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I'm kinda new to the privacy/security world and currently I'm using Windows in my machine. I want to start over and install a Linux in my machine and take good steps to protect my privacy. Is there any tutorial out there for setting up your Linux to protect privacy and security? I don't need any military security type, just enough to use on a daily basis to work and navigate in the web. I found some guides on the internet but they were very old, so thanks for any help you guys can provide :)

closed as too broad by techraf, Ulkoma, DKNUCKLES, Gilles 'SO- stop being evil', Serge Ballesta Jul 17 '17 at 15:16

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Security and Privacy are really two separate things and as such, really need you to define what you need/want. Here are some examples:

Privacy/Anonymity: If I want to browse the open internet freely and at will without people logging who I am and what I am doing, I ill do several things.

  1. Have a VPN connection to a VPN provider that does not log data.
  2. Use a browser that has never logged into any of my social media accounts, does not have stored cookies, does not have access to my LastPass, etc.
  3. (Windows) On the operating system level, I use a MAC address changer to switch up My MAC from time to time to help deter OS fingerprinting.
  4. (Windows) Utilize Spybot Anti-beacon
  5. (Linux) machanger -r [interface Name] --> Example: ifconfig eth0 down macchanger -r eth0 ifconfig eth0 up

  6. (Linux) Use Tor Ghost

  7. Other options for more privacy would be to look into TAILS OS, and or WHONIX

Now, as for the security part. This largely depends on what you are securing yourself against. Assuming you're just an average user, Linux is a good choice if you know what you're looking at. Make sure you configure your Linux machine properly. Here are a few steps I always take.

  1. Disable root login within /etc/ssh/ssh_config
  2. Disable Password authentication completely for all users.
  3. Enable Key based authentication. Here is a good tutorial
  4. Disable ICMP requests.
  5. Enable UFW and check IPTable Rules
  6. Verify open ports and make sure there's nothing that's open and not being used. If there is, close those ports.
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If you are concerned about your privacy on the web there is more than the operating system you use. Neither Linux nor Windows will "protect you" against records of your activiy over the internet.

For eg. If you visit Facebook there is a big chance that the FB servers log your IP your are using for access the server.

Otherwise if you want to protect from trojans, backdoors, ransomware or other malware, a linux desktop is better choice. Following the steps on this post:

Hardening Linux desktop machine against people from my household

And you will have a reasonably secure system.

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