As one of the most popular operating systems, Linux has won a lot of people over thanks to its supposedly advanced security. The creators of Linux claim that this operating system cannot be infected by the variety of malware that easily affects Windows computers. Now, we’re not saying that Linux is completely off when it comes to security, but some of the common claims about it need to be further elaborated.[toc]
For that purpose, we are going to discuss the common myths and beliefs about Linux security. We will also elaborate on why these statements can be misguiding. The truth is, Linux is not as immune as some people believe it to be. Therefore, to help you protect your data and privacy, we are going to discuss how secure this operating system is, and how you can avoid Linux security threats by using a VPN.
Common Myths About Linux Security
While some claim that Linux-based operating systems are completely secure, this is very far from the truth. Let’s start with the fact that Linux is supposedly virus-free. In today’s world where cyber threats are continually evolving, there is no such thing as a virus-free operating system. It’s true that far more malicious software target Windows, but that doesn’t mean any of them targets Linux.
Not only does Linux malware exist, but there are also other security threats that can sneak into your system. For example, even the safest operating system wouldn’t protect you from phishing emails and malicious websites online. Thus, you could still be affected by a cyber attack through shady sites and emails.
Many people believe that hackers don’t care about Linux because of its low market share. But it’s not exactly true. Even though Linux doesn’t perform best in the desktop landscape, it owns a majority of server and mobile market share. Therefore, there’s no reason why hackers wouldn’t be interested in exploiting this. Unfortunately, this creates many security threats for Linux users.
Moreover, in the past, we used to believe that Windows malware couldn’t affect Linux-based operating systems. However, thanks to recent technological advances, hackers found a way to build cross-platform frameworks that can affect both Windows and Linux. While attacks on Linux are rarer than attacks on Windows, it doesn’t mean Linux is never affected by cybercriminals.
How to Avoid Linux Security Threats
As a Linux user, you should be aware of the kinds of security threats you are facing to effectively protect your data and device. The majority of Linux community members are already familiar with the most common Linux security threats. A great example is the CrossRat, Linux surveillance malware created by the Lebanese Dark Caracal hacking group.
Another example of Linux malware is GoScanHSS. This malware scans SHH servers for vulnerable devices that can be further exploited. Other similar threats include the RubyMiner cryptocurrency miner and the Hand of Thief Trojan that can steal data from your site.
Unfortunately, many Linux users tend to neglect these vulnerabilities. Why? Simply because of the common belief that Linux is “virus-free.” Therefore, your first step towards securing your Linux-based device is becoming aware of these threats. To avoid them, stay away from shady websites and don’t submit your personal information to sites that don’t look official.
Also, make sure all your passwords are strong enough and try to change them every two weeks or so. It is also important not to use the “remember my password” feature on Google Chrome or other search engines as hackers can access this data and get their hands on your passwords and usernames. To avoid phishing attacks, don’t click on any email links unless you are 100% familiar with the source of the link.
For mobile and desktop security, use a Linux VPN or a virtual private network to ensure all your online activity goes through a virtual encrypted tunnel. Using a Linux VPN will hide your IP address and passwords from third parties, making you invisible to hackers. Besides strong anti-virus software, using a Linux VPN is one of the best ways to ensure privacy and security on any mobile or desktop device.
Overall, Linux is not the security champion as many people claim it to be. It is as vulnerable as any other operating system, especially when it comes to security threats such as phishing emails and malicious sites. To avoid these security threats, you should use a Linux VPN to hide your passwords and addresses from potential intruders. Other than that, try to change your passwords regularly and stay away from shady online sites.