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Fresh Install - Now What?

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Fresh Install - Now What?

Unread postby Jeremy_C » September 14th, 2016, 9:23 pm

I just posted this over on B/C but I wanted to post it here as well because some of you are a little more focused on security than the average user.

Any thoughts or advice are appreciated... :)

Well, it's not actually installed yet - Few hours away...

I have Linux Mint 17.3 (MATE) on a USB and ready to go. Just finishing up some stuff before I pave over XP with Mint. I went with 17.3 (for stability) simply because there are so many things I don't know or I'm not familiar with yet. I figure most of the necessary updates have been applied and most of the bugs should be well known by now. That should make the transition just a little smoother for now.

I've been doing some research for about 24 hours and between a combination of blogs and YouTube I've come up with a list of things I should probably do right after a fresh Linux install. Some of these things may not apply to all distros, but many should.

So here's the combined and edited list I've come up with. I'm hoping you guys and gals could give me some input on your process of stepping things up after a new install, and also the order in which you do those things.
  • UPDATE THE SYSTEM
  • TURN ON THE FIREWALL
  • REMOVE MONO AND ORCA (???)
  • INSTALL UBUNTU-RESTRICTED-EXTRAS
  • INSTALL MISSING DRIVERS
  • SELECT AN UPDATE POLICY AND APPLY ALL AVAILABLE UPDATES
  • DECREASE THE SWAP USE (IMPORTANT)
  • DISABLE HIBERNATION (SUSPEND-TO-DISK)
  • DISABLE SCREEN SAVER IS CONFIGURED CORRECTLY
  • FIX BRIGHTNESS ISSUE [FOR INTEL GRAPHICS]
  • POST-INSTALL CLEANUP
  • SOLVE SOME KNOWN BUGS - RESEARCH THE LIST FOR YOUR DISTRO
  • SPEED UP YOUR MATE
  • OPTIMIZE YOUR SOLID STATE DRIVE (SSD)
  • OPTIMIZE FIREFOX
  • CREATE MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS: PREVENT OTHER USERS FROM ACCESSING THE FILES IN YOUR ACCOUNT
  • INSTALL RAR AND OTHER ARCHIVING UTILITIES
  • INSTALL MORE BROWSERS
  • INSTALL MULTIMEDIA CODECS
  • INSTALL CONKY
  • INSTALL A CLIPBOARD MANAGER
  • INSTALL HARDINFO - SYSTEM INFORMATION TOOL
Any of these things redundant or even useless?

Am I missing anything important (besides finally installing the darn OS)?

Appreciate any advice or input on this.
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Re: Fresh Install - Now What?

Unread postby Gary R » September 15th, 2016, 10:10 am

If you're going to use Firefox as your browser (Firefox comes as standard with Mint), I would recommend you "tie it down" a little.

Linux is generally not targeted much, however like all OSs the browser is the easiest entry point for infection, so should be "tied down" to make it more secure.

The following are a list of some of the add-ons I generally install to secure things a bit ....

NoScript ... https://addons.mozilla.org/en-gb/firefo ... /noscript/
HTTPS Everywhere ... https://addons.mozilla.org/en-gb/firefo ... re/?src=ss
uBlock Origin ... https://addons.mozilla.org/en-gb/firefo ... in/?src=ss
TrafficLight ... https://addons.mozilla.org/en-gb/firefo ... ht/?src=ss

On a different matter altogether, while we're talking about FF ad-ons, you might find this one helpful with your studies here ...

MalwareSearch ... https://addons.mozilla.org/en-gb/firefo ... ch/?src=ss

... ignore the fact that it says it's for use with HijackThis, it is in fact useful for helping you research any type of scanner log.
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Re: Fresh Install - Now What?

Unread postby Jeremy_C » September 15th, 2016, 3:38 pm

You left off AdBlock... Oversight or should I not use that anymore?

This Malware plug-in looks pretty neat. I did a left click with it and there seems to be a boat-load of options for research. Very awesome!

Mint is only running from a USB at the moment. If I go ahead and do the full install (on the fence about that right now cause it's much slower and less responsive than I anticipated) then I will certainly batten down the hatches on Firefox.

Thanks much for the links!
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Re: Fresh Install - Now What?

Unread postby Gary R » September 15th, 2016, 5:06 pm

uBlock Origin does the same job as AdBlock, and uses fewer resources to do it.

It also blocks all ads by default whereas the default setting for AdBlock allows "approved" ads through and if you don't want to see them you have to select the option to block them.
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Re: Fresh Install - Now What?

Unread postby Jeremy_C » September 15th, 2016, 6:05 pm

Gary R wrote:uBlock Origin does the same job as AdBlock, and uses fewer resources to do it.

Why, yes... Yes it does.

I only gave the other items (besides the Malware plug-in) a cursory glance. But now I (embarrassingly) just did some searching and reading about each of them. And, wow, that has go to be the most secure browser list I have ever seen. :cheers:
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Re: Fresh Install - Now What?

Unread postby Gary R » September 15th, 2016, 6:29 pm

Well there are other things you can do to tighten things up further, but the 4 add-ons I've named will give you a pretty good level of security whilst still retaining a pretty good level of accessible functionality in Firefox.
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