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I pulled my hard drive out of my computer and started with a bootable usb version of Ubuntu, which I am using that at this point.

At first boot, I see that there is a Windows folder when browsing network. Since there is no operating system present, besides the usb that I boot from, should there be a Windows network folder?

Original question

First of all I just want to say, I wish I had tried Ubuntu a couple years ago when I first heard about it, but I was like a lot of the population and went with the "easy way" and stuck with Windows because I didn't want to take the time to learn something new. Well, about 3 months ago I realized someone had hacked into my computer, and then found they had hacked my facebook account so I decided I had better do a complete credit check. I found student loans (totalling about 30,000 so far) had recently showed up on my credit report. I think it's going to be a long, long road to recovery now but I'm hoping Ubuntu will be a start and definitely an eye opener. My relationship with Windows is over. I had 3 antivirus programs running, none were protecting me like I thought they were. Turned out a free program that I downloaded was the only one that could detect and clean the virus, but by then it was too late.

Anyhow, my question is, I pulled my hard drive out of my computer and started with a bootable usb version of Ubuntu, which I am using that at this point. At first boot, I see that there is a Windows folder when browsing network. Since there is no operating system present, besides the usb that I boot from, should there be a Windows network folder? I am using a local ISP (and won't be much longer because I am very paranoid at this point) and I want to make sure all is ok before I put my new hard drive in and install Ubuntu.

Any help would be appreciated. Also, I want to thank Ubuntu and the community for giving people an alternative.

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@medigeek I think your edit may have been to severe, while the original question was a little wordy, the edit rewords the question in such a way that it seems unclear. –  TrailRider Jun 23 '12 at 5:16
    
I just edited the tags: askubuntu.com/posts/154853/revisions -- @jorge-castro "butchered" the question.. Now my answer seems weird :) –  medigeek Jun 23 '12 at 5:28
    
lol well guess I should have checked the revision history, but I didn't expect 2 edits to come at nearly the same time. sorry for the criticism. B.T.W. I was thinking the same about my answer. –  TrailRider Jun 23 '12 at 5:38
    
@Cindy if one of us was able to solve your problem, accept one of our answers(click the check mark to turn it green) It will mark the question and help other people. It will also lend you creditability. medigeek's answer is just as valid(and more extensive) than mine, his screenshot is only different because he changed the look of his windows and I left mine at the default, so you need not pick mine if you'd rather use his, for that matter flip a coin. –  TrailRider Jun 23 '12 at 15:30
    
@TrailRider "he changed the look of his windows" > Actually, I use Lubuntu instead of Ubuntu. That's how nautilus looks like in Lubuntu 12.04 / LXDE. I just installed nautilus and use it because it's easier than the default pcmanfm in Lubuntu. Cheers! :) –  medigeek Jun 23 '12 at 20:54
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2 Answers

Are you seeing the Windows Network folder in the Browse Network

enter image description here

If so this is normal, it is the folder where the information goes that allows Ubuntu to connect to an existing Windows network. If your really paranoid, click it and see that it is empty unless you have other computers on a home network then you will see them by their computer names.

Addressing other things you mentioned:

Your ISP has little to nothing to do with any problems you had, you somehow downloaded a file that contained a virus, so you need not change it. Your ISP only connects you to the web, to think that your ISP could be responsible is like blaming the phone company if you dial a number wrong and end up on a sex line.

B.T.W running more than one virus program at one time is highly discouraged, they can conflict with each other and counteract one another.

You do not need to buy a new hard drive. If you are going to install Ubuntu as your only OS you will select the option to Replace Windows during installation the disk will be reformatted effectively wiping all data so any virus present will be destroyed. In any case any Windows viruses can not run on Linux, the file systems are too different.

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+1 on the "You don't need to buy new hardware" remark, I missed that. :) –  medigeek Jun 23 '12 at 5:03
    
Thank you for the screen shot, that's exactly what I wanted to know. Mine looks like that so now I feel comfortable moving forward. I already bought the hard drive, after my experience I am worried about what might already be installed on the other. Thank you for all the information, I really appreciate it. I realize that it's my responsibility to keep my computer secure, but I've just had too many bad experiences with Windows and just feel relieved at this point to at least know there is another option. Thank you again, I appreciate all the information you've given me. –  Cindy Jun 23 '12 at 5:40
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Willing to learn

I didn't want to take the time to learn something new

In my opinion that is one of the 3 things I say that people need to be willing to do in order to use Ubuntu (when coming from a Windows environment): 1. The wish/will to learn something new, 2. to ask a question if they don't know the answer or way to find/fix something and 3. to file a bug report if they see something went wrong with their favourite program in order to make it better. On behalf of the community, welcome aboard, we hope that we can ease your stay!

In order to stay secure

  1. Stick with the official software repositories (Or ask someone before you install any third-party software repositories, may they be Launchpad PPAs -- personal package archives -- or other). For example, install the ubuntu-restricted-extras package before trying out any other third-party repository that provides codecs and whatnot.
  2. Use "https" secure http connections, a firefox addon called HTTPS Everywhere will redirect every website (from its list) to a safer https connection. https encodes and encrypts your connection to the server and people can't see your password or username when you submit it to the server.
  3. Don't trust each email you receive, it might be spam (use your logic for that, no organization will ask for your password or your important data if you didn't ask first -- unless they got hacked that is, which happened recently to a website, Linkedin but for that you can browse the news and see if it's true).
  4. Update regularly -- Update your software regularly through Update manager and/or change the settings in Software sources to download and install the security updates.
  5. Ubuntu releases have an end of life (EoL) -- they are discontinued after a period of time, so no security updates are available after a specific date. If you don't upgrade to a newer release, you'll end up being unsafe. You can see which releases are "Stable" or which have been marked as "End of Life": https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases -- Ubuntu 12.04 will be supported until April 2017.
  6. Change all your passwords since the incident. Use passwords with 7+ characters, dots, stars, slashes, mixed UPPERcase and lowercase letters etc. Make it HARD for them to hack you, don't use your name or 123 as a password.

    Example: You like yoghurt ice cream with 2 cups and you hate donuts and coffee -- 2Yoghurt//donuts+coffee -- That's an example, mix the letters with some numbers in between. Here's a website to help you do that: https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=check+password+strength+online or try http://www.hammerofgod.com/passwordcheck.aspx (shows up years it takes to crack a password by guessing letters) -- don't use your actual future password, use something similar.

"Windows" folder in network

At first boot, I see that there is a Windows folder when browsing network. Since there is no operating system present, besides the usb that I boot from, should there be a Windows network folder?

If I understood correctly you clicked on the Network and you saw a "Windows" folder.

This is what I see when I click on my network: Screenshot showing my laptop network name and a "Windows" folder in nautilus / Lubuntu 12.04

Each computer that is connected to the same network group will show up there. The only one currently is myself (savvas-laptop) and no-one else. The folder "Windows network" is a folder that helps you browse and interconnect with other computers that use Windows. It's not a network computer, it's not an entity.

If you share folders with other people, they will show up under your network name. The program/package samba can be installed from the official repositories and it exists to help you: 1. share folders through the so-called "Samba"/Windows network and 2. when connecting/using network printers.

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"no organization will ask for your password or your important data if you didn't ask first -- unless they got hacked that is" +1 This is the most common way hackers get your info, the emails they send tell you that "your account may be deleted unless you verify" or some other such rot. They make it sound like an emergency and most people just comply... –  TrailRider Jun 23 '12 at 5:30
    
Thank you. Very helpful and appreciated. –  Cindy Jun 23 '12 at 5:50
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