Latest changes
Jul 19, 2020
Daily driver
My Primary device
Operating system
Windows 10 Pro
OS version
2004
System type
64-bit operating system; x64-based processor
Security updates
Automatically allow security and feature updates
Windows UAC
Always notify
Firewall protection
Custom - Provided by a third-party security vendor
Account privileges
Standard account
Account type
Sign in with local account
Account log-in
  • Security Key
  • Account Password
  • Exposure to malware
    Malware samples are downloaded on a Virtual machine
    Real-time Malware protection
    Norton Security Premium (paid - latest release), VoodooShield Premium (paid - latest release - note: not always 100% on)
    RTP configuration
    Custom firewall rules

    SONAR set to aggressive

    Boot time protection Aggressive

    Custom scans set at various times - multiple custom scans

    Blocking traffic for malicious applications - set to aggressive
    Periodic scanners
    Emsisoft Emergency Kit (EEK), Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Paid - real time disabled - using as needed)

    **Searching for new periodic scanners. Not liking the current ones. Will not use Kaspersky (reasoning below)**
    Browser and Add-ons
    Firefox: HTTPS Everywhere, AdGuard AdBlocker, Windscribe VPN, and NoScript
    Privacy tools and VPN
    NoScript, AdGuard AdBlocker, Windscribe VPN (browser, local computer, and router all set up)
    Password manager
    Sticky Password & RoboForm for Business (highly secure and locked down)
    Search engine
    Google and DuckDuckGo
    Maintenance tools
    Maintenance tools:

    Backup Software (or similar):
    • AOMEI Backupper Pro (paid - latest release)
      • AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager Pro Edition (paid - latest stable - lifetime license) – Updating disk information and management
      • AOMEI Parition Assistant Pro Edition (paid - latest stable - lifetime license) – Updating disk information and management
    • Macrium Reflect Free (free - latest release)
      • viBoot from Macrium Reflect (free - latest stable) – Please read more about viBoot here before commenting on it: Macrium viBoot
        • In short (their wording not mine):Macrium viBoot enables you to instantly create, start and manage Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines using one or more Macrium Reflect image files as the basis of the virtual machine storage sub-system.
        • At a minimum, viBoot enables you to boot into the images you have made using Macrium Reflect, for validation purposes, or to retrieve data from old applications stored on a bootable image. At an enterprise level, you could recover an entire network environment in minutes.
        • Macrium viBoot is now built upon new technology that allows it to instantly present a Macrium Reflect image file as a Microsoft Virtual Disk (.VHDX) file.
    • Acronis True Image 2020 (paid and latest release - perpetual license for v2020)
    Yes, I use three different backup tools. No, I do not use all three at the same time, same day, or for exactly the same reason. If you get stung by one backup going bad you will get why I use three. Plus, all three have some very unique and nice features. Check these out! Questions – please read about the tools prior to asking! Thanks!

    Cleaning Utilities:
    • Glary Utilities PRO (paid and latest release)
    • Windows 10 built in tools
    Virtualization Tools:
    • VMware Workstation Pro 15 (paid - latest release - perpetual license for v15)
      • Additional Tools to lock things down further:
        • Shadow Defender [Lifetime License/Latest Release]
        • Sandboxie (paid and latest release) – Note: As of late Sandboxie is now free.
    Adblocker:
    • Adguard Premium (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    • Similar, but mainly used as a VPN: Windscribe Pro (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    VPN
    • Windscribe Pro (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    • Avira Phantom VPN (secondary VPN not main VPN at all) – BETA TESTING
    Networking – You can do so much to this tool its simply amazing!
    Hard Drive Tool (Been Using for Many Years):
    Software Removal Tool:
    • Revo Uninstaller v4 (Pro Portable - Paid - Paid for 2 years of updates!)
    Windows Repair (Not Always Using Here Folks – Mainly For Some Minor Repairs Before Clean Install)
    Photos and Files backup
    Macrium Reflect Free (free - latest stable), AOMEI Backupper Pro (paid and latest stable), Acronis True Image 2020 (paid and latest release)
    File Backup schedule
    Once or multiple times per week
    Backup and Restore
    Macrium Reflect Free (free - latest stable), AOMEI Backupper Pro (paid and latest stable), Acronis True Image 2019 (paid and latest release)
    Backup schedule
    Once or more per week
    Computer Activity
  • Playing computer games
  • Browsing the web and checking emails
  • Testing security software using malware samples
  • Downloading files from different websites
  • Office and other work-related software (Work from Home)
  • Computer Specifications
    Custom build!

    CPU - Intel i7-8700k CPU @ 3.70 GHz
    GPU - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 @ 8 GB GDDR5X
    RAM - 48 GB DDR4 - 47.8 GB Usable!
    SSD - Samsung 970 EVO 500GB - NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD (MZ-V7E500BW)
    HDD - WD Black 2TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD2003FZEX
    Your changelog
    Notable Updates for 2020 as of 2-9-2020:

    Upgraded to the new Norton 360 Premium - Antivirus software for 10 Devices - Includes VPN, PC Cloud Backup etc. etc.

    Upgraded to the latest AOMEI Backupper - Version 5.6 (Released 1-14-2020)

    Upgraded to the latest AOMEI Partition Assistant - Version 8.6 (Released 12-20-2019)

    Upgraded to the latest Build 22510 released 11-21-2019 for Acronis True Image 2020 (which is update 2 for Windows)

    Upgraded to the latest VMWare Workstation 15 Pro which is 15.5.1 build-15018445

    Notable Changes for 7-17-2020:

    Major Changes:
    • Upgraded to Windows 10 2004
    • Upgraded to the latest release of Acronis True Image 2020 (paid and latest release - perpetual license for v2020)
    • Upgraded to the latest release of Adguard Premium which is v7.4.2 (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    • Upgraded to the latest release of AOMEI Backupper Pro which is v5.8 (paid - latest release)
    • Upgraded to the latest release of AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager Pro Edition which is v8.8 (paid - latest stable - lifetime license)
    • Upgraded to the latest release of AOMEI Parition Assistant Pro Edition which is v8.8 (paid - latest stable - lifetime license)
    • Upgraded to the latest release of Glary Utilities PRO which is v5.146.0.172 (paid and latest release)
    • Upgraded to the latest release of GlassWire Elite which is v2.2.210 (paid - latest release/stable)
    • Upgraded to the latest release of Hard Disk Sentinel Pro which is v5.61 (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    • Revo Uninstaller v4 which is on the release of 4.3.3 (Pro Portable - Paid - Paid for 2 years of updates!)
    • viBoot from Macrium Reflect to release of v7.2.4971 (free - latest stable)
    • Upgraded to the latest release of VMware Workstation Pro 15 to release v15.5 (paid - latest release - perpetual license for v15)
    • Upgraded to the latest release of VoodooShield Premium which is v5.7x
    • Upgraded to the latest release of Sticky Password which is v8.2.3.43
    • Upgraded to the latest release of RoboForm for Business which is v8.9.0.0
    Currently looking at the following (may discontinue using):
    • SecureMyBit DHScan – Is this still being developed or is it discontinued?
    • Zemana AntiMalware (Portable & Free) – Any development from the latest release which was from a while back?
    • Upgraded to the latest release of Sandboxie (latest release) – not liking how development is going…or lack thereof
    Discontinued use of the following:
    • Malwarebytes JRT (Portable & Free & Discontinued [still good for finding nasty stuff, but the end of life was April 26, 2018])
    • AdwCleaner by Malwarebytes – will revisit at a later date
    • Zemana Antilogger Premium (paid - latest release - using as needed) – Is this still being developed or is it discontinued?
    Notable Changes for 7-19-2020
    • Removal of Periodic Scanner: Norton Power Eraser (NPE) (Same as my main AV)
    • Removed/Discontinued BleachBit (Portable & Free) – JM needs to confirm if this is still being updated or not (doesn’t appear as though it is)
    • Removed/Discontinued: SecureMyBit DHScan – JM needs to confirm if this is still being updated or not (doesn’t appear as though it is)
    • Removed/Discontinued: Zemana AntiMalware (Portable & Free) – doesn’t appear as though development is continuing
    • Removed/Discontinued: Malwarebytes JRT (Portable & Free & Discontinued [still good for finding nasty stuff, but the end of life was April 26, 2018])
    • Reorganized my maintenance tools (explain the tools a bit better as some folks are getting confused, not understanding correctly, or not following). See below:
    Maintenance tools:

    Backup Software (or similar):

    • AOMEI Backupper Pro (paid - latest release)
    • AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager Pro Edition (paid - latest stable - lifetime license) – Updating disk information and management
    • AOMEI Parition Assistant Pro Edition (paid - latest stable - lifetime license) – Updating disk information and management
    • Macrium Reflect Free (free - latest release)
    • viBoot from Macrium Reflect (free - latest stable) – Please read more about viBoot here before commenting on it: Macrium viBoot
    • In short (their wording not mine):
    • Macrium viBoot enables you to instantly create, start and manage Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines using one or more Macrium Reflect image files as the basis of the virtual machine storage sub-system. At a minimum, viBoot enables you to boot into the images you have made using Macrium Reflect, for validation purposes, or to retrieve data from old applications stored on a bootable image. At an enterprise level, you could recover an entire network environment in minutes. Macrium viBoot is now built upon new technology that allows it to instantly present a Macrium Reflect image file as a Microsoft Virtual Disk (.VHDX) file.
    • Acronis True Image 2020 (paid and latest release - perpetual license for v2020)
    Yes, I use three different backup tools. No, I do not use all three at the same time, same day, or for exactly the same reason. If you get stung by one backup going bad you will get why I use three. Plus, all three have some very unique and nice features. Check these out! Questions – please read about the tools prior to asking! Thanks!

    Cleaning Utilities:

    • Glary Utilities PRO (paid and latest release)
    • Windows 10 built in tools
    Virtualization Tools:
    • VMware Workstation Pro 15 (paid - latest release - perpetual license for v15)
    • Additional Tools to lock things down further:
    • Shadow Defender [Lifetime License/Latest Release]
    • Sandboxie (paid and latest release) – Note: As of late Sandboxie is now free.
    Adblocker:
    • Adguard Premium (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    • Similar, but mainly used as a VPN: Windscribe Pro (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    VPN
    • Windscribe Pro (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    • Avira Phantom VPN (secondary VPN not main VPN at all) – BETA TESTING
    Networking – You can do so much to this tool its simply amazing!
    Hard Drive Tool (Been Using for Many Years):
    Software Removal Tool:
    • Revo Uninstaller v4 (Pro Portable - Paid - Paid for 2 years of updates!)
    Windows Repair (Not Always Using Here Folks – Mainly For Some Minor Repairs Before Clean Install)
    • Windows Repair from Tweaking.com (Free)
    Staff notes

    This setup may cause performance issues, system instability or conflicts between programs, and can hinder the effectiveness of all installed antivirus products.

    Lightning_Brian

    Level 14
    Verified
    Content Creator
    tremendous overkill with system protection tools
    and also with copying programs, it is strange that there are no problems with compatibility.
    Good Morning @jerzy601 and others: Thanks for the note! I wouldn't say its overkill as not all of the programs are being run at the same time actually. The main programs that I do have running 'at the same time' (if you will) would be the following:
    • Norton
    • Glasswire
    • Adguard
    Voodooshield is a off and on program while I'm training it or making changes. It will be running if I'm going to be doing anything on the web.

    Otherwise, for all of the rest I only use it as needed or when needed scenarios (as it applies). Yes I take virtualization super seriously (over the top) this I will admit, but I'm also doing a ton of testing with various equipment that I go to great lengths to protect everything. There is times I'm testing stuff for work on my personal machine with a lot of back end networking going on and tons of virtualization going on to the point that in the end I don't have to worry about a thing on my machine. I rather not jump down the rabbit hole, but it gets quite extensive and if I would explain it out everyone would have a "ahhhh so that's why" moment. lol For now, I'll leave it that I do some heavy testing and reporting out.

    I retracted my above post #10 in some other thread posted elsewhere because I'm also using Shadow Defender/Sandboxie/VirtualBox. BTW, he is also into testing malware so having the aforementioned software could be a necessity in his case.

    As for me I'm not into mlaware testing. However, I use

    Shadow Defender to protect my entire system
    Sandboxie to sandbox applications like browsers, MS Office, SumatraPDF Reader, SMPlayer etc when I'm using my Windows host machine
    VirtualBox when I run Linux OSes like Linux Mint Mate, Linux Manjaro etc

    Not too much I would say
    @HarborFront I think you were tracking what I was laying down. Thanks for listening a while back. Others too thought the same thing.

    You have as periodic scanners: Norton Power Eraser, Emsisoft Emergency Kit and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    According to @cruelsister and AV Test Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool would be a better option.
    Does NPE make sense with Norton Security Premium as real time protection?
    I would ask the same question for Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool if you were running a Kaspersky solution real time.
    Which are the most efficient second option scanners?
    Can the HUB testers, @cruelsister and other members give their opinion on that?
    @Gandalf_The_Grey Good point! I can see this and get this. I'll make a modification and remove it this from my use as secondary scanners or periodic scanners.

    However, with this being said I will not be going into the Kaspersky side of things at the present time. I do too much for the powers that be and given that it is banned for my line of work I will be staying clear from it on my personal computers too along with my work computer. I will be in search of different secondary scanners. I would be open to how others feel about various other scanners!

    Some more changes to come. Again I don't want to go too deep into the weeds on what I'm doing for testing. Expect to see another change log today.

    ~Brian
     

    Lightning_Brian

    Level 14
    Verified
    Content Creator
    Notable Changes for 7-19-2020
    • Removal of Periodic Scanner:
    • Norton Power Eraser (NPE) (Same as my main AV)
    • Reorganized my maintenance tools (explain the tools a bit better as some folks are getting confused, not understanding correctly, or not following).
    • Removed/Discontinued BleachBit (Portable & Free) – JM needs to confirm if this is still being updated or not (doesn’t appear as though it is)
    • Removed/Discontinued: SecureMyBit DHScan – JM needs to confirm if this is still being updated or not (doesn’t appear as though it is)
    • Removed/Discontinued: Zemana AntiMalware (Portable & Free) – doesn’t appear as though development is continuing
    • Removed/Discontinued: Malwarebytes JRT (Portable & Free & Discontinued [still good for finding nasty stuff, but the end of life was April 26, 2018])
    Maintenance tools:

    Backup Software (or similar):
    • AOMEI Backupper Pro (paid - latest release)
      • AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager Pro Edition (paid - latest stable - lifetime license) – Updating disk information and management
      • AOMEI Parition Assistant Pro Edition (paid - latest stable - lifetime license) – Updating disk information and management
    • Macrium Reflect Free (free - latest release)
      • viBoot from Macrium Reflect (free - latest stable) – Please read more about viBoot here before commenting on it: Macrium viBoot
        • In short (their wording not mine):
          • Macrium viBoot enables you to instantly create, start and manage Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines using one or more Macrium Reflect image files as the basis of the virtual machine storage sub-system.
          • At a minimum, viBoot enables you to boot into the images you have made using Macrium Reflect, for validation purposes, or to retrieve data from old applications stored on a bootable image. At an enterprise level, you could recover an entire network environment in minutes.
          • Macrium viBoot is now built upon new technology that allows it to instantly present a Macrium Reflect image file as a Microsoft Virtual Disk (.VHDX) file.
    • Acronis True Image 2020 (paid and latest release - perpetual license for v2020)
    Yes, I use three different backup tools. No, I do not use all three at the same time, same day, or for exactly the same reason. If you get stung by one backup going bad you will get why I use three. Plus, all three have some very unique and nice features. Check these out! Questions – please read about the tools prior to asking! Thanks!

    Cleaning Utilities:

    • Glary Utilities PRO (paid and latest release)
    • Windows 10 built in tools
    Virtualization Tools:
    • VMware Workstation Pro 15 (paid - latest release - perpetual license for v15)
    • Additional Tools to lock things down further:
      • Shadow Defender [Lifetime License/Latest Release]
      • Sandboxie (paid and latest release) – Note: As of late Sandboxie is now free.
    Adblocker:
    • Adguard Premium (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    • Similar, but mainly used as a VPN: Windscribe Pro (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    VPN
    • Windscribe Pro (paid - latest release - lifetime license)
    • Avira Phantom VPN (secondary VPN not main VPN at all) – BETA TESTING
    Networking – You can do so much to this tool its simply amazing!
    Hard Drive Tool (Been Using for Many Years):
    Software Removal Tool:
    • Revo Uninstaller v4 (Pro Portable - Paid - Paid for 2 years of updates!)
    Windows Repair (Not Always Using Here Folks – Mainly For Some Minor Repairs Before Clean Install)
    • Windows Repair from Tweaking.com (Free)
    @harlan4096 Does this help better answer what is going on and what I'm doing with my system now? I felt that too many folks were misunderstanding, not reading, or not paying attention correctly. I figured I break things down quite a bit more, because some folks were taking things out of context or not fully understanding the software and its intended use.

    @harlan4096 What would be your recommendation for periodic scanner at this point of time? Kaspersky would be off limits for me.

    Others please feel free to chime in about secondary scanners as I'm open to other opinions at the present time.
     
    Last edited:

    harlan4096

    Moderator
    Verified
    Staff member
    Malware Hunter
    To use NPE having the Norton Premium suite has no sense, that tech is probably integrated in Norton Security Premium.

    You may use MalwareBytes Free and/or AdwCleaner, HMP Free (it uses BD and Kaspersky engines but only for PE files, can't detect other types of files as scripts, etc.), You can add also WiseVector StopX with resident protection modules disables, as I do in my malware tests...
     

    Lightning_Brian

    Level 14
    Verified
    Content Creator
    Yea NPE is a side portion of Norton Premium as well (separate feature). I get the whole senario about it being from the same company etc. etc.

    Quite interesting about WiseVector StopX @harlan4096 ! I'll have to take a look at that a bit more. Have not heard much about that program as of yet. I'll need to look at some additional programs too. Suggestions are welcome from all!

    ~Brian
     
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