Advice Request W11 security, privacy and de-bloating

Please provide comments and solutions that are helpful to the author of this topic.

X195

Level 1
Thread author
Aug 31, 2023
14
Hi All,

I'm new to the forum and hoping for some advice on the following.

I'm an been an average windows user for most of my life, I know how to do most basic and some intermediate tasks and configuration, but struggle with understanding how to properly configure windows for best security and privacy and other advanced tasks.

After reading up about how windows is essentially spyware by default, not so long ago I decided to try a dual boot setup with Linuxmint, I spent about a month trying to get to grips with it but found it too overwhelming and quickly fell back to the familar surroundings of windows. Much as I would like to become a permanent linux user, I just don't think I'll ever feel truly comfortable with command line operations or at home as much as I do in windows.

For that reason I've decided to stick with windows (currently using 11). For someone like me who is conscious about privacy and security but is not confident enough in a linux environment, what steps would you recommend?

I currently have malwarebytes (premium), Nord VPN, I use Librewolf browser, and have used o+o shutup, but I know that windows updates often revert privacy setings that are changed back to their defaults.

I have also just installed malwarebytes windows firewall control (originally binisoft), mainly because I'm not very sure about firewall configuration. I've set it to the recommended settings but am getting notifications for everything that wants to connect outbound, and I'm having to research every item to decide whether to allow or block it and in some cases I'm still unsure. I guess these notifications will slow down over time but it's a bit painful at the moment!

I'm mostly concerned with only allowing essential outbound connections for any of the apps that I use regularly, disabling outbound connections for apps that don't need them, and also disabling telemetry and data collection where possible for windows and third party apps (I know it's not possible to completely disable all windows telemetry, but would like to minimize where possible).

I've also seen various guides about how to de-bloat / increase privacy & security on windows but I don't really feel comfortable just blindly following them without fully understanding the reasoning behind them, and am concerned that this may just break stuff and cause me headaches down the road.

Any general advice for an intermediate windows user about where and how and where to focus my efforts, what programs to use, what guides to follow, essential steps etc in this respect would be gratefully appreciated.

Many Thanks,

X195
 

X195

Level 1
Thread author
Aug 31, 2023
14
I think I've linked it to my profile now, however the tag is "unverified" I couldn't see any options to set basic / advanced tag in the menu. Not sure if that matters?

Thanks
 
  • Like
Reactions: vtqhtr413

cartaphilus

Level 5
Mar 17, 2023
202
Hi All,

I'm new to the forum and hoping for some advice on the following.

I'm an been an average windows user for most of my life, I know how to do most basic and some intermediate tasks and configuration, but struggle with understanding how to properly configure windows for best security and privacy and other advanced tasks.

After reading up about how windows is essentially spyware by default, not so long ago I decided to try a dual boot setup with Linuxmint, I spent about a month trying to get to grips with it but found it too overwhelming and quickly fell back to the familar surroundings of windows. Much as I would like to become a permanent linux user, I just don't think I'll ever feel truly comfortable with command line operations or at home as much as I do in windows.

For that reason I've decided to stick with windows (currently using 11). For someone like me who is conscious about privacy and security but is not confident enough in a linux environment, what steps would you recommend?

I currently have malwarebytes (premium), Nord VPN, I use Librewolf browser, and have used o+o shutup, but I know that windows updates often revert privacy setings that are changed back to their defaults.

I have also just installed malwarebytes windows firewall control (originally binisoft), mainly because I'm not very sure about firewall configuration. I've set it to the recommended settings but am getting notifications for everything that wants to connect outbound, and I'm having to research every item to decide whether to allow or block it and in some cases I'm still unsure. I guess these notifications will slow down over time but it's a bit painful at the moment!

I'm mostly concerned with only allowing essential outbound connections for any of the apps that I use regularly, disabling outbound connections for apps that don't need them, and also disabling telemetry and data collection where possible for windows and third party apps (I know it's not possible to completely disable all windows telemetry, but would like to minimize where possible).

I've also seen various guides about how to de-bloat / increase privacy & security on windows but I don't really feel comfortable just blindly following them without fully understanding the reasoning behind them, and am concerned that this may just break stuff and cause me headaches down the road.

Any general advice for an intermediate windows user about where and how and where to focus my efforts, what programs to use, what guides to follow, essential steps etc in this respect would be gratefully appreciated.

Many Thanks,

X195
Just from the beginning to get rid of some of the major spying I would install "O&O Shutup 10" don't let the name scare you (when said aloud) I promise you that there is no "sassy head-nurse-waving-her-finger" hiding behind that executable


Then I would setup the PC to use NextDns and then block whatever Microsoft spying, on the DNS level (see pic).

Those are the two easiest methods and they are non damaging and non BSOD. Best of all they cover like 85% of all telemetry collection. Screenshot_20230831-150838.png

Oh and don't worry 2123 will be the year when people finally transition to Linux since it will finally be easy enough for everyone to use!
 

X195

Level 1
Thread author
Aug 31, 2023
14
Thank you for your reply, I will check out NextDNS. DNS is not something I currently use and don't know much about, do you recommend the free or paid versions? Is it easy to understand and use for the average user? are their other alternatives that are worth considering?

Thanks
 

cartaphilus

Level 5
Mar 17, 2023
202
Thank you for your reply, I will check out NextDNS. DNS is not something I currently use and don't know much about, do you recommend the free or paid versions? Is it easy to understand and use for the average user? are their other alternatives that are worth considering?

Thanks
Start with free it's the same as paid but its limited to few thousand queries a month. See if you like it. See if it makes a difference for you (look at the statistics panel) then make a decision. And yes it's extremely easy to setup and use even caveman could do it.

Screenshot_20230901-094713.png
 

Morro

Level 17
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Jul 8, 2012
842
It is 300.000 queries per month for the free version. Personally I have not reached that In all the time I started using NextDNS, but that is just me. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: X195

About us

  • MalwareTips is a community-driven platform providing the latest information and resources on malware and cyber threats. Our team of experienced professionals and passionate volunteers work to keep the internet safe and secure. We provide accurate, up-to-date information and strive to build a strong and supportive community dedicated to cybersecurity.

User Menu

Follow us

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to know first about the latest cybersecurity incidents and malware threats.

Top