Windows 10 Security: The Paranoid’s Guide
If you’re fanatical about securing Windows 10 and locking it down to the point where the NSA would be impressed, then follow these top ten extreme lockdown tips.
Tip 1 – Let’s begin with the easiest tip, unplug the computer from the Internet. Naturally there are disadvantages to this and you won’t get updates for Windows or programs. However, you certainly won’t get any Internet-borne malware infecting your machine.
Tip 2 – Click the Windows Start button and type privacy into the search box. Open the Privacy Settings link and turn off every option within the eighteen available Privacy sub-categories to the left of the console window.
Tip 3 – When online use a VPN and where possible, also use the Tor browser. Both of these combined will greatly improve your anonymity and improve security by utilising the site blocking and anti-scamming properties of a good VPN such as CyberGhost.
Tip 4 – If you step away from your computer on regular intervals, you need to make sure that no one will be able to get on to it. From the Windows Start button type lock and click the Lock Screen Settings link. In here set a lock so that only you can get back to your desktop once you’ve entered a password.
Tip 5 – Depending on the age of your computer, it’s possible to create a boot password from the BIOS. You need to consult your motherboard manual as to how to accomplish this but you can set a password for being able to boot into your computer (before Windows even starts) and getting into the BIOS itself.
Tip 6 – Consider installing several add-ons to your browser to improve its security and prevent any unwanted data miners or rogue scripts from being executed. Adblock Plus, Blur, No Script and other examples will secure your browsing session. For an extreme route, use the Tor browser.
Tip 7 – Flash and Java are superb entry points for malicious code to infect your computer and for snooping of various personal settings and data. Disabling both Java and Flash will prevent any such backdoors but limit your browsing experience on some sites.
Tip 8 – Encrypting your installed hard drives and any external devices you use is an excellent way of securing your data and locking down Windows 10. Whilst it can be inconvenient, you can be safe in the knowledge that any lost data is virtually unhackable by all but the military supercomputers.
Tip 9 – Normally you’d use a valid email account to log into Windows 10, via an activated Microsoft account. However, consider setting up an alternative account that isn’t linked to you. That way any data sent via Windows 10 to other sources won’t contain any personal data.
Tip 10 – Use a Virtual Machine within Windows 10 to conduct your day to day browsing and online work. The VM could be Windows 10 too or even adopt a more secure environment such as one of the higher-end security versions of Linux. Either way, a VM will be far more secure than Windows 10 on its own.