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Linux - Security

Community Veteran
Posts: 8,398
Thanks: 894
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Linux - Security

Have been playing around with Mint 11 for the past few days and am quite impressed with what I have seen so far.
One point which I remain puzzled about is security.........Are you safe to do online banking and other financial transactions using Linux ?
A brief look at the forums seem to suggest there is no need for any sort of firewalls or anti virus software but as a windows user for over 7 years and a Linux user for 2 days I feel a bit unnerved at not using a firewall or anti virus program, so one simple question do you use Linux to do banking and other financial transactions and if so could the bank or other organization refuse to refund any money if your details got compromised ?
Thanks
37 REPLIES
Steve
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,802
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Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: Linux - Security

What your saying Is the same as In windows, Your browsing the web, Nothing different to using windows there, Just make sure you are not a victim of Phising, That's about all I can suggest, Your probably actually safer using online banking and other financial transactions under Linux rather than windows actually although I could be wrong. As for firewall... Not really needed but you could enable gufw just to be on the safe side. Use WOT, It keeps you away from bad websites.
More about WOT here...http://www.mywot.com/
Edit no Antivirus needed.
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Linux - Security

if you use a nat router, that acts as a firewall.  otherwise linux has several you can use.  linux users are as at risk from social engineering as any other users, so should guard against web lures.  linux is pretty much immune to viruses as they cannot propogate through the system.  not so sure about android though.
Steve
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,802
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Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: Linux - Security

Not sure about Android either, I have an Android phone with AVG  Crazy
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Heloman
Grafter
Posts: 519
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Linux - Security

I have no doubt whatsoever that you will be safer doing online banking with Linux than you ever are with Windows.
I have been using Linux (originally Mint but now PCLinuxOS) for online banking and all my financial transactions for six years now. I would never use Windows even though I still do have it installed.
Linux has proved to be far less susceptible to Malware than Windows (or even Mac). No bank would have a leg to stand on (IMHO) if they tried to use that as an excuse.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Linux - Security

Firewall capability is actually built in to the Linux kernel through a command called iptables. There are a number of GUIs available to set it up, but, like artificer said, any decent router these days has a built in firewall which will stop people getting in. You don't need to worry about applications dialling out without your knowledge, because Linux applications don't do that. That's the whole point of open source software. Anyone with the skills can look at the source code to see exactly what the application is doing, so sneaky ones will soon get found out.
I use Linux Mint for online banking, and have no worries doing so. As long as you apply some common sense and don't respond to anything dodgy looking then you'll be fine.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Linux - Security

Well I have been using Linux exclusively for on-line activities for the past 5-6 years and have NEVER had any issues relating to virus/malware traceable to Linux - but I never click on links to banks from emails etc always use my saved bookmarks, or type it in - have managed to get a couple of interesting sites that way!  Cheesy (I was looking for Barclaycard the other day and found some other strange sites)
I used to use a firewall (a pc running smoothwall with 2 nics and all my pc's on the green network) but that got shutdown several years ago, and as I said the only machine I run a firewall on (UFW) is the one that occasionally connects via a 3g dongle - because it gets a live ip address from the dongle.
I have BitDefender AV but only really need it to scan M$ programs - as long as you only install s/w from trusted sources then there should be no issues.
Plus you can laugh at the windows that pop up saying you have a virus in your C: drive - if you still allow pop-up's I don't one of the first tings to get installed in FF is adblock  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 8,398
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Linux - Security

Thanks for the responses.
I Have always been aware of the number of free programs available for windows but am amazed about the amount of stuff available for Linux.
Not sure if I will get very far regarding coding but there seems a vast amount of stuff available that can be accessed without the need to learn code.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Linux - Security

99% of the s/w available doesn't require you to know any coding at all. As long as you can drive a gui (synaptic/software manager) they will install all the s/w with just a few clicks.
I WANT to learn a new programming language but can't seem to get the project off the ground - I find I need a goal to aim for that motivates me to do something  Embarrassed
The s/w that needs to be modified/compiled is more exotic than the normal packages you can just click and install (I think there are over 20K+ programs available in synaptic for you to try & ALL free)
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Linux - Security

And even the stuff for which you would use need a programming language in Windows can be done with a script language.
Have a look at BASH.
Or if you want to program in Python, there are some motivational coding examples at
http://fullcirclemagazine.org/python-special-edition-1/
and
http://fullcirclemagazine.org/python-special-edition-2/

Community Veteran
Posts: 8,398
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Fixes: 9
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Linux - Security

Quote from: Hairy
99% of the s/w available doesn't require you to know any coding at all. As long as you can drive a gui (synaptic/software manager) they will install all the s/w with just a few clicks.
I WANT to learn a new programming language but can't seem to get the project off the ground - I find I need a goal to aim for that motivates me to do something  Embarrassed
The s/w that needs to be modified/compiled is more exotic than the normal packages you can just click and install (I think there are over 20K+ programs available in synaptic for you to try & ALL free)
Suspect I will be the same.
Have been spending some time looking at the coding and if I understand it correctly it may be necessary to use it on the odd occasion to access files that it refuses to let you see ie, although I was logged on with my password it would not allow me to see what was on my second internal hard drive...permission denied.
As you say most of the things the average user would want are fairly easy to find and install so I guess I will be another Linux user, just wish I had looked at it before now.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Linux - Security

It is easy to get temporary or permanent access to any file.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Linux - Security

Quote from: Denzil

. As long as you apply some common sense and don't respond to anything dodgy looking then you'll be fine.


Does this only apply to Linux?  Roll eyes
or would you say that the above statement is also true if you run any version of Windows ?  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Linux - Security

be doubly and trebly cautious with anything to do with windows, shutter.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,466
Thanks: 1,473
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Linux - Security

Been using windows all of my life !... so you can`t frighten me ! ! ! . Grin I get more worried about the window cleaner breaking the glass ! .....
Oh... sorry,, been using Windows since version 3.1 on Floppy disc, and still using it... Using the statement made, seems to have been enough to keep me safe...  Smiley It should work just as well for Linux users too!... Cheesy