Updating this for 2022…

The Basics

The Nerdy Stuff

The Basics

Password Protection

Step one

Use a password manager.

Use something that allows you to securely store randomly generated password. Bitwarden works well.

Step two

Use long passphrases if you need to remember the password.

Use different(Complex, Long, and different from any other password) passwords for every website or service you use.

EFF dicelist

Step three

Always use 2 factor authentication. Google authenticator, Duo, or Authy are the best options, SMS is fine but not the best option due to many cases of targeted identity theft.

Web Browsers



Brave is a newer company, based on Chrome, that is doing some nice things with blocking advertisements.

Browser plugins

Both browser plugin recommendations are provided by the EFF.

HTTPS everywhere does exactly that, it attempts HTTPS on every site you visit.

Privacy Badger blocks tracking and potentially malicious scripts on web pages.


Windows or Linux laptops

I’ve been using the Framework laptop for about 6 months now. It’s a great option for a smaller laptop. Unbeatable optional features and easy to work on and upgrade/repair. After dealing with limited RAM/processors on other laptops.

The Thinkpad T-series laptops have been great at my workplace, Reasonable price to durability.

I’d love to try a system 76 laptop, they have some nice specs and pre-installed linux!


If you are in the google ecosystem try a chromebook. They are cheap with great battery life and you can make them very secure without using antivirus software. I’ve enjoyed the Samsung and ASUS 15" chromebooks. They’re fairly solid.

Mac Laptops

The Macbook Air M2 looks great. They are small, sturdy, and mighty powerful. (Sounds like there might be a heat issue… investigate this for yourself)


The Intel NUC is pretty good for a lower to mid range PC. They are small and fairly powerful. Let me know if you would like to have one built for you, I’ve deployed many dozens of them and they have a very low failure rate.

If you want something that can do more than the NUC, I recommend building a Desktop PC.


Comodo or McAfee Internet Security seem like the way to go. US based companies. Good feature set.

Business Security solution

Carbon Black, Red Canary,


I recommend ProtonVPN or Private Internet Access(PIA); Private internet access even allows relatively anonymous payment.

F-Secure does have a VPN option, good option if you go with the F-Secure Antivirus.


Chromecast over kindle fire. The Fire I had numerous issues with, the remote seemed like a nice idea, but streaming to it was flakey and frequent buffering made me put it in the donate pile. The Chromecast, on-the-other-hand, I’ve recently purchased the second version. And the original I use daily for music and streaming all sorts of video.

The Nerdy Stuff


I really think most people would be able to use linux without an issue. This was not the case 15 years ago, but I think the usability of linux is getting better every day.

If you…

are new to linux… kubuntu is a great way to go. Easy to install, easy to learn, loads of information on the internet.

want a server… Alma, Rocky, or Ubuntu is a great way to go, Long life time for each release and Updates are simple to schedule.

really want to learn linux… roll with Arch Linux.

want the most up to date software… go with a rolling release option.

An fun distribution to try if you are mighty paranoid is QubesOS(“A reasonably secure operating system”). Each “Window” is a virtual machine that keeps the data separate from the other Windows. Qubes requires a powerful laptop/Desktop with a fair bit of memory. It can work on i5/4GB ram. Not well, but it works. Tails and Whonix are also solid security forward options.


Vim is based on an old file editor called vi. It stands for vi iMproved. The basic idea is that you “should” be able to do most editing of a text file with out moving your fingers far from the home row on the keyboard.

e.g. ‘hjkl’ move you around an open text file. (left,down,up,right); ‘i’ allows for inserting text.

More to come…