► Update: 7/13/13 Since there is a alot of info in this thread and might confuse people looking for a good starting solution to protect themselves from being snooped on, i'll make some simple recomendations. ► 1. Linux Mint : The best linux OS for beginers simply because it emulates the windows GUI. IMO it's best to ween off of windows slowly by installing the duel boot option on the installation disk or simply run it off the live disk to try it. Keep you windows OS while you try it. ► 2. Firewall : Normally, Linux dosen't need a firewall but its still best to play it safe so download GUFW which is availible from Linux. ► 3. Anti-Virus: Not needed, in 5 years ive yet to get a virus or malware running Linux. Some users install CLAM AV for windows files. ► 4. Browser: Firefox with Security Extensions Ghostery, HTTP everywhere, BetterPrivacy, No Script, Google Disconnect , ADBlockPlus, User Agent Switcher. this will make you untrackable and leave no traces at websites. ► 5. Search Engines: DuckDuck Go, Startpage and ixQuick.