Advanced Plus Security Mycenius PC Configuration 2024

Last updated
Jan 22, 2024
How it's used?
For home and private use
Operating system
Windows 11
On-device encryption
N/A
Log-in security
    • Biometrics (Windows Hello PIN, TouchID, Face, Iris, Fingerprint)
    • Basic account password (insecure)
Security updates
Allow security updates
Update channels
Allow stable updates only
User Access Control
Always notify
Smart App Control
Off
Network firewall
Enabled
About WiFi router
Router (Modem) for WAN:
Draytek Vigor2120 (with latest firmware)
LAN WiFi:
UniFi UCK-G2-Plus & Hub-USW-Flex
2 x AP-U6L
1 x AP-FlexHD
(all with latest firmware)
Real-time security
Trend Micro Maximum Security Platinum Suite
Firewall security
Other - Internet Security (3rd-party)
About custom security
N/A
Periodic malware scanners
CC Cleaner (not used recently)
Spybot Search & Destroy (not used recently)
Malwarebytes (recently adopted)
Malware sample testing
I do not participate in malware testing
Environment for malware testing
N/A
Browser(s) and extensions
Primary Browser
Brave (with 1Password Password Manager, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, iCloud Bookmark Sync, ColorPick Eyedropper, Google Translate)
Primary Alternates for Privacy
Tor Browser (Bitwarden Password Manager, NoScript)
Firefox Private Browsing (Bitwarden Password Manager, Trend Micro Toolbar, AdBlock, Firefox Relay, iCloud Bookmarks)
Secondary Browsers
Mozilla Firefox (1Password Password Manager, AdBlock, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials) - mostly just used for testing websites & blog design & layout updates
DuckDuckGo (no extensions) - currently trialling
Installed But Undesired Browsers
Google Chrome (with Trend Micro Toolbar, DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, Cookie Inspector, ColorPick Eyedropper) - purely for use of partner
Microsoft Edge (Bitwarden Password Manager, Trend Micro Security) - never normally used
Secure DNS
Not Specifically (do override ISP default settings to use Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 with secondary of Google Public 8.8.8.8)
Desktop VPN
ProtonVPN (rarely used as only just transitioning to using it)
Password manager
1Password
Bitwarden (have been trialling as alternate to 1Password)
Maintenance tools
CC Cleaner (used to use regularly, but not recently)
Spybot Search & Destroy (used to use regularly, but not recently)
Microsoft SyncToy File Copier
File and Photo backup
Some are on iCloud (50% photos & 20% files), some on NAS's with RAID (100% Music & Media, 70% Files), balance on PC Drives (50% Photos, 10% Files).
  • Music & Media sync between 2 different NAS and are occasionally backed up to external HDD (e.g. so can be held offsite).
  • PC based Photos & Files, and some NAS Files are manually backed up periodically to external HDD.
  • Manual back ups to external HDD or copying/syncing of files is done with SyncToy 2.1
  • Also use the basic OneDrive and DropBox for minor files where privacy and security less of a requirement. Use Google Drive solely to do one-off file sharing externally, etc.
  • Just starting to use Proton Drive account for backing up less sensitive but important data to reduce data needing manual back up, and looking to reduce reliance on iCloud for more sensitive material (important files, personal photos, etc).
    • Still feel need to always have occasional local backups of cloud data onto external drives, even with the likes of Proton Drive & iCloud as well as OneDrive, Google Drive, Drop Box - don't plan to rely entirely on these. Always work on trying to have 3 copies of everything with at least 1 offsite in some form (whether in cloud or on an external drive physically somewhere else) and 2 distinct copies locally.
System recovery
Just Upgraded to Win 11 so need to create new recovery USB Drive.
Usually happy to just nuke and rebuild clean from scratch if major issue and all user data is reasonably recently backed up.
Risk factors
    • Browsing to popular websites
    • Browsing the Internet without an ad-blocker
    • 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
    • Sharing and receiving files and torrents
    • Gaming
    • Gaming with third-party mods
    • Streaming audio/video content from trusted sites or paid subscriptions
Computer specs
Notable changes
Tweaked some settings (e.g. UAC) & Removed some Browsers
What I'm looking for?

Looking for medium feedback.

Mycenius

Level 1
Thread author
Jan 20, 2024
14
Here is my main PC config (mounted in a classic black SilverStone Temjin TJ06 case) as of when I upgraded from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 11 Pro. This is a custom/bespoke build that I have upgraded partially or fully (incl. original build) 5 times since ~2006. Note I run an Apple MacBook Pro Laptop, an iPhone & an iPad Air in addition to my Microsoft Windows Desktop PC.

Appreciate any insights or experience as I'm looking to streamline it a bit - potentially drop Trend Micro and rely on tweaked Defender via ConfigureDefender plus perhaps Malwarebytes? Looking to cull some of the browsers currently installed (some are solely to validate my hobby websites/blogs display correctly after a theme or design update), especially keen to get rid of Chrome ASAP :p . Always looking for advice on streamlining Windows and shutting down or removing unnecessary bloatware and similar...
 
Last edited:

harlan4096

Moderator
Verified
Staff Member
Malware Hunter
Well-known
Apr 28, 2015
8,661
I would set up UAC to Always Notify.

I thought SpyBot Search & Destroy tool was already dead 🤔 but it seems still alive and compatible even with W11. I see the Free version very limited.

So many browsers...

Thanks for sharing :)
 

Mycenius

Level 1
Thread author
Jan 20, 2024
14
If you want to streamline a bit…
Use 2–3 browsers with your essential extensions

Yeah, as mentioned I do a bit of web design so often have these installed solely to test template updates and such. If I am not doing anything for a while I often uninstall them. Unfortunately you can't uninstall the one you least want! ;)

Pick 1-2 malware scanners: I use Norton Power Eraser.

What do you consider especially good about NPE @Back3? I haven't come across it previously. Been mainly a Trend Micro user last 15 years - they were always rated highly for a long time. Although I heard sometime ago Microsoft had supposedly acquired them (i.e. TM, along with Opera Browser) so had been expecting potential degradation (of both).

Back when I ran a large (for NZ) organisation's IT operations in the 2000's to early 2010's Norton's products became pretty rubbish for a while so have always steered clear for a long time. But I've seen a few people in recent times comment about how they are reportedly back up there as one of the best, and I've been a bit out of touch on the latest news last 3 years or so...

And simplify your files and photos backups to make sure your Mac, your PC, your iPad, and your iPhone can talk to each other.

Yeah that's a long term project - won't go into all the reasons why it's the way it is. e.g. My main NAS is currently 12TB in RAID5 config (technically 4 x 3TB but 2 are actually 4TB as I'm half way through swapping out dives for larger ones to increase space to provide more capacity to reorganise).

And absolutely definitely aiming towards what you are saying... do want to make the cross device cross platform thing as seamless as possible.

I try and not put anything sensitive (i.e. personal, financial, etc, or photos of me, family, etc), on cloud drives at present (like iCloud) until I'm really confident about drive encryption and there's no chance of anyone realistically accessing them, etc (some files will always rely on local backup to external drive(s)), but hopefully Proton Drive will measure up and I can reduce what I keep to relying on regular local backups.

(as an ex-IT guy I've experienced enough to always keep the occasional/sporadic local copy back-up as a long term archive - as you never know what can happen with your regular day to day backups and DR processes)! :eek: ;)
 

Mycenius

Level 1
Thread author
Jan 20, 2024
14
I would set up UAC to Always Notify.

I've just made that change @harlan4096 😁

And updated some minor stuff. Also added in modem/router (Draytek) & WiFi (UniFi) info.

Use 2–3 browsers with your essential extensions

Made a start @Back3 - have removed Opera for now, and will access Gmail in Brave going forward (unfortunately can't completely uninstall Chrome as my fiancée insists on using it in her profile - will have to do some hard talking to move her to Brave)! 😉

Is it just me or is Chrome the most awful browser these days - can't believe how bloated and slow it is to load given how good it used to be, before Big Brother Google insisted on looking over your shoulder even more than they were... from first to arguably last? Reminiscent of the I.E./Netscape wars in some respects... (going from hero to zero).
 

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