How to Keep Your Ubuntu System Secure

Posted by jun auza On 10/15/2012
If you think security, or lack thereof, is one of the biggest drawbacks of Windows, well, you are spot on in that case. However, it’s not as if Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution is completely immune from attacks. Attacks can and will happen to an Ubuntu system if it’s not secure enough. So what do you need to do about it? Install an antivirus as in Windows? Well, no. There are actually some pretty simple ways you can ramp up the security of your Ubuntu system. Here are some of the ways you can do that:


Use strong passwords

If you use a password like ‘12345’ or even one that includes your first name or last name, you are making your computer vulnerable to break-ins. To ensure that you have the best security possible, use strong alphanumeric passwords.


Never use the command line as root (Unless you absolutely need to)

The root user is the most powerful user on a Linux/Unix system. In the wrong hands, it can mess up an entire system. The best way to deal with this problem is to simply never login as the root user. Of course, while installing packages and performing other administrative tasks you have to enter your root password; however, using the system as root has perils of its own. After all, don’t forget: With great power comes great responsibility.


Use Wireshark to sniff network packets


If you’re worried of some network intrusion, you can use Wireshark (one of the best security software tools for Linux) to keep an eye on the transfers happening on your network.


Keep your system updated

Ubuntu is a community effort. Users from all around the world report bugs to Canonical and they get fixed by developers. Then these bugfixes are released as updates that you can install on your system. Often, these updates include fixes for important security vulnerabilities, and installing them will make your system more secure. So, in short, it’s quite essential for you to keep your system updated.


Copy paste commands only when you’re sure

Oftentimes, we come across various tweaks on the Internet that claims to make our computer faster or prettier. Many of those tweaks are commands that you can easily paste in the Linux terminal. Though most of them are usually innocuous, some of them can have an adverse effect on your computer. So, it’s important that you know what you’re entering in the command line. If you spot the command in a forum, simply ask the OP (original poster) what the command does. In other words, don’t be afraid to sound like a ‘newbie’ because eventually you’ll learn something new.


Install firewall

You can install a firewall tool like Firestarter in order to keep your computer secure from network traffic.

Be careful while adding new software repositories

Make sure that you add software repositories from trusted sources only. Otherwise, you might end up installing packages that will harm your computer.


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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"Action is the real measure of intelligence" ~Napoleon Hill

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