Friday, September 20, 2013

Fresh Start

If you're not a techie, or are not interested in computer security, you will find this post very boring.  You've been warned.

I recently purchased a couple of used computers with Windows 7 and Office 2010 already installed.  I should probably have reinstalled everything for safety and privacy reasons, but I was lazy.  The subject of my last post got me thinking, and I've had a couple of glitches.  I think it's time to reinstall.

Every tool I downloaded is 100% free.  I made USB's instead of discs because I don't have a disc burner.

1. Magic Jelly Beans
The free version will get the product keys for Windows and Office.
I downloaded the Darik's Boot and Nuke ISO.  I made it a bootable USB from the ISO using Pen Drive Linux.  I used this to do a secure whipe of the hard drive.  This step is not completely necessary, but is a good practice.
3. Windows 7
I downloaded the proper install ISO from Digital River which is the official source.  I made it a bootable USB using Microsoft's application.
4. Office 2010
Again, I downloaded from Digital river.

Start to finish it took about an hour of my time, because I didn't just stare at the screen while the various process worked.  I am also a techie, so I don't begrudge that time.  After install, I took a couple of steps to keep it safe.

5. TrueCrypt
I set up whole drive encryption.

6. Virtual Box
Virtual machines are useful for a number of reasons.  The reason I'm talking about it now may seem like overkill.  I installed Ubuntu in a virtual machine.  One of the reasons is to use it as my primary browser.

7. NoScript
This lets you selectively decide which sites should be allowed to run scripting.

With out allowing universal scripting, I'm less likely to run malicius code.
Linux is less likely to be vulnerable to malicious code.
Since I'm not saving changes to the machine state, any problem is unlikely to survive between sessions.
The windows install is extremely insulated from attach through the browser.

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