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Why is Ubuntu more secure than Windows or Mac OS X?

I am a new user. I installed this on and older PC using XP. Can someone please compare the safety issues between Ubuntu and windows OS. In other words, am I much safer on the web with Ubuntu>

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and the whole lot of Related questions ---> –  Uri Herrera Aug 19 '12 at 21:08
    
This question has a somewhat different flavor though. It's asking if s/he is safer on the Web with Ubuntu versus Windows, OS X, etc. The reality is that if there's a security flaw in Firefox due to something in Javascript or some other web tech, I don't think being on Ubuntu will make you significantly safer, at least as far as not having your private info like credit card number or passwords stolen. –  Chan-Ho Suh Aug 19 '12 at 21:56
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marked as duplicate by Uri Herrera, Gilles, Tachyons, belacqua, izx Aug 20 '12 at 6:27

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3 Answers

The simple answer is Yes.

There are many complicated reasons for it all regarding the internals of how Windows works (mostly to support legacy software, but also the history of raw sockets and the single user system).

The simpler case is that almost every major business in the world uses a windows environment, therefor, mal-ware is written to attack the largest population.

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A reasonable answer, except that many businesses use Linux servers and the potential gains for a hacker are significantly more than attacking a desktop. The difference is that servers are maintained by sysadmins who are more security-conscious than a typical Windows user. So I'd say something like "malware is written to attack the largest, vulnerable population". –  Chan-Ho Suh Aug 19 '12 at 21:51
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I think that is true. I work on a linux server every day and I take precautions I never bother with at home. –  jeremyjjbrown Aug 19 '12 at 22:27
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Windows is the platform most users write malicious code for. A good feature in Linux is the permissions. You have to give a file permission to run, you need permissions to edit and so on. I guess the biggest risk of attacks, especially Linux-based servers, are security holes in the software you install, and not code actually running on the machine.

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Can you run Chrome instead of Firefox –  PeteSFL Aug 19 '12 at 23:07
    
@user84355 If you are asking if you can use Chrome on Ubuntu, the answer is "yes". –  Chan-Ho Suh Aug 19 '12 at 23:24
    
I do think that Chrome is a much safer browser. –  PeteSFL Aug 19 '12 at 23:39
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IMHO, the key is disabling add-ons in the web browser. Much of the mischief on the web these days is focused on Flash. No matter what the OS is, if you allow Flash to run automatically, and the bad guy has a Flash exploit, you are at risk. Some articles are appearing that suggest malware writers are searching for cross platform exploits, see this link [link]http://www.csoonline.com/article/712640/hackers-increasingly-aim-for-cross-platform-vulnerabilities

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