Advanced Security oldschool's surfing laptop configuration

Last updated
Jun 2, 2024
How it's used?
For home and private use
Operating system
Windows 11
Other operating system
Windows Pro
On-device encryption
N/A
Log-in security
    • Biometrics (Windows Hello PIN, TouchID, Face, Iris, Fingerprint)
Security updates
Allow security updates
Update channels
Allow stable updates only
User Access Control
Always notify
Smart App Control
On
Network firewall
Enabled
About WiFi router
Provided by ISP
Real-time security
Windows Security | Configured via GPO
Firewall security
Microsoft Defender Firewall
About custom security
MS Defender - Block all unknown executables | ASR rules | Platform & Engine Beta channel updates
Smart App Control
Exploit Protection settings
SRP - basic disallowed setup
Firewall Hardening
RunBySmartscreen
Windows Spy Blocker
Periodic malware scanners
KVRT
Malware sample testing
I do not participate in malware testing
Environment for malware testing
N/A
Browser(s) and extensions
Firefox I µBO | Brave Search
Brave | Brave Search | My settings
Edge | Privacy Badger | Brave Search
Secure DNS
Quad9 DNS
Desktop VPN
None
Password manager
Maintenance tools
Windows built-in
File and Photo backup
Copy/Paste
Subscriptions
    • None
System recovery
Wiindows built-in | Aomei Backupper Pro Lifetime
Risk factors
    • Browsing to popular websites
    • Opening email attachments
    • Buying from online stores, entering banks card details
    • Downloading software and files from reputable sites
    • Streaming audio/video content from trusted sites or paid subscriptions
Computer specs
Lenovo L340 Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-8145U CPU @ 2.10GHz 2.30 GHz 8.00 GB RAM 1TB HDD
Notable changes
22-12-5 Reverted to MS Defender.
23-1-21 Refreshed Windows with SAC in evaluation mode.
23-2-2 Clean Windows installation
23-2-18 SAC user-enabled on
27-2-23 Added Chrome for the lack of 'feature' bloat.
28-2-23 Changed default browser to Chrome
24.2.24 Refreshed Windows and re-enabled Smart App Control
7.5.24 Performed a repair installation via Windows Update. Nice & easy!
What I'm looking for?

Looking for minimum feedback.

Kiss

Level 4
Verified
Well-known
Oct 6, 2021
155
Maybe a better name would be... "The MT Living Legend's Optimized Security Masterpiece."

As a Level 66 MalwareTips Living Legend that we all look up to... we seek your wisdom and guidance.

I don't make a single security move without checking in to see what ole' Oldschool recommends.

So when you are out vacationing the world... some of us are stuck in security decision paralysis.

That is all.
Are you his boyfriend? 👀
 

Thales

Level 15
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Nov 26, 2017
708
Interesting, I’ve been considering running at just default and enabling PUA stuff in the GUI. It’s probably plenty for me, and if it improves performance then what the heck. I do have OSA to cover some extras, and it has zero impact, other than false positives.
With this combo I would do the same.
OSA is amazing even at the default level.

Yeah, default at the moment. Might raise it to high a few days later to try to notice the difference in impact. I think setting cloud level to Highest aka High+ causes the most impact. MS's official documents clearly states that this will impact performance and may increase false positives. But have to say even MS at default is not as light as ESET followed closely by Norton and Kaspersky on my system excluding web page loading speed. MD's caching isn't as good (Probably intentionally due to its high cloud reliance).
Interesting. I have never experienced any system impact with High+
Not even on my old laptop which is not strong.
 

oldschool

Level 82
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Mar 29, 2018
7,176
Updated config to Startpage as default search engine. I've been using it often as my fallback option to Brave Search which gets average results, so I decided to replace it.

Added some real-time protection details. Excellent built-in protection with no usability drawbacks.
 

oldschool

Level 82
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Mar 29, 2018
7,176
I'm now using Brave and Firefox as my primary browsers since Edge is too buggy, e.g. intermittent crashing, stalling on close, etc. I've been using Edge because I like its design and have reported bugs regularly but I won't go back until I know it's fixed. I'm finding the Brave Sidebar feature serves me much like Edge's Favorites flyout, it just takes getting used to it on the left.

Updated config to show µBo with Kees1958 suggested lists in Firefox and Edge. I let the browsers do most of the blocking with some help from NextDNS.
 
Last edited:

Trooper

Level 16
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Aug 28, 2015
775
I'm now using Brave and Firefox as my primary browsers since Edge is too buggy, e.g. intermittent crashing, stalling on close, etc. I've been using Edge because I like its design and have reported bugs regularly but I won't go back until I know it's fixed. I'm finding the Brave Sidebar feature serves me much like Edge's Favorites flyout, it just takes getting used to it on the left.

Updated config to show µBo with Kees1958 suggested lists in Firefox and Edge. I let the browsers do most of the blocking with some help from NextDNS.

That's cool. I have not had any issues with Edge myself.
 

Sorrento

Level 9
Verified
Well-known
Dec 7, 2021
402
Updated config to Startpage as default search engine. I've been using it often as my fallback option to Brave Search which gets average results, so I decided to replace it.

Added some real-time protection details. Excellent built-in protection with no usability drawbacks.
When I've used StartPage on a few occasions it reacts like Google Search when using a VPN & feels I'm a robot or similar. I'm pretty sure I'm not though?
 

Kongo

Level 36
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Feb 25, 2017
2,526
I'm now using Brave and Firefox as my primary browsers since Edge is too buggy, e.g. intermittent crashing, stalling on close, etc. I've been using Edge because I like its design and have reported bugs regularly but I won't go back until I know it's fixed. I'm finding the Brave Sidebar feature serves me much like Edge's Favorites flyout, it just takes getting used to it on the left.

Updated config to show µBo with Kees1958 suggested lists in Firefox and Edge. I let the browsers do most of the blocking with some help from NextDNS.
So you are using Quad9 syste-wide and NextDNS in your browsers?
 

oldschool

Level 82
Thread author
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Mar 29, 2018
7,176
I'm liking Brave again and I'm finding the sidebar feature really useful, much better than on initial use. It's good to be enjoying the built-in goodness again. Highly recommend it if you haven't tried it yet. (y)(y)
 

brambedkar59

Level 30
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,901
I'm liking Brave again and I'm finding the sidebar feature really useful, much better than on initial use. It's good to be enjoying the built-in goodness again. Highly recommend it if you haven't tried it yet. (y)(y)
Haven't used Brave for a while on desktop, might give it another shot. On Android it's still my default browser since 2020.
 

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