Windows Recommendations

Windows has become a more secure operating system with a strong focus on security. New versions of Windows were built with hardware isolation, verified boot, and strong exploit mitigations. Although Windows does contain a lot of telemetry, a lot of it can be disabled in the settings. Do not be paranoid. Microsoft is a trusted company.

Most people should use the newest Windows version (Windows 11) with a Microsoft account and only install apps from the Microsoft Store. For the best security, you should buy a recent Windows Secured-Core PC.

Reading Material: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/microsoft-defender-application-guard/md-app-guard-overview https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/comprehensive-security https://www.microsoft.com/security/blog/2021/06/25/windows-11-enables-security-by-design-from-the-chip-to-the-cloud/ https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/business/windows-11-secured-core-computers

Re
RemovedUserList by RemovedUser, last updated 2022-10-16
  1. Windows 11 icon

    Windows 11 provides a calm and creative space where you can pursue your passions through a fresh experience. From a rejuvenated Start menu to new ways to connect to your favorite people, news, games, and content—Windows 11 is the place to think, express, and create in a natural...

    • ...
    Windows 11 screenshot 1
  2. Microsoft Store icon

    Apps for creativity, productivity, or fun. Award-winning blockbusters to indie productions. Seasons of your favorite sitcoms and episodes of the latest shows. It’s all here and easier to find.

    • ...
    Microsoft Store screenshot 1
  3. Browsers

    Chromium browsers are preferred as they are more secure than other browsers, having strong sandboxing with site isolation as well as modern exploit mitigations. In general, you should use your browser for most online activities including checking your email and reading PDFs.

  4. Microsoft Edge icon

    Microsoft Edge is the only browser recommended for Windows as it is the only browser to natively support hardware isolation. It supports Microsoft Defender Application Guard and has an enhanced security mode which, when enabled, disables JIT and enables several exploit mitigations. Although Edge does have telemetry, most of it can be disabled in the settings. For additional privacy, consider using the Microsoft Edge Secure Network.

    Sources: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/microsoft-defender-application-guard/md-app-guard-overview https://microsoftedge.github.io/edgevr/posts/Introducing-Enhanced-Security-for-Microsoft-Edge/ https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/articles/introducing-microsoft-edge-secure-network/m-p/3367243

    • Web Browser
    • FreeProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • ...
    Microsoft Edge screenshot 1
  5. Office Suite

    Most people should use Microsoft Office as it supports Microsoft Defender Application Guard (MDAG) preventing untrusted files from accessing trusted resources. Those who cannot afford Microsoft Office can use the free online version or the online version of ONLYOFFICE, both of which work inside Microsoft Edge.

  6. Microsoft 365 (Office) icon

    Microsoft 365 (formerly Microsoft Office Suite) is an office suite of applications, servers and services.

    • Office Suite
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • HUAWEI AppGallery
    • Windows Phone
    • iPad
    • ...
    Microsoft 365 (Office) screenshot 1
  7. ONLYOFFICE icon

    ONLYOFFICE is an open-source online collaborative office combining editors for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms. It is compatible with all popular formats and features maximum support for MS Office files.

    • Word Processor
    • Free PersonalOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • Self-Hosted
    • AppImageHub
    • Snapcraft
    • Flathub
    • Software as a Service (SaaS)
    • Flatpak
    • Cloudron
    • ...
    ONLYOFFICE screenshot 1
  8. Security

    It's best to avoid third-party security tools when possible as it increases attack surface and can break the Windows security model (e.g. Veracrypt breaks Trusted Boot). Do not use third-party anti-spying tools like ShutUp10. Use official documentation from Microsoft.

  9. Windows Security icon

    Windows Security (known as Windows Defender Antivirus before Windows 10 May 2020 Update, Windows Defender before Windows 10 Creators Update, or Microsoft Defender Antivirus before Windows 11) is an anti-malware component of Microsoft Windows.

    • Anti-Malware App
    • Free PersonalProprietary
    • Windows
    • Android
    • iPhone
    • Android Tablet
    • iPad
    • ...
    Windows Security screenshot 1
  10. Windows BitLocker icon

    BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure from lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned computers.

    • ...
    Windows BitLocker screenshot 1
  11. Windows Sandbox icon

    a new lightweight desktop environment tailored for safely running applications in isolation.

    • ...
    Windows Sandbox screenshot 1
  12. Hard_Configurator icon

    Hard_Configurator offers a GUI to manage software restriction policies on Windows systems. While the tasks can all be achieved through Regedit this app greatly simplifies the configuration process.

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • ...
    Hard_Configurator screenshot 1
  13. System Tools

    These tools come with Windows. Avoid PC cleanup/tuneup utilities like CCleaner and uninstallers like Revo Uninstaller.

  14. Windows Disk Cleanup icon

    Disk Cleanup is a computer maintenance utility included in Microsoft Windows designed to free up disk space on a computer's hard drive. The utility first searches and analyzes the hard drive for files that are no longer of any use, and then removes the unnecessary files.

    • ...
    Windows Disk Cleanup screenshot 1
  15. Microsoft Hyper-V Server icon

    Microsoft Hyper-V Server is a free product that delivers enterprise-class virtualization for your datacenter and hybrid cloud. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019 provides new and enhanced features that can help you deliver the scale and performance needs of your mission-critical...

    • ...
    sconfig
  16. Other Apps

    You should use the default Microsoft apps when possible and only install additional software when there is no first-party alternative or the app is something you need (Steam, Discord, a VPN, etc.) as installing extra software increases attack surface and gives you more parties to trust.

    All apps listed here are available in the Microsoft Store. Only install what you need.

  17. Bandizip icon

    Bandizip is a powerful archiver which provides an ultrafast processing speed and convenient features. Available free of charge, and its paid editions support a variety of advanced features.

    • ...
    Main screen
  18. Visual Studio Code icon

    Visual Studio Code is a free and extensible code editor for building web, desktop, and mobile applications, using any programming language and framework.

    • Code Editor
    • FreeProprietary
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Chrome OS
    • ...
    Visual Studio Code screenshot 1

Additional Reading Material: https://github.com/beerisgood/Windows11_Hardening https://decentsecurity.com/securing-your-computer/ https://www.thewindowsclub.com/how-to-use-windows-security-on-windows-11

Avoid insecure Sandboxie: https://malwaretips.com/threads/windows-sandbox-vs-edge-application-guard-window-which-is-safer.93405/#post-821946 https://malwaretips.com/threads/windows-sandbox-vs-edge-application-guard-window-which-is-safer.93405/page-2#post-822054 https://malwaretips.com/threads/sandboxie-should-be-avoided-in-2019-and-above.93426/


This list was created by RemovedUser Oct 8, 2022 and was last updated Oct 16, 2022. The list has 13 apps.

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