Installing Linux on your machine for the very first time and running a few commands is fun. There is just something in the lines of accomplishment when you become a Linux user. With all the excitement about joining the Linux community, it’s easy for the security part to slip your mind.
Admittedly, we have all been there. There is a bit of relief knowing Linux is considerably secure than Windows. That said, you still need to consider additional measures to protect your system from malware that has recently moved from the sidelines to the headlines. Talk is cheap. Show me the cod… solution. Here are the best five tips that’ll help you enhance your Linux security.
5 Security Tips for Linux Users
Install a VPN
VPNs are popular tools with various use cases, but we’ll not offend anyone by saying their main application is privacy and security. These handy solutions protect your system by encrypting your traffic and hiding your actual IP address. Today, most top providers have Linux clients to cater to the needs of Linux users. When choosing a VPN for Linux, consider one with OpenVPN protocol as it is the most common on Linux systems.
User passwords can be cracked, therefore having one doesn’t necessarily mean the data on your machine is secure. This calls for an extra measure, and none works better than encryption. It almost certainly guarantees the security of your data in the event you lose your machine.
The majority of the Linux distros give you the encryption option when doing the installation. Note that you can choose to encrypt specific files or the entire hard disk (full disc encryption) depending on the level of security you want.
The operating system is the pillar of your machine as it dictates virtually everything. This is why you need to ensure it is always up to date. There are several advantages of keeping your system updated, including security. Many Linux flavors have the workload significantly cut down, and all you have to do is make a few clicks.
On Ubuntu, for instance, security updates are automatically installed by default unless you have disabled the option. Also, ensure applications, especially those you use regularly, are also brought up to code to avoid weaknesses like zero-day exploits.
Linux OS features a strong firewall (contained in the iptables) that is crucial in managing network traffic and preventing cyberattacks directed at your machine. The firewall is disabled by default in many cases, so make sure you enable it.
When enabled, the firewall sets up a barrier that blocks the entry of malicious software through common access points. If you’re new to the whole experience, take some time to learn about the configurations before enabling the firewall. It will ultimately help you secure your system.
Use an antivirus software
This is a much debated and borderline measure as Linux users have mixed opinions on its effectiveness. The opponents of this measure argue it’s pointless because the malware that is detected on Linux will likely to be for Windows. Some also believe it’s rare for a Linux system to have malware.
Though both are right to some extent, you can’t discount the risk of cybercriminals trying to get access to your system. It is better to be safe than sorry by leaving everything to chance. Have an antivirus software on the side in the event the improbable happens.