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Security: The Linux Advantage

Updated: 02-Oct-2015

Linux Security

The Linux operating system is more secure, and better supported than the operating systems preinstalled on most home computer hardware today. Linux is backed by many large corporations, as well as independent developers and users, many of whom are focused on ensuring and improving the security that is built into the operating system. The built-in updater provided with your Linux distribution provides security updates for both its software applications and the operating system. Vulnerabilities are patched more quickly, and are delivered automatically and more frequently than the two most popular operating systems.

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Four Reasons Why Linux Is More Secure
  1. When you use a distribution of Linux, security updates, driver updates, application updates, software upgrades and operating system upgrades are all provided, all free of charge. And they are all available from trusted sources. So you have no more need to search the Internet for software. No more risking malware or junkware infections as a result of downloading from the wrong site. There are thousands of software titles in hundreds of categories available in your Linux distribution’s repositories -- the ultimate in a trusted source!
  2. Linux is designed with security in mind. Unlike operating systems that update only once a month, Linux distributions receive updates continuously. The updates include security patches for the operating system and all of its components. Security updates for all of its installed applications are also provided on the same schedule. This ensures that you have the latest protection for all of your computer's software -- as soon as it's available!
  3. Linux can get viruses and other infections... but, as a rule, it doesn't. Rapid and timely updates ensure that there are very few, if any threats to Linux systems that persist in the wild. In reality, there have been very few "public" infections in the last 10 years that can affect even Linux. And because of security updates to Linux, those few old attacks are no longer a threat to anyone installing or using a modern Linux distribution today. Linux is designed to make it difficult for viruses, rootkits and other malware to be installed and run without conscious intervention by you, the user. Even if you do accidentally invite in an infection, chances are it's designed to attack Windows and can do no damage to your Linux system.
  4. Another significant security feature of Linux is that its users are not administrators by default. Administrators ("root" users) on any computer system have permission to do anything they want, including do damage to the system. For example, other operating systems look at the name of a file to determine which program should open it, then immediately attempt to open it. That design makes it easy for an intruder to attack a computer. Linux opens a file based on what the file is, not based on its name. So even if a malicious program disguises its identity by using a name like "Business Proposal.docx" Linux will recognize the file as a program. The system provides a warning that the file is not a text document, but that it is really a program that will be run if you give it permission to continue. To be extra secure, Linux requires you to provide your administrator password to grant that permission. Every single time.

Unlike Windows, and OSX, Linux is not created and supported by just one company. Over 4,000 individual developers contributed to Linux over the last 15 years. Linux is supported by individuals, the Linux and Open Source communities, as well as many organizations. These organizations include Intel, Redhat, Linaro, Samsung, IBM, SUSE, Texas Instruments, Google, Canonical, Oracle, AMD, and Microsoft. These corporations, and others, use the Linux operating system to run their businesses, or include it within their products. (Google Android phones and Chromebooks, Samsung televisions, etc.) They want to ensure that Linux is provided with the best protection from security vulnerabilities. Many of these corporations provide security fixes and new security measures for Linux as they use it in their businesses. These improvements are given back to the Linux distribution and the software improves. Whether you are a home user of Linux, a Linux software or application developer, or an employee of a company that uses Linux, the scrutiny and ongoing security improvements provided for Linux are benefiting you.

Security is a “Linux advantage”.

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