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Windows 7: 3 more things i can do to harden my system?

31 Aug 2014   #1
JohnCoder

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 
3 more things i can do to harden my system?

What are 3 doable things i can do to further harden my Windows 7 Ultimate 64 system? nothing too complicated even though i am a geek of many decades. This is for a personal PC, not a server. I already have a separate Superuser account so I can daily use a regular user account, strong passwords, Avast antivirus for realtime security as well as Windows Firewall on and Malwarebytes for additional scanning. Firefox has addons like DoNotTrack, Better Privacy, Ghostery. My email has Spamassassin. I don't open emails claiming to be from banks etc wanting account info, I do not open attachments that look suspicious (sometimes I have saved attachments to then scan just for fun to see they are indeed malware, then I shred them). I copy+paste usernames/passwords off a usb stick into forms on known financial accounts rather than type to avoid keystroke logging malware if it was on my system.

So, are there a few pretty simple things I could do to further harden my system?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Aug 2014   #2
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

Javascript can access the clipboard, so to use a good Password Manager would be safer than copy+paste.

My favorite Firefox security addon is NoScript. If you do not have it, at least check it out.

Sandboxie is a great protection, especially for browsers.

You could use an anti-exploit software. The easiest ones to use are not free for example Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, and the great free one EMET (Microsoft) might be difficult to configure so it's compatible with all you programs. I don't mind a perhaps difficult configuration as long as the product is free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #3
JohnCoder

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

I will add NoScript to Firefox. I know nothing about Sandboxie, will have to look at that.

I am not a fan of paid subscription software, can be hard to stop a software or service subscription sometimes depending on the vendor, etc.; unless using a disposable credit card. I love free software so I will take a look at EMET and if i can not figure it out I might get a disposable credit card for MB's Anti-Exploit software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Aug 2014   #4
1PW

 
 

Hello JohnCoder:
  1. Backups, backups & backups. Update, update & update.
  2. If not done already, upgrade Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware to the fully enabled premium version. Prevention is always better than cure.
  3. Install, update, and keep current: Brightfort's free SpywareBlaster®.
  4. Populate your system's HOSTS file with http://***********.mvps.org/hosts.htm. Installing the free HostsMan - abelhadigital.com automates this nicely.
  5. Uninstall all current & past versions of Oracle's Java with the free JavaRa - SingularLabs.
  6. If you use Adobe's Flash Player plug-ins/extensions, try to update them the same day they are updated.
Do any three you wish. Then do the other three...

HTH
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #5
JohnCoder

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tookeri View Post
... EMET (Microsoft) might be difficult to configure so it's compatible with all you programs. I don't mind a perhaps difficult configuration as long as the product is free.
Installed!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #6
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

Congrats

I wrote a short description of Sandboxie here: Trying to secure my computer ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #7
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

About EMET I should add that it's when you try to start programs protected by EMET you might experience problems. Usually EMET alerts with a message of which mitigation wasn't compatible with a program. You can then go into Apps in EMET and uncheck that mitigation for the specific program. Then restart the program that crashed to see if it works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #8
JohnCoder

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tookeri View Post
About EMET I should add that it's when you try to start programs protected by EMET you might experience problems. Usually EMET alerts with a message of which mitigation wasn't compatible with a program. You can then go into Apps in EMET and uncheck that mitigation for the specific program. Then restart the program that crashed to see if it works.
Yup, already happened to me; i added Firefox and then i could not get Firefox to run, so I went in an removed Firefox from the apps list in EMET. I guess i need to RTFM lol. But at least it was painless to install EMET and just go with the automagic default install for now, I feel a bit more secure until i read the fine manual on EMET. Never heard of EMET before, thanks for sharing this resource!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #9
JohnCoder

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 1PW View Post
... Uninstall all current & past versions of Oracle's Java ...
. Don't I kind of need Java on my PC for games and other software?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2014   #10
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JohnCoder View Post
i added Firefox and then i could not get Firefox to run, so I went in an removed Firefox from the apps list in EMET. I guess i need to RTFM lol.
Yes obviously, because that way Firefox isn't protected by EMET anymore

I wrote some general advice here regarding the new EMET 5.0 that might help if you run into problems
Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 3 more things i can do to harden my system?




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