Advanced Security oldschool's surfing laptop configuration

Last updated
Jul 11, 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
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 | JShelter | Brave Search | 2 Profiles
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.

Kongo

Level 36
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Feb 25, 2017
2,561
Added Panda Dome free version and VoodooShield. My cheapo i3 8th Gen laptop runs more efficiently so far. We'll see ....

Thanks to @TairikuOkami for the suggestion at his Windows tweaks page.
Don't you think that you could just use VoodooShield as your standalone security product? I mean Panda is known to be pretty ineffective when it comes to detecting malware. Even tho it's pretty light, it will probably not do much more than taking up disk-space.
 

WhiteMouse

Level 5
Verified
Well-known
Apr 19, 2017
240
Don't you think that you could just use VoodooShield as your standalone security product? I mean Panda is known to be pretty ineffective when it comes to detecting malware. Even tho it's pretty light, it will probably not do much more than taking up disk-space.
First time I heard that panda is light, a panda is about 70~120 kg. But I agree, I would just shut off Windows Defender and run VS only.
 
Last edited:

Kongo

Level 36
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Well-known
Feb 25, 2017
2,561
First time I heard that panda is light, a panda is about 70~120 kg. But I agree, I would just shut off Windows Defender and run VS only.
c004f6812da746a01d1af15ab6a2d783_w200.gif
 

Digmor Crusher

Level 24
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Well-known
Jan 27, 2018
1,314
My Panda + VoodooShield setup didn't improve performance much at all, so I reverted to Microsoft Defender.
How did you determine this? I flip back and forth between F Secure Safe, Voodoo Shield. Defender with Configure Defender, Simple Windows Hardening, and sometimes Malwarebytes. I can't see any performance differences in respect to boot time or web pages loading.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 97327

@Digmor Crusher and @oldschool

On which protection level do you set ConfigureDefender on High or Max?

I know Andy warns for MAX level, because it might block old hardware related software updates. On my wife's HP laptop (which came with Windows11), Windows Update itself blocks an HP driver to update (through HP maintenance center), because it says it has a weak signature. Laptop runs fine without that driver, also after receiving two bios updates (AMD problems with Windows11), I have de-installed this HP software because Sophos Scan & Clean classifies this as spyware software. On newer hardware it seems that Windows pushes out all driver updates (which are Windows co-signed), so ConfigureDefender on MAX does not cause any problems.

I like the idea of having a cloud based whitelist with ConfigureDefender on MAX (on my wife's laptop). This allows me to set Hard_Configurator on SWH-like protection (allow EXE, MSI and TMP) with an extra block for all H_C listed sponsors for standard users (with RunDLL32.exe added as extra block). I ran the same setup on her previous Lenovo laptop without problems, so I am curious what your opinion and experience is (in using CD and H_C).

For me since I started using H_C and CD on Windows Home and stopped adding third-party software layers, I never ran into update of software crashing problems anymore (due to third-party layers stopping it). I now can even withhold the temptation to try out F-secure (on my wfe's laptop), which I got for free from my ISP (rebranded as their own), because I really like the problem free MAX protection.
 

oldschool

Level 83
Thread author
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Mar 29, 2018
7,275
On which protection level do you set ConfigureDefender on High or Max?
High+ with ASR rules
... and I only use these as I don't use Office products and use wordpad instead, with custom Exploit Protection settings.
block JS/VBS from launching downloaded executable content
- block execution of potentially obfuscated scripts
- block executable content from email client and webmail
- block process creations originating from PSExe and WMI commands
- use advanced protection from ransomware
- block persistence through WMI event subscription
 

SeriousHoax

Level 48
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Mar 16, 2019
3,711

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