When people talk about source code, they are talking about the parts behind the scenes that make software (apps) and operating systems (OS) work. This is the part you do not see but makes the apps/OS you use do the things you ask them to do. Closed source means you can use the apps/OS but you are not privy to the code that makes them work. The two main OS's in the world are closed source. This makes them very difficult to understand what they are doing and when they are doing it. For example reporting data back to the creators of the OS things about your usage. The opposite of closed source is open source. Open source allows you to audit the code of the given apps/OS to ensure it only does what you want it to do. You can see every bit of what your system does when its open source. You can also rest assured that even if you can not read code someone, somewhere, can read code and has audited the app/OS. This has the obvious benefit from a privacy standpoint.
Linux is the shining beacon of hope amidst the masses of closed source operating systems. Linux is the open source answer to a lot of problems when it comes to personal computing privacy. Linux is open source and is audited regularly by the entire world as well as being produced by a large community of people that believe in privacy and security. They donate their time to build this operating system free of charge. Linux is a great starting point into the world of open source and privacy based computing. The best part is it is completely free, and unlike other closed source counterparts, it runs better on old hardware. Dust of that old laptop or desktop, and walk through a tutorial on how to install Linux. Here at [Ctrl]Sync we are partial to Arch Linux based distributions, Manjaro is a great beginner distribution based on Arch Linux. It will be the start of a great journey!
Linux certainly has its learning curve and may be difficult for newcomers at times. Rest assured, it is well worth the effort in the long run. Sometimes, it can seem like a daunting task to take on installing a new operating system. Maybe you are not ready to take this task on alone, we can help with that. Here at [Ctrl]Sync we can give you a consult and point you in the right direction. We can have you send us your hardware to install a fresh copy of Linux, and even transfer your old data for you. Breathe some life back into that old hardware and give a privacy-based operating system a try.