Question Which Policies Are Safe To Enable & Disable? Group Policy Editor

Jul 29, 2019
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Hello everyone.
I found out recently about the Group Policy Editor on Windows 10 Pro.

I was looking through it and found out that there are a lot of policies that can be enabled and disabled
in order for the user to increase the privacy and security on their computer.

The question is, which policies can I safely enable and disable to gain those privacy/security advantages?
Is there a guide on how to do so?
 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
Hello everyone.
I found out recently about the Group Policy Editor on Windows 10 Pro.

I was looking through it and found out that there are a lot of policies that can be enabled and disabled
in order for the user to increase the privacy and security on their computer.

The question is, which policies can I safely enable and disable to gain those privacy/security advantages?
Is there a guide on how to do so?
I've found that THIS is a useful initial guide.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Make sure you don't mess with things too much and keep backups and notes of what you do, along with a recovery admin account on the system. I have seen people mess with settings and disable a bit too much to the point they can't undo what they did because they locked the system up so much their account has no rights to fix it. Usually policies are setup on corporate or multi-user systems to keep them secure by IT staff, not so much for home systems. For a home system having a standard, non-admin level, account for use and running an antivirus program is plenty. Aside from the obvious things like not replying to funny emails and looking for free movie downloads on shady web sites. Most viruses and stolen information is not due to the computer setup but rather someone just going to the wrong web site and getting their info stolen there, or a company with a million accounts getting hacked. Group policy won't stop you if you fall for a fake account scam and enter your bank info for them.
 
Jul 29, 2019
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Make sure you don't mess with things too much and keep backups and notes of what you do, along with a recovery admin account on the system. I have seen people mess with settings and disable a bit too much to the point they can't undo what they did because they locked the system up so much their account has no rights to fix it. Usually policies are setup on corporate or multi-user systems to keep them secure by IT staff, not so much for home systems. For a home system having a standard, non-admin level, account for use and running an antivirus program is plenty. Aside from the obvious things like not replying to funny emails and looking for free movie downloads on shady web sites. Most viruses and stolen information is not due to the computer setup but rather someone just going to the wrong web site and getting their info stolen there, or a company with a million accounts getting hacked. Group policy won't stop you if you fall for a fake account scam and enter your bank info for them.
Thank you for your advice on this.

Right now, I'm running Windows in a virtual machine and experimenting with the different policies under GPE.

I like the fact how Windows 10 Pro has more security options than Home; the Group Policy Editor and BitEncryption being a couple of examples.

I'm trying to sell computers with Windows 10 to home users; so for privacy and security reasons, Pro is better than Home.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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I'm trying to sell computers with Windows 10 to home users; so for privacy and security reasons, Pro is better than Home.
That is a two edged sword for the unwary.

Yes, more control. But also easy to absolutely screw it up. To the point of not working at all.
Be sure your customers are well apprised of what to do and what not to do.

And be prepared for them to screw it up anyway.
 
Jul 29, 2019
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And the extra cost of a $200 Pro license over $110 Home is a hard sell for a lot of people.
You could buy a Pro key officially from eBay for much cheaper than that.
They're about several bucks or so.

Or I could sell them unlicensed and notify the user has to purchase a license.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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You could buy a Pro key officially from eBay for much cheaper than that.
They're about several bucks or so.
Yeah, good luck with that.
Remind me to never buy a PC from you.

Licensed software costs what it costs. A Pro license from fleabay for "about several bucks " is not the way to conduct business. That is unlikely to be valid.
Seriously.

Would you do the same for 32GB DDR4 RAM, that was supposedly "new", for "about several bucks"?

If you want to get into this business, do it right or don't do it at all.
 
Jul 29, 2019
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Yeah, good luck with that.
Remind me to never buy a PC from you.

Licensed software costs what it costs. A Pro license from fleabay for "about several bucks " is not the way to conduct business. That is unlikely to be valid.
Seriously.

Would you do the same for 32GB DDR4 RAM, that was supposedly "new", for "about several bucks"?

If you want to get into this business, do it right or don't do it at all.
You have to understand, I'm starting out with this business. Selling computers unlicensed for me is NOT going to be a permanent practice. I'll soon have enough money to buy licenses and employ them on each computer I sell.

Also, I don't know why you would call eBay "fleabay," but buying Windows 10 license keys cheap on eBay compared to other sources is a legitimate and valid thing. You can also get RAM, CPUs, and any other type of computer hardware that is in new or used condition. Hardware that actually works and sells for a much better price compared to what Amazon or Newegg would offer.

If I'm wrong on any of this, then please correct me.
It would be helpful to learn how I would conduct things right in this business.
 
Last edited:

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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I understand just starting out.
But that license price is just a pass through to the customer, just like all the other hardware.

Regarding fleabay...
A guy selling a Win 10 Pro license (or RAM/GPU/whatever) that he no longer needs for cheap is one thing. No problem.
A guy selling 1,000 of them...you have to ask...how? Where did they come from? What special channel does this guy have from Microsoft where he can sell them at 80-90% discount?
Answer - He doesn't. Just like the rest of us.

What he DOES have is a pile of licenses that were obtained from Not For Resale avenues. Corporate, edu, MSDN, whatever. Not for resale.
Corporate licenses in particular are widely sold like this. They will initially be fully activated and appear valid. Of course, 180 days from now...after not being able to talk to their corporate license server, they WILL time out. I had exactly this happen with a laptop from Newegg last year. Result, a highly irate customer, me. The reseller on Newegg is on my permanent DoNotBuy list. For anything. Ever.

Or outright money laundering.
If someone were to obtain 500 stolen credit card numbers, how to turn that into actual cash? Not with physical goods...that requires a physical address, shipping, and paper trail.
Digital goods, OTOH, only needs an email address and paypal acct.

If you want to sell PC's on the up and up, lay out the options for your customers, and the actual costs.
Win 10 Pro = $XX, Win 10 Home = $YY, or install it and leave it Unactivated $0, and let the customer sort out his own licensing.
And inform them the options and features of each choice.


Further from fleabay:
GPU, a GTX 960

Would you buy and install this new in box GPU:
https://www.newegg.com/msi-geforce-gtx-960-gtx-960-gaming-4g/p/N82E16814127860
$375


Or this new in box GPU:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/GTX960-4G-GDDR5-128bit-Desktop-Graphics-Card-HDMI-DVI-VGA-Output-Card/184299980631?hash=item2ae9228757:g:KUAAAOSwnmFexi0I&LH_ItemCondition=1000
$55


Save your customer $320 (or in your pocket)
Which one, and why?
 
Jul 29, 2019
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I understand just starting out.
But that license price is just a pass through to the customer, just like all the other hardware.

Regarding fleabay...
A guy selling a Win 10 Pro license (or RAM/GPU/whatever) that he no longer needs for cheap is one thing. No problem.
A guy selling 1,000 of them...you have to ask...how? Where did they come from? What special channel does this guy have from Microsoft where he can sell them at 80-90% discount?
Answer - He doesn't. Just like the rest of us.

What he DOES have is a pile of licenses that were obtained from Not For Resale avenues. Corporate, edu, MSDN, whatever. Not for resale.
Corporate licenses in particular are widely sold like this. They will initially be fully activated and appear valid. Of course, 180 days from now...after not being able to talk to their corporate license server, they WILL time out. I had exactly this happen with a laptop from Newegg last year. Result, a highly irate customer, me. The reseller on Newegg is on my permanent DoNotBuy list. For anything. Ever.

Or outright money laundering.
If someone were to obtain 500 stolen credit card numbers, how to turn that into actual cash? Not with physical goods...that requires a physical address, shipping, and paper trail.
Digital goods, OTOH, only needs an email address and paypal acct.

If you want to sell PC's on the up and up, lay out the options for your customers, and the actual costs.
Win 10 Pro = $XX, Win 10 Home = $YY, or install it and leave it Unactivated $0, and let the customer sort out his own licensing.
And inform them the options and features of each choice.


Further from fleabay:
GPU, a GTX 960

Would you buy and install this new in box GPU:
https://www.newegg.com/msi-geforce-gtx-960-gtx-960-gaming-4g/p/N82E16814127860
$375


Or this new in box GPU:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/GTX960-4G-GDDR5-128bit-Desktop-Graphics-Card-HDMI-DVI-VGA-Output-Card/184299980631?hash=item2ae9228757:g:KUAAAOSwnmFexi0I&LH_ItemCondition=1000
$55


Save your customer $320 (or in your pocket)
Which one, and why?
Oh, I see. So if I were to buy a Windows 10 license on eBay from someone who had a bunch of them, it's most likely that when I buy one, I'll have to reactivate them?

And as for the GPU, the price differences are suspicious; I would buy the MSI one on Newegg, because that price seems close to how an actual 960 would cost. The great deals I see on eBay are not like this with the GPU scenario, it's usually around $20-40 price reductions.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
124,609
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159,940
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Oh, I see. So if I were to buy a Windows 10 license on eBay from someone who had a bunch of them, it's most likely that when I buy one, I'll have to reactivate them?

And as for the GPU, the price differences are suspicious; I would buy the MSI one on Newegg, because that price seems close to how an actual 960 would cost. The great deals I see on eBay are not like this with the GPU scenario, it's usually around $20-40 price reductions.
Not "reactivate". It is that those are bogus licenses.
When that corporate license times out in 180 days, there is no "reactivate". 100% wasted money, and supporting a scammer or criminal.

That GPU price diff is not 'suspicious'. I listed that one because it is an obvious fake. And yet we get people here asking about those all the time.
Just like a Win 10 Pro for $20 is suspicious.
 
Jul 29, 2019
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Not "reactivate". It is that those are bogus licenses.
When that corporate license times out in 180 days, there is no "reactivate". 100% wasted money, and supporting a scammer or criminal.

That GPU price diff is not 'suspicious'. I listed that one because it is an obvious fake. And yet we get people here asking about those all the time.
Just like a Win 10 Pro for $20 is suspicious.
Oh wow, I see. So if I were to purchase a license, it'd be best to go to an official source like Microsoft to purchase one than from eBay.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
124,609
4,079
159,940
19,586
Oh wow, I see. So if I were to purchase a license, it'd be best to go to an official source like Microsoft to purchase one than from eBay.
Exactly.

In my case last year, I bought a refurbished laptop from a reseller on Newegg.
Came with Win 10 Pro, seemingly fully activated.

180 days later...poof, Unactivated. That corporate license needed to check in with its corporate license server at least once every 180 days. Failing that contact, it deactivates itself, no going back.
Obviously, I did not have connection to that server.
Result - One irate purchaser.
Much back and forth with the reseller and Asus and Newegg....Asus finally gave me the original license key the laptop came with...for Win 10 Home.
Whatever the reseller installed for $0 gained them a sale for cheap, but also a bad rep.
If they had just installed the Win 10 Home the thing came with, there would have been no issue.

Licenses from ebay are no different. They can't be both cheap and valid. There is no 80% discount channel from Microsoft.
 
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