For people coming from a different OS...
..It may take some time but you 'll get used to linux.
Don't double click just about anything you see in order to install it.
Don't restart the pc every time you install something.
Don't be surprised if after a month,two or more you where never asked to restart your linux box, nothing is wrong.
If you want to install an app try your distro's package manager, usually it is easier than commands and safer than ..”double click”!
package managers :
apt - debian ubuntu pclinuxos
rpm – fedora mandriva suse
tgz packages – slackware
Package management is critical for deciding the distro you will end up with. http://distrowatch.com/
graphics apps :
gimp, inkscape, scribus, blender
video/sound apps :
exaile, amarok, audacity, sound converter, mplayer , vlc, kino
virtual drives, iso
: acetonISO2 is cooooool!!
If you feel like you wanna burn
something try k3b or brasero.
Install a startup configuration
program (sysv-rc-conf //with apt//) if you want to disable startup services you don't need
and become a bit more secure and fast.
Remember.. even with no firewall or no antivirus linux is pretty safe.
Don't start searching for 15 software firewalls, 35 anti-virus apps, 20 anti-spyware apps to feel safe, you don't need all these.
is all you need about virus scanning, mostly for protecting other's pcs, not yours. windows viruses can't harm a linux pc.
My personal opinion
is that with linux, if you have a hardware firewall and do all the security updates regularly you don't really need a software firewall.
But If you want one to control outbound traffic try firestarter
. Another good tool is nmap
Don't just get psycho about security.. “who is trying to hack me??” , “hackers are watching my every move”, “Someone tried to steal my precious mp3 files” , “worms and horses are running into my home pc” and so on.. Unless you run a server or have sensitive data, you just need basic security and not paranoid security. If home users need paranoid security what kind level of security should servers use??!! What would a hacker/lamer steal from a home pc????? Mp3's? vacation photos?? college videos??? your CV??? ..I think hackers/lamers have more important stuff to do. Just secure these folders with root permissions, use a safe root password and you are done.
You could save sensitive data on a external hard disk or a large capacity usb stick.
You should always have a back-up anyway.
Searching a month trying to find a way to bullet-proof secure a port is more like trouble unless you like security stuff. It is good to know about security issues but home pcs are supposed to be fun and to make our lives easier, saving us time.