooShield 7.10.
 
Last edited:

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Found and reported the issue to F-Secure:

Hope that F-Secure support can find what CCleaner removes that causes this behavior 🤔

Now beta testing fs protection by F-Secure 18.4 beta 2 together with the latest VoodooShield 7.10.
When changing our mobile carrier from Vodafone to Hollandsnieuwe (also from VodafoneZiggo) I lost my 20 devices subscription of Ziggo Safe Online by F-Secure, or I had to pay extra.

I'm not getting any feedback on my fs protection by F-Secure bug report and that means that the https and banking protection of F-Secure can be disabled just by cleaning MS Edge with CCleaner.

So, I went back to Microsoft Defender with enhanced protection of the tools of @Andy Ful .

Still beta testing VoodooShield and will install and test VS when a new version comes out, but VS is currently not installed.
 
Last edited:

upnorth

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When changing our mobile carrier from Vodafone to Hollandsnieuwe (also from VodafoneZiggo) I lost my 25 subscriptions of Ziggo Safe Online by F-Secure, or I had to pay extra.

I'm not getting any feedback on my fs protection by F-Secure bug report and that means that the https and banking protection of F-Secure can be disabled just by cleaning MS Edge with CCleaner.
You had, 25 subscriptions!???
Britney Spears What GIF


FS-Protection is the Beta version of F-Secure SAFE, and I can't reproduce that unless I get that version and try the same. I did though test with the latest stable version of SAFE 18.3, most because I was curious and not really concerned at all as when I do any banking with the banking protection/extension in Edge, I never run any cleaning tools. I think one would need another type of testing methodology if one is worried about a malware being able to kill it. It's been pretty solid and thoroughly tested here:

I started Edge and opened a bank site, the banking protection kicked in and I ran a clean with CCleaner. Too my surprise, nothing happened with the banking protection as it stayed enabled and available even after CCleaner was done. What version of CCleaner are you using @Gandalf_The_Grey ?
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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You had, 25 subscriptions!???
Britney Spears What GIF


FS-Protection is the Beta version of F-Secure SAFE, and I can't reproduce that unless I get that version and try the same. I did though test with the latest stable version of SAFE 18.3, most because I was curious and not really concerned at all as when I do any banking with the banking protection/extension in Edge, I never run any cleaning tools. I think one would need another type of testing methodology if one is worried about a malware being able to kill it. It's been pretty solid and thoroughly tested here:

I started Edge and opened a bank site, the banking protection kicked in and I ran a clean with CCleaner. Too my surprise, nothing happened with the banking protection as it stayed enabled and available even after CCleaner was done. What version of CCleaner are you using @Gandalf_The_Grey ?
Sorry, I was wrong it was for 20 (not 25) devices:
I have edited my post.

I could reproduce this CCleaner bug on Ziggo Safe Online 18.2 (version 18.3 is not out yet) and fs protection 18.4 beta 2 and beta 4 with CCleaner 6.0.0.9727.
 

upnorth

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I could reproduce this CCleaner bug on Ziggo Safe Online 18.2 (version 18.3 is not out yet) and fs protection 18.4 beta 2 and beta 4 with CCleaner 6.0.0.9727.
Now suddenly, I see the issue. Yeah for some weird reason specific in Edge and after I updated CCleaner to the latest version and ran a clean ( without close Edge as that is what CCleaner ask before a complete clean. Close the browser one obvious also close the banking protection. ), the banking protection won't start in Edge. No error messages etc and if I try with Firefox, the banking protection jumps up and works without any problem.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Now suddenly, I see the issue. Yeah for some weird reason specific in Edge and after I updated CCleaner to the latest version and ran a clean ( without close Edge as that is what CCleaner ask before a complete clean. Close the browser one obvious also close the banking protection. ), the banking protection won't start in Edge. No error messages etc and if I try with Firefox, the banking protection jumps up and works without any problem.
Thanks, it is also reproducible in Google Chrome, maybe an issue with all chromium-based browsers?
 

upnorth

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Thanks, it is also reproducible in Google Chrome, maybe an issue with all chromium-based browsers?
I can easy test that. Give me a moment and I'll get back with the result, but I also gonna test if this might be related to the latest update of CCleaner.

A workaround that one can test, is to simply manually disable the " Browsing protection " extension in Edge and then enable it again. That did the trick on my system ( VM ). But this for sure needs to be reported even if I personal would not consider this as a major issue as the banking protection still works in other browsers.
 

upnorth

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Nope. Using a older version of CCleaner also create this issue.

I installed Opera latest stable version. Same thing happened there as in Edge. But just as with Edge, it's easy to get it back and working by simply manually disable the extension " Browsing protection " and then enable it again. Tested many times in both Edge and Opera with different banking sites. For now it's Firefox that works as it should. I'm sending the extra report probably on Monday or Tuesday. (y)
 

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