Am I secure

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read this

Am I secure

Postby copperblue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:23 pm

Hi, I'm new to Linux Mint and I'm using Maya and think it's excellent. My one concern is that I'm not using an anti-virus and when using Windows when I have Sandboxie which gives me a huge layer of protection. How much of a risk am I at and what can I do to make myself more secure. I tend to use the internet mainly for streaming films and videos.
copperblue
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:12 pm

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Re: Am I secure

Postby DrHu on Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:32 pm

OK, so that program is a sandbox application

A linux sandbox would be like this
https://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/3 ... th-selinux

Sandbox apps..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbox_( ... r_security)
    Rule-based Execution gives users full control over what processes are started, spawned (by other applications), or allowed to inject code into other apps and have access to the net. It also can control file/registry security (what programs can read and write to the file system/registry). In such an environment, viruses and trojans have fewer opportunities of infecting a computer. The SELinux and Apparmor security frameworks are two such implementations for Linux.
java, flash, and adobe or Ms Silverlight provide a sandbox environment for applications developed within those platforms' control..
--and of course a VM, such as virtualbox is already sandboxing your applications + the OS within the guest machine (guest OS) Linux + Linux (guest) or Linux + windows (guest)
User avatar
DrHu
Level 16
Level 16
 
Posts: 6776
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:20 pm

Re: Am I secure

Postby xenopeek on Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:40 pm

If you don't download and install programs randomly from the Internet, but use the Software Manager, you are not very likely to get a virus: http://www.howtogeek.com/135392/htg-exp ... en-you-do/. However, on the Internet you are still susceptible to web threats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_threat. Even if you use a sandbox! Because you as a human are the least secure thing to use to browse the Internet with :wink: You can be tricked and fooled by social engineering, phishing, spam, and other ways to get your personal information for some malicious use. A virus or other malware isn't always needed for that. If you are very concerned about that, you can look into add-ons for your browser like NoScript, which blocks a lot of web threats.

If you want a virus scanner, install clamtk. That is a free and open source virus scanner, though like all virus scanners for Linux you would use it mostly to catch Windows viruses so you don't pass these on to others through email attachments and such.
User avatar
xenopeek
Level 21
Level 21
 
Posts: 14803
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:58 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Am I secure

Postby copperblue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:00 pm

Thanks for your replies, DrHu and Xenopeek.

I want to get away from Windows in many ways because I'm sick of having to use excessive security measures just to feel safe and because MS Windows is so bloated and devours memory.

I guess what I should have asked is whether I'm just safe to use Mint. While appreciate there is a difference between an Apple Mac and Linux, I know Mac users who will download anything, go to any website and are completely fearless about ever getting their computer infected. While I intend to stick to the repositories and will use NoScript, I'm aware there's a Java exploit (I've disabled Java in Firefox) and that Linux can be vulnerable.
copperblue
Level 1
Level 1
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:12 pm

Re: Am I secure

Postby bb333 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:05 pm

copperblue wrote:Thanks for your replies, DrHu and Xenopeek.

I want to get away from Windows in many ways because I'm sick of having to use excessive security measures just to feel safe and because MS Windows is so bloated and devours memory.

I guess what I should have asked is whether I'm just safe to use Mint. While appreciate there is a difference between an Apple Mac and Linux, I know Mac users who will download anything, go to any website and are completely fearless about ever getting their computer infected. While I intend to stick to the repositories and will use NoScript, I'm aware there's a Java exploit (I've disabled Java in Firefox) and that Linux can be vulnerable.


Yes, you are safe to just run mint, but:

  • stay on top of updates, specifically security
  • keep browsers updated
  • don't blindly run anything from a terminal requiring "sudo" or anything that requires your password (installing random .deb files you don't trust).
  • don't blindly add PPA and/or repos unless you trust them

The fact that you disabled java puts you ahead of most ubuntu users.
bb333
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:50 pm

Re: Am I secure

Postby passerby on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:50 pm

Linux OSes in general are rather safe. As long as you follow bb333's guidelines I doubt you'll have any issues.
Most linux vulnerabilities I've seen in action stem from your browser, so by disabling java in ff and installing noscript you've already done well protecting yourself.
The rest is generally handled by your OS. Those little security updates the mint update icon keeps telling you about are important ;)

copperblue wrote:Thanks for your replies, DrHu and Xenopeek.
While appreciate there is a difference between an Apple Mac and Linux, I know Mac users who will download anything, go to any website and are completely fearless about ever getting their computer infected.


You might want to advise said Mac users. Such misconceptions have left multitudes of users in despair.
Generally safer than Windows, sure, but the "Mac's don't get viruses" mentality is a good way to get yourself infected.
Home PC: Xubuntu 14.04 x64, Nvidia GTX650, i7 3770K, 16GB RAM, Asus Xonar DX
Work PC: Mint 13 x64 XFCE, Nvidia GT620, i5 3470, 8GB RAM
Laptop: System76 Kudu Pro, Xubuntu 14.04 x64

My HTML5 login themes + screenshots
User avatar
passerby
Level 6
Level 6
 
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:29 pm

Re: Am I secure

Postby homerscousin on Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:22 pm

There is also the built in Linux firewall. UFW--Uncomplicated Fire Wall. Pretty sure it is disabled by default in all Mints. I had to sudo ufw enable at a terminal.
i5 3570k, ASRock z77 Extreme 4, 8 Gb Ripjaws 1600, Antec 430w psu, HVR 1600 tv tuner, custom case- marble top, oak face. Carver & DCM Time Window sound system. Mint 14 KDE.
homerscousin
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 541
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 2:43 pm
Location: Somewhere on planet Earth (mostly)

Re: Am I secure

Postby xenopeek on Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:29 pm

homerscousin wrote:There is also the built in Linux firewall. UFW--Uncomplicated Fire Wall. Pretty sure it is disabled by default in all Mints. I had to sudo ufw enable at a terminal.

True. I have some thoughts here on why it isn't enabled by default and what that means for your security: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=103992#p599112.
User avatar
xenopeek
Level 21
Level 21
 
Posts: 14803
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:58 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Am I secure

Postby slipstick on Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:39 pm

I guess if you are worried that someone will plant a keylogger on your machine and steal your password for your bank or credit card, you could always boot with a live CD just for such financial transactions (don't do any other browsing), then reboot to your normal OS for casual web browsing. It is a bit of trouble, but if you only do this for really important (financial) sites, maybe worth the trouble it will save if someone steals your password and hacks your bank or credit card account.
User avatar
slipstick
Level 2
Level 2
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:56 pm

Re: Am I secure

Postby sunewbie on Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:55 am

slipstick wrote:I guess if you are worried that someone will plant a keylogger on your machine and steal your password for your bank or credit card, you could always boot with a live CD just for such financial transactions (don't do any other browsing), then reboot to your normal OS for casual web browsing. It is a bit of trouble, but if you only do this for really important (financial) sites, maybe worth the trouble it will save if someone steals your password and hacks your bank or credit card account.


I use Chromium Incognito window and mostly use virtual keyboard for online transactions :) As soon as you close window everything is wiped off ;)

If you regularly shop, some sites have 'wallet' feature like infibeam and flipkart. You can transfer payment once, which is like an advance payment. Later you can buy anything from that site until you have exhausted your advance. So you are just risking once.

As others have said Linux is in general safer than windows and most do not use anti-virus. Though there are anti-virus available for linux like clem AV, they do not work like they work in windows. You will have to push them to scan. They do not keep sniffing each and everything every moment :)
Linux Beginners Search Engine | more details | Google CSE Page
Acceptance = Relief, Resistance = Stress | Strength become Habit, Habit becomes Weakness
Be not a traitor in your thoughts. Do everything that is necessary in Proper time.
User avatar
sunewbie
Level 5
Level 5
 
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:55 pm
Location: Mumbai, India

Linux Mint is funded by ads and donations.
 

Return to Newbie Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], pensioner77 and 37 guests