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Tags: system-installation   security  
Link: 🔍 See Original Answer on Ask Ubuntu ⧉ 🔗

Title: Is it safe to use a second hand laptop after reinstalling ubuntu on it
ID: /2018/02/05/Is-it-safe-to-use-a-second-hand-laptop-after-reinstalling-ubuntu-on-it
Created: February 5, 2018    Edited:  June 12, 2020
Upload: December 3, 2023    Layout:  post
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Short Answer


Long Answer

YES, but…

A laptop with Ubuntu 14.04 installed by the previous owner is on average safer than one with Windows installed on it. Windows was well known for having “worms”, “viruses” and “Trojans”. These days Windows is better but the historical events are still at the back of most peoples’ minds. This history naturally affects the thinking of many (but not all) new users to Linux / Ubuntu as well. I think it’s important to point out how less likely viruses are.

There are some Linux binary programs that can capture your keystrokes. A previous owner could have such a program installed and another program to transmit your recorded keystrokes to an Internet address. The fact you erased the hard drive and installed Ubuntu 16.04 should have eradicated it.

Thinks to remember:

General points about keyloggers:

In the comment section of your question, myself and others were guilty of hi-jacking your question with talk about BIOS and ROM chip reprogramming. That is extremely unlikely unless you are the owner of a bitcoin exchange that the US Federal Reserve or US Treasury was keen to eradicate. However that would also mean you wouldn’t be buying a used computer in the first place.

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