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My 2007 dell xps 410 w/windows vista was recently overhauled at my local computer guys store , he cleaned it up etc etc and added Linux Mint for me (which I love)
but I have 2-3 questions.....
1: is it possible to run windows and linux sde by side and if so.... do you recomend this http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/VirtualBox.
1a: All my info(photos/music/word) is currently in windows ,so how would I transfer something from windows to linux ?
(I am far from being a pro at this,but I'm not that green either, so if you could put it in fairly simple terms I'd appreciate it)

2:As for extra security(hardening) would you also recomend http://bastille-linux.sourceforge.net/ or not worry about adding extra security ?

3:Is it possible for spyware/malware/virus to enter via windows and once on my computer..... effect linux?
I run ESET which is very good imo)

I know that's a lot of stuff, but I want to start this right, from the get go.