Advanced Security zkSnark Laptop Security Configuration 2023

Last updated
Aug 14, 2023
How it's used?
For home and private use
Operating system
Windows 11
On-device encryption
BitLocker Device Encryption for Windows
Log-in security
    • Disabled
Security updates
Allow security updates and latest features
Update channels
Allow stable updates only
User Access Control
Always notify
Smart App Control
Off
Network firewall
N/A
About WiFi router
Nokia G-2425G-A
Real-time security
Kaspersky Plus
Firewall security
Microsoft Defender Firewall
About custom security
NA
Periodic malware scanners
ADWCleaner
ESET Online Scanner
Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool
NPE
RogueKiller
Sophos Scan and Clean
Malware sample testing
I do not participate in malware testing
Environment for malware testing
N/A
Browser(s) and extensions
Microsoft Edge

Extensions:
  • Emsisoft Browser Security
  • Bitdefender TrafficLight
  • uBlock Origin
  • Bitwarden
  • Don't F*** With Paste
  • Grammar & Spell Checker — LanguageTool
  • The Marvellous Suspender
Secure DNS
Cloudflare DNS
Quad9 DNS
Desktop VPN
NordVPN
ProtonVPN
VPN on VPS
Password manager
Bitwarden
Keepass (Going to use as a backup)
Aegis 2FA
Maintenance tools
Disk Cleanup
Dell Update
Intel Driver & Support Assistant
Revo Uninstaller
Privazer
WingetUI
File and Photo backup
Google Drive
One Drive
Filen
Cyborg Stealth
System recovery
Dell Recovery
Risk factors
    • Browsing to popular websites
    • Browsing to unknown / untrusted / shady sites
    • Working from home
    • Opening email attachments
    • Buying from online stores, entering banks card details
    • Logging into my bank account
    • Downloading software and files from reputable sites
    • Downloading software and files from unknown / untrusted / shady sites
    • Sharing and receiving files and torrents
Computer specs
Dell 5570 i7 16GB RAM 256GB SSD 2TB HDD
What I'm looking for?

Looking for medium feedback.

harlan4096

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Apr 28, 2015
8,661
Network router Firewall: unknown -> You can get inside Your router and check if enabled.

Recovery backup: Dell Recovery -> Is it only a restore to default original system tool or a full system image backup solution? 🤔

Thanks for sharing :)
 

zkSnark

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Jan 13, 2019
203
Network router Firewall: unknown -> You can get inside Your router and check if enabled.

Recovery backup: Dell Recovery -> Is it only a restore to default original system tool or a full system image backup solution? 🤔

Thanks for sharing :)
Router is locked by my ISP, so I cannot log in to the router.
About Dell Recovery, as per Dell website, I think, but not sure, it's a system image backup.
I use Drive C (SSD) for OS only and Drive D (HDD) for all files and folders and backup important ones from there.
 
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Gandalf_The_Grey

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Apr 24, 2016
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Why so many browsers?
You use a lot of extensions.
IMO you only need Kaspersky Protection and uBlock Origin (and not listed) Bitwarden.
Malwarebytes Browser Guard and Netcraft Extension are not really needed when using Kaspersky and SmartScreen (Edge) or Google Safe Browsing (other browsers)
Don't F*** With Paste, never came across a site where that was needed.
Grammar & Spell Checker — LanguageTool, Edge has now Microsoft Editor:
The Marvellous Suspender, probably not needed when losing some extensions and built-in in Edge and Chrome:
 

zkSnark

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Jan 13, 2019
203
Why so many browsers?
You use a lot of extensions.
IMO you only need Kaspersky Protection and uBlock Origin (and not listed) Bitwarden.
Malwarebytes Browser Guard and Netcraft Extension are not really needed when using Kaspersky and SmartScreen (Edge) or Google Safe Browsing (other browsers)
Don't F*** With Paste, never came across a site where that was needed.
Grammar & Spell Checker — LanguageTool, Edge has now Microsoft Editor:
The Marvellous Suspender, probably not needed when losing some extensions and built-in in Edge and Chrome:
I mainly use Edge and Brave. Others are for occasional use only.
I use Bitwarden extension too and have updated the thread above. About Malwarebytes and Netcraft extensions, they were recommended here by others in different threads, so added them too. On one of my bank's login page, I was unable to insert password using Bitwarden and also paste was disabled. Keepass was working (tested only since I am not using Keepass but only Bitwarden). I found the Don't..... extension (as it is open-source too) and used it for the pwd field.
There was recent news about vulnerabilities using Editor in Edge and Chrome, that's why I have disabled the Editor and installed open-source LanguageTool.
I tested The Marvellous Suspender, and it was working better (lightweight using less resources) than the browser's inbuilt sleeping function.
 

zkSnark

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Jan 13, 2019
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@zkSnark - @Gandalf_The_Grey is pointing you in the right direction. If you have any doubts about extension vulnerabilities, attack surface, etc. check out some of the posts @ Articles Built-in browser features are inherently more secure than extensions.
This was the vulnerability reported for browser editors in Edge and Chrome.
 

oldschool

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This was the vulnerability reported for browser editors in Edge and Chrome.
Good find. Still, vulnerabilities in extensions are far more likely, and more easily abused.
 

CyberTech

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Nov 10, 2017
3,250
Router is locked by my ISP, so I cannot log in to the router.
About Dell Recovery, as per Dell website, I think, but not sure, it's a system image backup.
I use Drive C (SSD) for OS only and Drive D (HDD) for all files and folders and backup important ones from there.
What do you mean by locked? and you can contact them for the router account information as username & password they will give you for sure.
It looks like you are new to the Laptop/PC :) congrats.
 
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zkSnark

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Jan 13, 2019
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What do you mean by locked? and you can contact them for the router account information as username & password they will give you for sure.
It looks like you are new to the Laptop/PC :) congrats.
Thanks. My ISP does not allow logging in to router and have locked it, so they do not provide username and password.
 
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zkSnark

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Jan 13, 2019
203
Removed Netcraft extension. Will test Malwarebytes for few more days.
Removed Malwarebytes and replaced it with Bitdefender TrafficLight. I tested a malware .exe file download. AVG, Avast, Kaspersky and Microsoft Smartscreen allowed it to download. But Avira, Malwarebytes and Bitdefender extensions warned. Out of these 3, I chose Bitdefender becoz though Malwarebytes warned this malware, it was also warning a genuine website based on just TLD (.tech). So between Avira and Bitdefender, Avira was 3 times heavier on browser memory than Bitdefender.
 

zkSnark

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Jan 13, 2019
203
I won the Emsisoft giveaway. So, installed Emsisoft Enterprise Security, replacing Kaspersky Total Security. Added Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool as a periodic scanner. Also replaced Kaspersky browser protection with Emsisoft Browser Security. Let's see how this combination goes :cool:
 

LDogg

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May 4, 2018
2,261
Highly advise setting up at least a basic PW on start-up for your machine or anyone can access your device. Maybe cut down on the number of browsers you use, it's like going through clothes in your wardrobe that you don't wear after 6 months or a year, if it's hardly used, it's taking up space. That's the amount of advice I could give. Also not sure why you need 3 VPN services either, that ones beyond me, the consensus is normally one haha.

I hope the above helps somewhat and some changes are most certainly needed in my opinion.

~LDogg
 

zkSnark

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Jan 13, 2019
203
Highly advise setting up at least a basic PW on start-up for your machine or anyone can access your device. Maybe cut down on the number of browsers you use, it's like going through clothes in your wardrobe that you don't wear after 6 months or a year, if it's hardly used, it's taking up space. That's the amount of advice I could give. Also not sure why you need 3 VPN services either, that ones beyond me, the consensus is normally one haha.

I hope the above helps somewhat and some changes are most certainly needed in my opinion.

~LDogg
I am the only user on my home laptop that's why I don't use password. As for browsers, I use Edge as main and Brave as secondary, others are for testing purposes. Currently, I use VPN set up on a VPS but that has only 1 ip that's why I use Nord for other servers and Proton is the best free one as a backup 🙂
 

LDogg

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I understand that, makes sense. Do you also have anyone else that frequents your place of residence, take your laptop out of the house at all?

Surely you would have sufficient data on the NordVPN package?

~LDogg
 
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zkSnark

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Jan 13, 2019
203
I understand that, makes sense. Do you also have anyone else that frequents your place of residence, take your laptop out of the house at all?

Surely you would have sufficient data on the NordVPN package?

~LDogg
No one touches my laptop except me lol.
Nord has sufficient servers. However, I have a VPS that's why I have installed VPN on it too.
 

LDogg

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No one touches my laptop except me lol.
Nord has sufficient servers. However, I have a VPS that's why I have installed VPN on it too.
1. I hear you, but you never know what could happen further on down the line, if it was a desktop then this risk is mitigated slightly at least, however, if you bring it out of the house the risk of someone else going onto your laptop and making unwanted changes is increased. But this is your choice and I have to respect that.
2. I think I forgot to add more important context to my question, doesn't NordVPN have sufficient data where a 2nd backup VPN wouldn't be needed?

~LDogg
 

zkSnark

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Jan 13, 2019
203
1. I hear you, but you never know what could happen further on down the line, if it was a desktop then this risk is mitigated slightly at least, however, if you bring it out of the house the risk of someone else going onto your laptop and making unwanted changes is increased. But this is your choice and I have to respect that.
2. I think I forgot to add more important context to my question, doesn't NordVPN have sufficient data where a 2nd backup VPN wouldn't be needed?

~LDogg
1. Thanks for the advice.
2. I haven't used Proton for a long time but still has it installed as a backup in case Nord does not work. I bought Nord at a huge discounted price. If cost was not a factor, I would go with Proton or Azire rather than Nord
 

LDogg

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May 4, 2018
2,261
1. No problem!
2. Makes sense and nice one on the Nord discount package, good find on that one.

~LDogg
 
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