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Is there a way I could protect my pc computer from being hacked in an event where the internet conection will be opened?

Thing is I am going to Campus Party Colombia 2013 and I was sugested to format my computer before going and after the event, Is that really necesary?

I know Unix like systems got a higher level of securty than Windows, however as in campus party there will be people who know a lot about hacking and networking, I'd rather take some considerations.

Is there a way to protect my computer? If not, What about installing another GNU/linux flavor alongside my Ubuntu installation?

I'd apreciate any advice on this.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Gilles, jasonwryan, terdon, Anthon, msw Sep 21 '13 at 12:11

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

If I have physical access to your machine you can consider the machine compromised. Since you tell us that this is a hacker oriented crowd, I'd take the advice. If you were going to a Petty Theft Convention 2013 it would probably be a bad idea to leave your backpack unattended on the floor for much the same reason. – msw Sep 21 '13 at 12:11
@msw, others - shouldn't this be migrated to IT Security instead of closed? – strugee Sep 22 '13 at 1:33
Given that I have high regard for @slm and yet we've come to diametrically opposite conclusions would seem to support the bit that answers are "almost entirely based on opinions". – msw Sep 22 '13 at 2:17
@msw Is there a way in which I could improve this question? I do really need to know an answer to what I am asking, but have not found the words so that it can fit the site's rules. I'd apreciate sugestions – Francisco Sep 22 '13 at 18:20
@Francisco I understand your concern, but I don't know that the question can be framed in a way that doesn't resort to opinion. If I were to ask you "I am going on holiday in London, should I bring an umbrella?" no quantity of facts will provide a definite answer. Since we're now getting into philosophical confirmation theory I'll leave you my practical advice: if you are concerned that your machine will be hacked, assume that it will be and reload it upon your return. – msw Sep 25 '13 at 2:09
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Ubuntu is fully up to the task. You just need to take some time to lock it down. Here is a high level list of some areas that you should spend time both familiarizing yourself and also tending to:

  1. I would highly suggest that you make sure the firewall is configured and running.
  2. Also I would make sure that any unused services such as a web server (Apache) are shutdown prior to going to the even.
  3. Make sure that the system is as up to date as possible (apt-get update followed by apt-get dist-upgrade).

This tutorial should help you with getting the basics done in short order, titled: How to secure an Ubuntu 12.04 LTS server - Part 1 The Basics.

If you want to go beyond the basics there is a more detailed list, titled: Security - Official Ubuntu Documentation, which covers more indepth ways of securing your system and the different software that can help with the task.

Beyond those things I don't see any reason to be overly concerned with taking it to this event.

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