How-To Geek - Protect Your Files From Ransomware

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  1. Josey Wales's Avatar
    Posts : 24,761
    Win 10 Pro 19043.962
       #21

    bobkn said:
    I have no intention of playing with it, but I hope that turning off "Controlled Folder Access" will cancel (or at least render inoperative) any other changes that you might have made.

    For me, ransomware protection = backup. I haven't gotten around to obliterating OneDrive yet.
    I am going to do that right now. I tried it about a week ago and it is worse now that it ever was. I get 15Gb for free on Google Drive.
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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,768
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #22

    jimbo45 said:
    ..If you have valuable data like that -- just dynamically update to NAS or Cloud Server once you've taken the pics or whatever.

    ...Malwarebytes and other things like that 100% unnecessary against Ransomware attacks etc --WD with the current Real Time protection on latest versions of W10 Way more than than good enough --even for "Pirate Bay" users etc.
    ...these people aren't after your data ... they just want to panic you into PAYING THEM DOSH...
    It's not a panic scare, it's a real scare. THEY are the ones who have encrypted your data - the dosh is demanded for a key to (if they're feeling generous) decrypt it.

    Controlled Folder Access is part of the WD you praise so highly, is a no-cost option that protects your data from being encrypted and is unobtrusive once set up. And what good is a backup of your data if it was (unbeknown to you) encrypted before you had a chance to back it up?

    I honestly can't think of a good reason NOT to turn on Defender's ransomware protection.
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  3. Wynona's Avatar
    Posts : 28,003
    Windows 10 20H2 Build 19042.928
    Thread Starter
       #23

    Bree said:
    It's not a panic scare, it's a real scare. THEY are the ones who have encrypted your data - the dosh is demanded for a key to (if they're feeling generous) decrypt it.

    Controlled Folder Access is part of the WD you praise so highly, is a no-cost option that protects your data from being encrypted and is unobtrusive once set up. And what good is a backup of your data if it was (unbeknown to you) encrypted before you had a chance to back it up?

    I honestly can't think of a good reason NOT to turn on Defender's ransomware protection.
    Neither can I, Bree, once I understand how it works.

    Secondly, methinks Jimbo's preaching to the choir, since this thread is all about a Microsoft solution.

    BTW, I recently acquired a self-built computer with an Asus MSA78L-M Plus USB 3 motherboard. It was working fine when taken down, but has no side or front panels. Sooooo, I'll have to get a new case for it, but it should make a pretty good server/NAS, whatever. There is a 1 TB SSD and two 1 TB spinners in it, so it should work just fine for backups.

    I have some older cases, but I'm thinking they're not up to snuff for this thing. Going to Asus to see what I have.
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  4. Posts : 26
    Windows 10 Pro
       #24

    I agree with @Bree and @Wynona and use Controlled Folder Access with out any problems. M$'s GUI implementation of ransomware protection is definitely clunky, just like the rest of Windows Defender. You definitely need to allow relevant apps to exclusions. I also customize CFA by adding these folders:

    How-To Geek - Protect Your Files From Ransomware-capture.png

    I also use ConfigureDefender to manage Windows Defender much more easily. This app enables a user to easily harden and manage Windows Defender. You may find more info here GitHub - AndyFul/ConfigureDefender: Utility for configuring Windows 10 built-in Defender antivirus settings.
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  5. Wynona's Avatar
    Posts : 28,003
    Windows 10 20H2 Build 19042.928
    Thread Starter
       #25

    Bertazzone said:
    I agree with @Bree and @Wynona and use Controlled Folder Access with out any problems. M$'s GUI implementation of ransomware protection is definitely clunky, just like the rest of Windows Defender. You definitely need to allow relevant apps to exclusions. I also customize CFA by adding these folders:

    How-To Geek - Protect Your Files From Ransomware-capture.png

    I also use ConfigureDefender to manage Windows Defender much more easily. This app enables a user to easily harden and manage Windows Defender. You may find more info here GitHub - AndyFul/ConfigureDefender: Utility for configuring Windows 10 built-in Defender antivirus settings.
    Good to know, Bert! Thanks.
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  6. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,470
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #26

    This thread has encouraged me to start using WD's Controlled Folder Access. So I'm first studying the procedures in
    Enable or Disable Controlled Folder Access - TenForumsTutorials
    Add Protected Folders to Controlled Folder Access - TenForumsTutorials
    Add or Remove Allowed Apps for Controlled Folder Access - TenForumsTutorials

    About adding 'apps' to the allowed list, there were some aspects that were not mentioned -
    1 Will I face any additional hurdles when trying to add scripts [batch files, vbs, ps] or is adding them just like adding proper applications?
    2 Will the automatic / manual 'allowed' status given to Excel-Access include VBA or is allowing VBA within Excel-Access files a different matter? I have some VBA that makes copies of key files [as an immediate form of backup to protect me from my own mistakes].
    3 How do I 'allow' WinKey+PrntScrn to save files within protected folders or are standard Windows items like that allowed automatically?

    Denis
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  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,768
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #27

    Try3 said:
    1 Will I face any additional hurdles when trying to add scripts [batch files, vbs, ps] or is adding them just like adding proper applications?

    2 Will the automatic / manual 'allowed' status given to Excel-Access include VBA or is allowing VBA within Excel-Access files a different matter? I have some VBA that makes copies of key files [as an immediate form of backup to protect me from my own mistakes].

    No, it should be the app that runs the script (eg Cmd.exe or Excel) that is checked to see if it is allowed, not the scrip itself.

    3 How do I 'allow' WinKey+PrntScrn to save files within protected folders or are standard Windows items like that allowed automatically?

    Normal Windows functions should be allowed automatically, certainly WinKey+PrtScrn works with ransomware protection turned on. I have occasionally found an exception to that rule. At one time I had a problem with chkdsk in 1809, though that is now resolved in 1903/1909.
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  8. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,470
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #28

    Bree - Thanks very much for explaining that. Denis
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  9. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,768
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #29

    Try3 said:
    Bree - Thanks very much for explaining that. Denis
    You're welcome. As I said before, I've had ransomware protection turned on since it was first introduced in version 1803. It was a bit clunky and awkward to configure back then (much improved now). Even so, once configured I found it hardly ever got in the way. I routinely turn it on for all my machines these days.
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 26
    Windows 10 Pro
       #30

    Wynona said:
    Good to know, Bert! Thanks.
    Please be aware that WD some anti-exploit settings, i.e. Attack Surface Reduction rules, allow exclusions but others do not. And a couple of the more restrictive rules may cause issues, depending on other installed software unique to your machine. For example, I use almost no 3rd party softs and have no issues with all rules enabled. So YMMV!
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