Hey I'm new here, probably won't be too vocal because I'm not much of a computer person, but I do want my time online to be as secure and efficient as possible. I'm hoping y'all might be able to help me with that. I hate both Windows and Mac, but I'm still used to using Windows 7 and similar-age systems, so I have my heart set on Linux Lite 2.6 as shown on the website. It comes with programs I like, has low system requirements, and isn't the newest version. I'm not overly fond of newer things. Likewise, I'm not looking for the newest laptop.
I'd rather not buy anything used, but I don't want warranties, customer support, a touchscreen, or any voice-activated whatnot. A 100GB SSD hard drive would be nice, SSD because I've read they're more durable, but most of my files are just stored on flash drives. An SD slot, at least 2 USB ports, and a disk drive are a must. I'd also love a keyboard in ABC order but I'm not sure those are a thing. Another problem I had with my last laptop, not sure what kind, was the charger port coming loose inside and not working, so I guess I'd prefer a laptop that doesn't have that problem. Hopefully there's something out there that fits these parameters under $500.
Basically want something efficient, user-friendly, secure, lightweight, and durable for occasional video/photo editing, maybe Sims, Zoo Tycoon, and Spore, but otherwise mostly just research and writing. All behind a stone wall of security and privacy programs. I've read that Linux "doesn't need" an antivirus because most malware is designed for Windows and Mac, but you can't ever have too many defenses.
That said, my few other questions: Does Linux really have no NSA backdoor? What good free antivirus/firewall programs work with Linux Lite? I've been using Comodo for Windows, but I'm not sure if it'd be compatible and I'd prefer something less complex. How about browers? Anything free, private, and user-friendly besides the usual Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer? Are unwanted programs any easier to delete from Linux? Not like trying to remove IE from Windows? I hope this all isn't too much to ask. Any help would be greatly appreciated!