Securing a Used, Refurbished Computer

It’s ironic that trying to ensure there was no potential malware on the device, I missed the obvious “malware,” or alleged “legitimate” tracker.


Windows 11 is way worse than W10

By the way, this machine is working great as a media device connected to my audio/visual system. I’ve loaded my videos and music, connected my K400+ keyboard/trackpad as my TV “remote,” installed my VPN client, set up Librewolf and privacy add-ons, bookmarked the video streaming service I subscribe to, as well as weather radar and webcams in my community and abroad that I like to glance at now and then, and set up Goodvibes, FreeTuxTV, and Hypnotix with all my usual internet stations.

In short, I’ve now replicated everything I used to use Roku apps for, and at higher resolution/fidelity, with a lot less navigation/search frustration or “upsell manipulation,” with more fine-grained control via the keyboard than I had with the clunky Roku remote, and of course with a lot more control over my privacy.

Plus, my streaming service hasn’t yet complained about my VPN usage, and to my surprise, hasn’t required enabling DRM, and I still have everything running through Pi-hole for added privacy protection, too.

So… success!

(I realize I could use Kodi or similar media center software, but I actually think I prefer the familiarity and simplicity of access and control via the file manager and web browser.)


I second that (I just use a vanilla Ubuntu install) but … I think it depends on your (and my) desire and tolerance for messing around and for tinkering. I think the “turn-key” media center software has its place for someone who just wants to install and away they go i.e. with minimal knowledge needed and a few basic GUI settings in order to get going.

Ditto. I tried several lounge-suitable keyboards - trading off size with usability, and meeting the aesthetic requirements of Mrs Wade :wink: - before settling on the K400 series.


…and for someone who is unconcerned about what scripts might be running unseen in the background*. Using a Firefox derivative (or a chromium derivative) with NoScript, uBlockOrigin, Privacy Badger, etc., provides a lot more control to the user.

*However, they could still gain some privacy by using and monitoring Pi-hole, OpenSnitch, etc.

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