Windows 10: Connected to internet unattended - safe?

  1.    28 Jan 2017 #1

    Connected to internet unattended - safe?

    I'm running 1607 windows 10 on one of my test machines and am aware of the Internet Off tool, but is there one which stops / blocks all internet activity if there's no activity for say more than 2 minutes?

    Zonealarm used to engage this lock on their products.

    Also, just running Windows Defender without any other third party AV or anti-malware software, is it safe for me to store sensitive un-encrpyted files on my desktop or My Documents folder?

    I assume it's OK unless I grant access permission via remote sessions?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 10,595
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       30 Jan 2017 #2

    First you really didn’t discuss what your network looks like but I will assume you have a reasonable modern router between you and the internet and with its built in processes it provides your first level of protection.

    Please reference this article.

    GRC | NAT - The Security of Network Address Translation

    I would be very surprised if many here on the forum disconnect from the Internet when not using.

    Now to AV. Windows Defender is fine product. I use bought software. Most on the forum likely run two AV’s for that second set of eyes. I would recommend Malwarebytes, others will have a different opinion. You will have real time protect for the trial period and shouldn’t have any co-existence issues with Defender. When the trial runs out you can manually scan every week or two depending on the sites you visit. With the speed of the new product, maybe you go daily.

    Finally is it safe. I guess it depends what you mean safe. Should something enter your network, like Ransomware, from an alternate machine on your network, could it get to your machine, the answer is yes. Some routers allow for network isolation, good for security, lousy for networking and sharing. Of course there are settings in Windows for discovery and sharing which may need to be thought through.

    Also check out other Steve Gibson articles on how to use more than one router to hide behind something that is already hidden.

    Then of course we get back to AV and all the s%$t out there. There is no fool proof product. I’m sure if you scan the AV section of the forum everyone infected had something running and 99.99% entered when they were using Internet, either through a drive by, unsolicited tag along in a download or suspect attachment.

    The only way to safeguard data so that you will always have access is a proven backup and restore routine. If you are worried about identity theft you could look a products like vera crypt and create a container for these files. You still need a Backup and a way to keep your keys safe.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    04 Feb 2017 #3

    Thanks for your reply Caledon.

    I am connected by an up-to-date fibre broadband provided by my service provider. I've not configured it in any way.

    It's usually connected to 3 - 4 devices by ethernet.

    So if I left the connection idling for say 4 hours, I don't really need to worry about potential nasties which can copy sensitive files from my desktop or my documents, do I?

    I guess Microsoft's built-in firewall and Defender will block any unautorised entry attempts?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    05 Feb 2017 #4

    EightK said: View Post
    just running Windows Defender without any other third party AV or anti-malware software
    I had been doing so since 2015 until I installed Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware (which provides real-time protection) a week ago, and I will possibly install Malwarebytes free later.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    05 Feb 2017 #5

    If you want to make sure your routers firewall and PC firewall is working properly use Steve Gibsons Shields Up also at Ideally it shouldn't be able to find your system.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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