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Thinking about setting up a dedicated "secure PC" in my house.. Thoughts?

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Lately I've been thinking that the price of laptop/netbook PCs is cheap enough to warrant a dedicated "secure PC" in my house, and wanted to get some feedback and exchange ideas with others about this concept.

Essentially what i'm thinking is this:

* The purpose of this PC would be to connect to my financial accounts (bank, creditcard, paypal), and to do logins on the servers (and websites) i work on that i have a dangerously high level of access to (ie root access, etc.)
* It would be a PC for which security is the top most priority - with the absolute bare bones software installed on it, always kept fully updated religiously, left OFF most of the time, only connected to the web when needed.
* No plain text passwords stored on it -- but instead a good encrypted password manager.
* Might use full drive encryption so that even if stolen, the data would not be accessible.
* This PC would not be used for general surfing, houseguest use, etc.
In summary, what i'm thinking is splitting off all of the things i do on my main PC that require a sensitive login, and putting those on a separate laptop PC which is used for no other purpose and would thus be much less likely to be vulnerable.

Thoughts?  Anyone else already do this?

One way to do this that would not require a separate laptop, would be to set this up as a virtual machine instead of on a physical device.

I have found some amazing deals with off-lease computers.  Ubuntu, Linux Mint or another easy *nix might be suitable for you for these purposes.   :)

what is "off-lease" ?

When the IT Dept gets rid of computers they either trash the hard drive and throw them away or give them to a recycling computer company to hipe the HD and resell them.  You should look into it.


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