When you get a brand new comp what are the first things you do to keep it secure running well?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Brosephine, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    I have a new computer (nothing fancy, it's just new and uninfected) which I'm enjoying, and I'd like to keep it that way! I have a pretty good routine of keeping my system up and running, but lack some basic knowledge on what to do initially.
    For example, I've heard It's smart to create an additional admin account that stays locked and encrypted, unused, so if something bad happens to can just refresh from that point on?
    Is that considered doing "back up?" I understand backing up photos or music files but not backing up the very beginning of a computers life.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I use the free version of AOMEI Backupper to backup my computer. With it, and similar backup software you are backing up everything on your computer. This means that not just your own data gets backed up, but also also of your programs and Windows itself.

    This means in case of problems with Windows, a malware infection or hard drive failure, you can restore the backup and have a working computer again.

    Personally, I do absolutely nothing to protect my computers other than installing an antivirus, and installing all Windows Updates. I use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Zemana AntiMalware as secondary scanners to do very occasional malware scans.
     
  3. Windows_Security

    Windows_Security Registered Member

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    Agree, after having installed all programs, create an image backup and burn a recovery CD
     
  4. Umbra

    Umbra Registered Member

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    when i do a clean install , my first tasks are:

    - update and clean Windows
    - harden Windows (dont ask me how to do , its too long to describe, there is plenty of guides on the net)
    - install my "can't live-without" softs (a dozen maximum)
    - backup the system.

    - Install Rollback RX. (At is point no more needs of imaging backup, RX takes over.)
    - then finish my security setup by installing privacy & security softs.
    - install the few more program i used to use.
     
  5. quietman

    quietman Registered Member

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    {... my edit above ...}

    I don't mean to nit-pick roger_m , but that doesn't really count as absolutely nothing :)

    But it is good advice and I would have said the exact same thing !
     
  6. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @quietman Well, you're right, I don't do absolutely nothing. But, what I meant was in terms of protecting my system, I only use an antivirus.
     
  7. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I usually do it this way: install OS, make OS image, update OS, make OS image, install software that I use and configure OS and software. I also keep catalog of changes in case I had to restore an old image.
     
  8. quietman

    quietman Registered Member

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    OK , well that definitely doesn't count as " absolutely nothing " ! :)

    A very good strategy though , a belt-and-braces approach.

    Looking back at the OP , it seems like what is needed is a " middle of the range " set up.
    Somewhere between your system and truly "absolutely nothing" , and probably without too much work , checking , updating etc

    My contribution would be -
    Never use the system as admin , by all means make a second admin user account , with a separate password but always log-in
    with the lowest user privelidges necessary to get things done.

    So many people seem to be using their machines as admin without any idea of the implications
    or if they are aware , they are just very reluctant to change things.

    Maybe it feels like being the owner of a car but never actually driving it ....
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  9. PaleDark

    PaleDark Registered Member

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    New computer?
    This is that I will run before trying anything funny.
    1) Make sure Win Defender + Win Firewall turn on.
    2) Install sandboxie
    3) Install NVT ERP
    4) Install generic apps
    5) Install Shadow Defender/ TimeFreeze.
    6) NVT Whitelist all process and lockdown mode.

    You're good to go.
     
  10. Buddel

    Buddel Registered Member

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    The first thing I do is to get rid of pre-installed junk.
     
  11. Martin_C

    Martin_C Registered Member

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    @Brosephine :

    It's a great question you ask - "what is actually needed to stay secure today."
    As a lot of others has already said in this thread, you don't really need much.

    In my opinion - with a clean installation of Windows 10, then the only things that makes sense to add are a Anti-Exploit tool and a Ad-blocker.
    Everything else are already a natural part of the OS core.

    The Anti-Exploit will help guarding those of your later to be installed programs that do not take advantage of what the OS offers.

    There are several options available - EMET, HitmanPro.Alert and MBAE being your safe choices.

    They are all powerful and excel in different areas, but if you don't want to spend time on configuring then I would recommend HitmanPro.Alert.
    You just install it and enter your license key, and everything are as safe as can be - right out of the box.

    As for an Ad-Blocker - it will make the web tolerable.
    (I'm not against advertising, but it has gone to far and ruins the online experience)

    Here it depends on what browser you will be using.
    When you have chosen your browser, then do a search here on site for ad-blocker and you will find solutions for every available browser.

    Finally make a system image.
    And burn a recovery DVD.

    And that's that.

    After that you can sit back, relax and enjoy your new PC.

    (If you want to be guarded against hardware failures, burglars, fire and so on - the PLEASE do regular backup of personal files also.)
     
  12. quietman

    quietman Registered Member

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    Yes to that Buddel !

    Bloatware is toxic and must be exterminated on sight !

    BTW ... this has all the makings of one of those very long-running threads .
    - ( eg the " Bork Tuesday " thread )

    It has a nicely " open-ended " aspect to it .
     
  13. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    The first thing I do is partition the drive to create an OS partition that is separate from the Data partition and leave space to install additional OSes. For Windows, I usually give the OS partition 64gbs. The data partition is logical. Then I image the system partition and start tweaking the OS which involves both hardening Windows and trimming it by stripping out both bloatware and unneeded and unnecessary services and processes to improve performance. I use Aomei backupper at present and do incremental backups as I further adjust things. Windows is updated, of course, as part of the process and once I have a trimmed down, hardened and up to date system, I install whatever software I'm going to use with it. Once I have the base Windows system where I want it and imaged, I install one or two additional OSes which is usually a Linux Distro and another version of Windows. Then I edit the BCD to have all the OSes on the boot menu and, after everything is imaged, I'm ready to work with it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  14. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    This is a major reason why when I bought a new laptop it was preinstalled with Ubuntu. If I bought a new Windows machine, the first thing I would do would be to back-up all of my files to a separate drive and then make a Macrium image. Then add SpywareBlaster, Avast Free and SUPERAntiSpyware Free, unless you want to add them first.
     
  15. ProTruckDriver

    ProTruckDriver Registered Member

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    +1 :thumb: That's always the first thing I do. :D
     
  16. Infected

    Infected Registered Member

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    Same here. Uninstall bloat and programs that I will not use. Besides that, I fully update my OS, install security software. Then I use AX64 to make a backup.
     
  17. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Oh yeah, I agree with the above as well. Get rid of all the junk or bundles.
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Turn it on to make sure the OS loads. Before doing anything else I use a boot disk to create an Entire Drive image. What to do next is personal. As indicated in the above posts.
     
  19. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    I can share a little recent experience (if it can be of any use)
    Good topic since I can most definitely relate from (last week) after installing a new HDD (non-ssd).

    1TB at (5400RPM) <-Keeping the drive cool instead of a 7200. (I get my CPU hot from Sci-Fi video editing sometimes) I mean HOT!!!

    I pulled it 0ffline after re-activation and since being an automation buff I keep a TON of .reg files at the ready that populate the windows context menu with favorite useful quick launch apps and ready-tweaks (Take Ownership) (Drop To Dos Administrator) etc. at an instant. I also have to have RunMe which is a small useful TAB that docks at the top of your screen and serves as a drop down transparent Menu which saves oodles of time of access to many other important common apps etc. that you use regularly. Dropped in customs like Atomic Alarm Clock (tray Clock with BIG numbers & colors) next Mandotate (3-D Windows Minimizer) and WinFlip (cool and useful 3-D angled active windows scroller. Both these portable (XP) oldies but goodies work to absolute perfection on Windows 8.1 and look very professional too!

    So then after customizing to taste as is always been my lifelong Windows practice it's now on to my very 1st security app which is Shadow Defender! followed by NVT-ERP (ready to establish a clean whitelist). Then comes the various others like Sandboxie, FileChangeAlarm, Tweaking.Com Registry Backup which when everything is installed and ready to go, take a registry backup with this app and also pull a copy of it off the machine for malfunction protection.

    (I can't count the number of times Windows barffed out bad for various reasons, wouldn't boot, having no image on hand but used a LINUX pen drive to (stupid easy) access a paralyzed system (and in parallel) then transfer those copies of REGISTRY files from Tweaking.com RegBackup saved and MANUALLY overwrite the one's on the crippled Windows machine and Wallah!! Back In Business Again!

    Of course this was me many times over before, throwing caution to wind without an image on hand for emergency purposes.

    SO the first thing you'll want to do which is an absolute MUST is image your whole drive and create a backup with your favorite imaging app.

    I could go on and on but you'll get the idea from many other members here that have configured and performed to perfection excellent ways to secure their own respective systems.
     
  20. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    My signature includes that along with my security setup. Yes, I'm promoting sites as well, but you could just click the red link. Heck check it with VirusTotal if you want to, that's part of my suggestions.
     
  21. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    Thanks for your contribution. At this moment I have only one user account. Which is the one I'm using and it's obviously Admin. So I should make a non-admin account for my normal use and leave this admin one I'm on alone? Are there any measures I need to take to ensure the security of the Admin account while it sits?
     
  22. Brosephine

    Brosephine Registered Member

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    Thanks for the help. Currently I use MBAE free edition. Do you think it's sufficient with the configuration is comes with? I'm open to playing with it.
    I also use MB free for malware and Kaspersky (paid) as my primary anti virus.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
  23. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Another often overlooked system recovery handy feature BUILT-IN to Windows 8.0 + 8.1 (sorry I know nothing about 7) is creating your very own CustomRefresh.WIM for anytime you might like (or need) to REFRESH your Windows PC (Not Reset) which restores your personal files and programs and saves them 100% INTACT instead of eliminating all the effort and apps you might have added up to the point of your personal REFRESH.WIM img file.

    Easy details and explainations to making one can be looked at here and exactly the purpose of it instead of RESET which deletes everything user-added and restores all to default from the beginning.

    http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/3610-refresh-windows-8-create-use-custom-recovery-image.html

    Hope it helps.
     
  24. Martin_C

    Martin_C Registered Member

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    You are welcome, Brosephine.

    From a detection point of view, you are covered.

    I would not add anything more, then what you already mention.
    Kaspersky are a very, very intrusive AV, and adding to much will only cause compatibility and stability issues.

    And compatibility and stability are far more important than anything else, in my opinion.

    The difference in detection capabilities among all the vendors are close to nothing.

    The OS can handle detection and protection perfectly fine on its own.
    One do not need to add or change anything in a clean Windows 10 installation in order to stay safe.

    That is why I to your initial question about "what was actually needed to stay secure", answered that only an added Anti-Exploit and an added Ad-Blocker makes sense.

    But if choosing to run a third-party security solution, then the big difference between security solutions are compatibility, usability and stability.

    All the third-party AV vendors will follow their individual philosophy.
    Some will disable some OS features, others will disable something else.
    They will all break or change different things in the process. Some more then others. Some fatal, some just annoying.

    So choosing a vendor you want to use are more a question about, which one causes the least trouble in your unique setup.

    Not a question about added provided protection.

    The less different security solutions you stack on top of each other on your system, the less trouble you will run into.

    If what you have doesn't cause instability currently, then use those.
    Should you start to notice instability in your OS, then start reducing number of installed security.
    There's nothing to gain by adding to what you have.
     
  25. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    With every new PC I or my family buys, I run PC Decrapifier. It works!
     
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