Advanced Plus Security Lightning_Brian's 2023 Security Configuration

Last updated
Mar 13, 2023
How it's used?
For home and private use
Operating system
Windows 10
Other operating system
Windows 10 Pro 22H2
On-device encryption
BitLocker Device Encryption for Windows
Log-in security
    • Hardware security key
    • Basic account password (insecure)
Security updates
Allow security updates and latest features
User Access Control
Always notify
Network firewall
Enabled
About WiFi router
Nighthawk AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Router with DOCIS 3.1 Cable Modem - Black - Highly customized for the security minded! Defense in layers!

Asus RT-AX88U - Pin point precision customization for the security guy!! Windscribe profile set up for tunneling.
Real-time security
  • Norton 360 Premium (paid - latest release)
  • VoodooShield (Paid - latest release - note: not always 100% on but more often then not)

No compatibility issues what-so-ever!
Firewall security
About custom security
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 malware scanners
Emsisoft Emergency Kit (EEK), Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro v4.5.24 (Paid - some real time aspects disabled - using as needed - please no grief over this I'm fully aware of the pros and cons of paying and not having everything turned on... my wallet and mind reminds me often enough)
Malware sample testing
I do not participate in malware testing
Browser(s) and extensions
Firefox: AdGuard AdBlocker, Windscribe VPN, and NoScript
Google Chrome: AdGuard AdBlocker, Windscribe VPN, and NoScript
Secure DNS
I use Windscribe nearly all the time. DNS is then provided by them.
Quad9 - Sound and secure. Great DNS!
Desktop VPN
Windscribe Pro (paid - latest release - lifetime license) - Version
Avira Phantom VPN (secondary VPN not main VPN at all) – BETA TESTING
Password manager
Sticky Password - Lifetime
RoboForm for Business - Enterprise - RoboForm Everywhere
PassCamp - Enterprise Read more about it here: Enterprise Password Management Solution - PassCamp or Password Manager Features - PassCamp

All passwords are in the respected dedicated password managers. None of the passwords are stored in a web browser. Multiple reasons behind the different password managers. Happy to chat more about this just ask!
Maintenance tools
Cleaning Utilities:
  • Glary Utilities PRO (paid and latest release) - Version 5.202.0.231
  • Windows 10 built in tools
Software Removal Tool:
  • Revo Uninstaller v5 (Pro Portable - Paid - Paid for many years of updates!) - Version 5.1.1
Windows Repair (Not Always Using Here Folks – Mainly For Some Minor Repairs Before Clean Install)
File and Photo backup
  • AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus (paid - latest release) - Version 7.2.0 (Released February 24, 2023)
    • AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager Technician Edition (paid - latest stable - lifetime license) – Updating disk information and management
    • AOMEI Partition Assistant Technician + Lifetime Upgrades (Unlimited PCs & Servers) – Updating disk information and management
  • Macrium Reflect Free (free - latest release) - v8.0.7167
    • 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 2021 (paid and latest release - perpetual license for v2021)
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! Thank you!
System recovery
Macrium Reflect Free (free - latest stable), AOMEI Backupper Pro (paid and latest stable), Acronis True Image 2021 (paid and latest release)
Risk factors
    • Browsing to popular websites
    • Working from home
    • Opening email attachments
    • Downloading software and files from reputable sites
    • Gaming
    • Streaming audio/video content from trusted sites or paid subscriptions
Computer specs
CPU - Intel i7-8700k CPU @ 3.70 GHz
GPU - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 @ 24GB GDDR6X memory!
RAM - 64 GB DDR4 - 63.8 GB Usable!
SSD - Samsung 970 EVO 500GB - NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD (MZ-V7E500BW)
Quanity of two (2) HDD - WD Black 2TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD2003FZEX
AIO liquid CPU cooler
Notable changes
  • LastPass removed - will never use again... shame too!
  • AOMEI products upgraded - Technician upgrades!
  • Norton upgraded
  • PC upgrades!
    • GPU - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 @ 24GB GDDR6X memory and another HDD - WD Black 2TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD2003FZEX
  • Networking equipment upgrades! Big upgrades overall see comment!
  • Upgraded VMware Workstation 16 Pro to version 17 Pro
What I'm looking for?

Looking for maximum feedback.

Lightning_Brian

Level 15
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Content Creator
Sep 1, 2017
742
Hello Malware Tips Friends!

Hope everyone is doing well! I wanted to update my security thread here as its been a quick minute!

Some notable updates from my side:
  • LastPass - got kicker to the seat of the pants. UGH! :mad: (n) (n)What a sad thing this world is going through with that security nightmare. A shame too!
    • No more LastPass recommendations coming from me.. done done and long gone! LastPass mandated at work but that's a goner - in with the new.
  • I'll be looking to replace Macrium Reflect Free with possibly the home edition - still looking at this! Love the features of Macrium. Will not be going anywhere in my tool set any time soon!
    • Recommendations anyone?
  • Highly customized network setup. Out with the old and in with the brand new stuff!
    • Nighthawk AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Router with DOCIS 3.1 Cable Modem aka CAX80 - Going for the gold on customization and security settings!
    • Asus RT-AX88U - Highly customized! Security focused!
    • Replaced all cabling in my house with CAT8 and golly do I notice the difference! Bit of a undertaking replacing cable, but big and very noticable upgrade for those who have the good equipment! Before you start asking - no I do not have an legit data center in my house although at times I joke about it, but yes BIG upgrades over CAT6 yet costs some 💰.
Notable purchases (new for very late 2022/ early 2023) which seems to be the biggest year of technology purchases (please know I got a lot of these on some great sales yet some serious 💰💵💲):
  • AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus + Lifetime Upgrades (Unlimited PCs & Servers) - I have gone all in on the Technician Plus edition. Loads of great features and wanted to help folks out personally through my services.
  • AOMEI Partition Assistant Technician + Lifetime Upgrades (Unlimited PCs & Servers) - I have gone all in on the Technician edition! Lots of good features!
  • AOMEI OneKey Recovery Customization + Lifetime Upgrades (Unlimited PCs & Servers) - I have gone all in on the Technician edition! Lots of good features!
  • VMware Workstation 17 Pro - Will never trade this for anything else. Simply put - one of the best pieces of software! Virtualization is at the next level with v17.0.1.
  • Norton 360 Premium - purchased multiple years worth - still in it for the long haul, but Bitdefender still comes top of mind here.
  • My dude @danb keeps innovating at VoodooShield! Shout out to you man. Norton is working like a charm with VoodooShield! I'm keeping VoodooShield 'ON' nearly all the time without issues at all.
Computer upgrade/changes completed:
  • New - GPU - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 @ 24GB GDDR6X memory! Got this late in 2022 at a really good steal of a deal!
  • New - HDD - (on top of the existing for backup reasons): WD Black 2TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD2003FZEX
So what are your thoughts about my security setup? Anything you'd like to add/remove/suggest?

Thanks!
~Brian
 

Shadowra

Level 34
Verified
Top Poster
Content Creator
Malware Tester
Well-known
Sep 2, 2021
2,329
Hello :)

Very good configuration !
Be careful with the i7 8700k and your 3090 which can create a "Bottleneck" effect (your graphic card which can be limited in performance compared to your i7)

Glary Utilities I don't recommend it since I've had problems with it and with clients I've repaired too... but I'm quibbling :p
 

Lightning_Brian

Level 15
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Content Creator
Sep 1, 2017
742
Hello :)

Very good configuration !
Be careful with the i7 8700k and your 3090 which can create a "Bottleneck" effect (your graphic card which can be limited in performance compared to your i7)

Glary Utilities I don't recommend it since I've had problems with it and with clients I've repaired too... but I'm quibbling :p

Hey @Shadowra ! You are correct. I'm looking to upgrade my motherboard, and CPU here eventually. However, for now I'm good with my current configuration for what I need. I am eyeing a nice i9 though!

Good to know about Glary Utilities.

Thanks!
~Brian
 

Lightning_Brian

Level 15
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Content Creator
Sep 1, 2017
742
Well folks.... Gotta say goodbye to PassCamp. They are ending their services here soon. Such a shame too. I thought they would catch on more, but not the case. Spread the word folks! I may start a article too. That being said, I'd highly recommend Bitwarden. Lots of folks who I know are making the switch from a number of password managers.

Link to read more:

 

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