Recent changes
Nov 14, 2020
Device priority
Primary device
Operating system
Windows 10
Sign-in account
Sign in with Microsoft ID
Log-in security
    • Windows Hello Fingerprint
    • Windows Hello PIN
Account permissions
Administrator account
Security updates
Automatically allow security and feature updates
Windows UAC
Always notify
Malware samples
No - Malware samples are not purposely downloaded
Real-time Malware protection
Microsoft Defender Antivirus
HomeCare by Trend Micro on TP-Link Archer AX6000 router
Firewall protection
Microsoft Defender Firewall
RTP configuration
Microsoft Defender Antivirus set to High with ConfigureDefender
Controlled Folder Access enabled
Memory integrity under Core Isolation enabled
Microsoft Defender Application Guard for isolated browsing installed
NoVirusThanks SysHardener at recommended settings
Periodic scanners
HitmanPro, Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool and AdwCleaner (for the kids)
VPN and Privacy
MS Edge Tracking Prevention on Strict, AdGuard extension in incognito mode and Cleanbrowsing Adult DNS content filter on the router.
Browser(s) and Add-ons
Microsoft Edge with AdGuard, Bitwarden and Microsoft Editor
Maintenance tools
CCleaner, PatchMyPC, SUMo and Driver Easy Pro
Photos and Files backup
Windows File History on external drive (weekly)
OneDrive with Microsoft 365 ransomware protection (always on sync)
File backup schedule
Changes are automatically sync'd to my cloud storage provider
Backup and rollback
Windows system image
Backup schedule
Manually managed on a yearly basis
Activity usage
  1. Generic web browsing
  2. Financial and sensitive documents
  3. Working from home
  4. Video and photo editing
  5. Streaming audio and video content from the Internet
  6. Shared among other family members
Computer hardware
Acer Aspire VN7-791G-576X
Intel Core i5-4210H
Intel HD Graphics 4600 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
Kingston 16GB Dual-Channel DDR3 PC3-12800 RAM
Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 250GB
Seagate HDD ST1000LM014-1EJ164 1TB
Realtek High Definition Audio
Your changelog
2020.02.23 removed VoodooShield and uBlock Origin and added Kaspersky Security Cloud Free and AdGuard (extension).
2020.03.09 removed AdGuard and Kaspersky Security Cloud Free and added Hard_Configurator 5.0.0.1 beta uBlock Origin and the Netcraft extension. replaced Bandizip with Explzh because of the advertisements in the free version.
2020.03.22 removed Hard_Configurator, kept ConfigureDefender, DocumentsAntiExploit and RunBySmartscreen.
Added NoVirusThanks SysHardener, VoodooShield and the Certificate Info extension.
2020.03.28 added Ziggo safe Online and Hard_Configurator and removed SysHardner.
2020.03.30 removed CCleaner Pro
2020.04.05 installed HC 5.0.01 beta with recommended settings. Removed VoodooShield.
Tried to minimize extensions: replaced uBlock Origin with AdGuard and removed Certificate Info and Netcraft. Added Microsoft Editor. All extensions are now from the Microsoft Store except Browsing Protection by F-Secure (installed automatically).
2020.04.22 Removed Ziggo Safe Online and Hard_Configurator Trying Windows Defender with Comodo Firewall.
2020.05.04 removed Comodo Firewall and installed Emsisoft Ant-Malware Home.
2020.05.08 replaced Emsisoft Anti-Malware with Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
2020.05.18 replaced KSC Free with WD and uninstalled some browser extensions.
2020.07.05 back to Bitwarden and Bitdefender TrafficLight and WhitelistCloud added.
2020.07.08 switched form WhitelistCloud to VoodooShield Pro. Went from uBlock Origin to AdGuard.
2020.07.15 Back to KSC Free.
2020.08.09 added SpywareBlaster 5.7 Private Beta with MS Edge support.
2020.08.12 back to Microsoft Defender Antivirus
2020.08.15 back to Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
2020.08.31 removed O&O ShutUp 10 and went back to Microsoft Defender
2020.09.27 removed Bitdefender TrafficLight and went back from Simple Windows Hardening to Hard_Configurator
2020.10.27 went from WD to KSCFree and from uBlock Origin to AdGuard.
2020.11.14 back to WD on high and simplified config

Zemana

New Member
Lots of people in their 2020 configurations have Windows Defender Firewall as their main Firewall like yours Gandalf. However, when I turn on my real-time protection Norton, it says in Windows Defender setting that the firewall is now Norton. Should that happen? What is better Windows Defender Firewall or Norton Smart Firewall?
 

shmu26

Level 85
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Trusted
Content Creator
Like @oldschool said, full Antivirus suites such as most versions of Norton Security include their own firewall, and they turn off Windows firewall. That is fine, Norton firewall is good.
Many forum members do not use full Antivirus suites, so that's why they are using Windows firewall.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Inspired by the config of @silversurfer : SECURE: Complete - silversurfer Laptop Security Config 2020
I decided to see what config worked the best on my laptop:
Windows Defender (with ConfigureDefender at High)
Ziggo Safe Online (F-Secure Safe (free from my ISP))
Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
For me, Kaspersky Security Cloud Free is the lightest on my system at the moment while still offering very good protection.
Replaced (maybe temporarily) uBlock Origin with AdGuard for adding Googles Safe Browsing to the mix.
 

Andy Ful

Level 65
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Sometimes I ask myself if H_C can be useful for protecting the computers of MT members, because it was never the primary goal of H_C. It is possible, that anyone who can use it and understand how it works, in fact, does not need it anymore to protect his/her computer and can start to use it to protect family/friends computers.
H_C can be also useful as a kind of educational tool to understand some important features of Windows security.
 
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Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 38
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Sorry, but from his penultimate post he seemed to be using them both. Obviously I misinterpreted.
Sorry for not being clear enough.
I tried 3 kinds of config on my laptop.
1) Window Defender with ConfigureDefender on high.
2) Ziggo Safe Online
3) Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
Config 3 worked the best for me on this laptop.
All 3 configs were with Hard_Configurator for added security and O&O ShutUp10 for added privacy.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 38
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Content Creator
Sometimes I ask myself if H_C can be useful for protecting the computers of MT members, because it was never the primary goal of H_C. It is possible, that anyone who can use it and understand how it works, in fact, does not need it anymore to protect his/her computer and can start to use it to protect family/friends computers.
H_C can be also useful as a kind of educational tool to understand some important features of Windows security.
I have learned so much using your tools and discussing issues/blocks and still don't know enough to have the confidence to do all manually.
And why should I? Your tools are very useful to harden windows and configuring Windows Defender. It's so much easier than doing it manually and do not forget the logging is very useful for solving issues and blocks. Again many thanks from me. 🙏
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 38
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Trying out the new Hard_Configurator 5.0.0.1 beta.
Replaced Bandizip with Explzh because of the advertisements in the free version of Bandizip.
Explzh keeps the mark of the web.
Because I can only use uBlock Origin and LastPass on my work and I want to keep my configurations as much the same as possible I ditched AdGuard and Bitwarden.
Enabled 2FA with the Microsoft Authenticator app for my Microsoft, Google, Twitter, PayPal and LastPass account.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 38
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Got a new HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 All-in-One Printer this weekend:
Unfortunately I couldn't get scanning over wifi to my laptop to work with Hard_Configurator at recommended settings.
And I couldn't find any blocks in the logs to help me troubleshoot that problem.
So I removed Hard_Configurator but kept ConfigureDefender, DocumentsAntiExploit and RunBySmartscreen.
I added SysHardner (recommended settings) and VoodooShield (AutoPilot Mode).
Now everything works fine.
 

Andy Ful

Level 65
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Got a new HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 All-in-One Printer this weekend:
Unfortunately I couldn't get scanning over wifi to my laptop to work with Hard_Configurator at recommended settings.
And I couldn't find any blocks in the logs to help me troubleshoot that problem.
So I removed Hard_Configurator but kept ConfigureDefender, DocumentsAntiExploit and RunBySmartscreen.
I added SysHardner (recommended settings) and VoodooShield (AutoPilot Mode).
Now everything works fine.
It was not probably blocked by SRP default-deny, but by one o the hardening restrictions (from the right panel) or by one of FirewallHardening rules. HP printers use HTA scripts, and if mshta.exe outbound connections are blocked the Wi-Fi features may not work properly. Anyway, you did not need the H_C to be safe.:)(y)
 
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