Consider your threat assessment?
You may have a much bigger knowledge of computers, Linux, Internet Security than I.
Let me assume, while it might not be true for OP, or other posters here, that I am advising a bit of newcomer to Privacy, Security.
To me, Privacy is first about keeping Malware off my computer, and out of my way while I use the internet. The second part of Privacy, is stopping “Surveillance Capitalism” from dominating my life.
Security also includes Malware, and perhaps stopping the group that one might also call super Watchers from targeting my life.
Google is a Super Watcher, (would it be fair to call them Super Computer Stalkers?) Actually ISP’s happily do the same thing. As does Face Book. But we are mostly only angry with those who are successful in watching us.
Five Eyes, NSA, governments, (I live in US) Whatever my fears of my own government, I doubt if anyone has the ability to stop them. Not only must they employ lots of very competent Network Engineers, Linux programmers, and I only read a few forums on Security. Once things leave my computer, and what I receive back, is surely filtered, perhaps by someone who knows how to split a Geode to see what is inside. I do not think I can beat NSA. And who am I concerned with contacting anyway? That they would want to stop me?
If one is not into learning to be a bit of geek, and spending a bunch of hours at it. I would not start with Qubes OS. If a poster is sorta a knowledgeable Linux person already, please join Qubes and you can probably help some of us implementing Qubes.
I am a bit perplexed by the use of the term “Compatible” When referencing Qubes, (actually any computer which we want to use Linux on) Security in Qubes is intended for us to be as secure as possible by using FOSS, (Free Software which is peer reviewed). A lot of computer hardware has Firmware, requires the use what is called “blobs” Closed source Software which the company which produces the hardware keeps to themselves. We can not be really sure what the blob might do that we do not know.
In using Qubes, one can use the computer which has “Blobs.” If you choose. The few computers which are totally compliant with Qubes, are older computers which have been modified.
It is the manufacturers of hardware who create non-compliant or partially complaint (for using Qubes) computers. Some one just posted on the Qubes forum about the problem of using a particular Video Card. Which is a recent release of a Video card. Obviously the only driver uses blobs. Some Video Card companies are not forthcoming about providing information about how Linux Hardware Developers might create a FOSS Driver either.
Security (If your opponent is a government or the NSA) is also trouble (for us) by companies, like Intel, which has implemented a means to quietly, covertly, change the basic processor Firmware without our knowing. AMD is not any better. They no intention of stopping what they are doing, just make it harder for others to use their hack. (Intel Management Engine)
If all you are concerned about is your own bank account, and you are not Bill Gates type rich, you do not need to worry about that. If you are a bank Executive, or even loan officer who handles lots of others private information. Don’t take advice from me. but do not work from home,
Of course, if you are thinking of using Qubes. Find a computer to install it on. Just play with it for awhile. Until the terminology of Qubes sticks on you like mud, probably you are only guessing what we are talking about. The flip side of that advice being, Don’t just start using Qubes in a real world application where you have some risk or exposure.
I think Qubes is on laptops because we are aware of the security problems of working only from a home connection, as we can easily be homed in on by an ISP. The only Qubes Approved laptops are based on a modified X-230 work slowly. But you do not have to jump in the deep end to discover what you are willing to do, spend your hours learning how to do. See if you can find an older piece of hardware that you can put an Install of Qubes on for awhile. and Play.
There is a long list of things one should avoid doing to maintain security. On my list is Facebook, never go to sketchy sites. Once I found NBC news was blocked by my Security software, when I asked whey they replied it led to a lot of links which were “Click Bait.” and they are correct. Click Bait makes money, and might lead to ones computer being infested by - Something. Porn is a no go.
Not doing some things at the same time can make a difference. Security is not just about which computer, which piece of software on which OS. It is also about choices one makes.
The WWII Germans wrote had their highest level code to send their most important battle strategies. Since is was rarely used, that was a problem for the Allies to break. However. Any major public speech given by Hitler was sent out to all of his troops in this highest level - in theory, unbreakable code. Allies had the word for word text of Hitlers Major speeches from the radio, and then send out in text in other ways,
Encryption is more likely broken in practice, not in theory.
The number of details like this go on and on. and on.
I am sure a lot of folks here want to say I am writing too much, that is dependent on the knowledge level of the reader, which I do not know.
Feel free to critique this. I will be glad to learn of my lack of knowledge.