Dear Mr. Rawles,
As always, I thank you for your work and send greetings and blessings to you.
I just switched from using Windows Vista to Ubuntu Linux 10.10 on my Laptop. First, I must say I am delighted at the ease of installation and how everything works immediately. Second, I am delighted that my Windows Vista partition of the hard disk continues to work just as it always had. No loss of data nor of function.
When I began using Linux, I looked into security and learned that there is no firewall immediately installed. It is easy and free to download and install one. I queried security from the "System - Help and Support" option at the top of the screen. It informed me about the gufw package. I clicked the highlighted link and it downloaded and installed it. Next I went to Systems - Administration - Firewall configuration and turned the firewall on.
Next, I tested the integrity of the firewall using the ShieldsUP! program. This was an eye-opener. It is probably even more essential to use with a Windows-based computer. It has options to test your ports, test file sharing, test all common ports, test messenger spam, and to see what your browser headings reveal about you. I am not a computer security expert and I am sure there are those that can provide a more detailed description of steps to take to secure your identity and your computer's integrity, but this seems like a really good start. - Mr. Bennington in Pittsburgh