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How much 3rd party security necessary for Linux?


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#1
howlleo

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I'm thinking of switching to linux, and have heard that it is much more secure than windows.

1. what does that mean?
2. Are there Linux viruses?
3. Will I need a third party firewall?
4. Will my my box still be succeptible to spyware and malware?
5. If yes to any of hte above: where does one get a linux virus scan / spyware remover / firewall?
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#2
Kemasa

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Linux, which comes from Unix, is much better designed and implimented than Windoze and follow the design and principles of real operating systems. I could go on for a long time on this :-).

The first being that you can use the system as a non-admin user, which means that the system is protected from the user and so that limited harm can come from users. While there will always be security issues which allow for breaking into the system, it is much less likely on Linux. There are programs, including from M$, which will not run on Windoze if you are not the admin user, but if you run as the admin user then you can really mess up the system. There are a lot of security issues with Windoze too.

Yes, there are viruses, but in general this is not an issue and I have not had a problem and not heard of anyone who has. You should not read html mail, which is a security issue. Also you should avoid attachments. Since most problem attachments are Windoze executables, this is not an issue with Linux since they won't run.

There is firewall software which comes with most Linux systems. It is best to also have a hardware firewall though.

No problem with spyware or malware.

So, you really don't need a Linux virus scan or spyware remover. The firewall is builtin, but a hardware firewall router is good (for any platform).
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#3
dsenette

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just to put my two cents in.....

the reasons that there aren't a plethera of virii and malware for linux are that...there haven't really been a lot of people using linux at home (though this is rapidly changing) so the companies that make spyware...haven't really had a need to target the system (which will change as users adopt linux and mozilla)...also...alot of virus and malware writers...use linux..since it's easy to code programs within linux...so...alot of times..they feel it as a betrayal to write virri and what not for linux systems...so....for now...linux is safer from these attacks...but not for long...if something has a connection to the internet...someone will write a virus for it..plain and simple

as far as linux's stability and security....it's the same as windows (though.....a little more "available" to set up).....the system is only as secure/stable/usable as you set it up to be... it is true that you can set up a linux box to be darn near impenatrabe...but...it takes a bit of knowledge to do this....but...on the same token...generally out of the box...linux is much more stable than windows....so...

in short...it's all about what you are using the machine for...and how much time you're willing to put into learning and configuring the os...
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#4
Kemasa

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Hmmm, have you looked at the design differences between Windoze and Linux? The stability and security is not the same. It is kind of like saying that a Yugo is going to be as reliable as a Toyota.

Also check out the bug which caused Windoze systems to crash after 47.9 days and how many different versions it affected. Most people never got the machine to stay up that long and even if they did, they did not associate the time with it. Then consider how long many Linux machines have been up for.

There is a base difference with the two operating systems, which affects the security and stability.
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#5
howlleo

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keep duking it out. I'm following. Isn't the UNIX structure supposed to be more secure?
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#6
Kemasa

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What do you mean by "Unix structure"? If you mean the design of the operating system, then yes, it is more secure.

Part of the problem is that Windoze wants to tie everything into the OS, which presents problems when you look at security. Then look at the attitude that M$ has, they think that their customers are idiots, so they make the default settings to be insecure because some people don't know how to change it (VBS scripts automatically running from Outlook for example).

There are a lot of issues. One thing to consider is that M$ has little reason to make a "perfect" product since then people would not upgrade and pay more money. I used to use Windoze as my main machine, even though I used Unix at work. I have had far less problems since switching over and in helping others it is quite clear. Even if more hackers attack Linux, there are many different versions which makes it harder to make a one size fits all product to attack.
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