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Is there any precaution you need to take while using ubuntu? Because i dont use any antivirus available for ubuntu! So any security changes do i need to make while surfing on the net?

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4 Answers

Keep your system up to date by updating it each time the update manager lanches.

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Ubuntu is inherently more secure than Windows because of its Unix heritage, which was built for security from day one. Also there are apps in ubuntu like app armor that provide protection against buffer overrun attacks in your web browser and other programs.

The concept of root users is something that has come from Unix and makes it impossible for a user to do anything that could permanently effect your machine without being a root user or being temporarily promoted to root (such as with sudo). Because root is so powerful be very, very careful what you allow to run as root because once it gets you permission to run as root it can do anything it wants.

Other than that really the only thing you need to do (if you are running a desktop machine with no servers running on it) is keep the system up to date.

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Good to see you are concerned about security. i assume you are a windows user, who has switched to, or trying out ubuntu. You do not need an antivirus product, because simply said, the architecture of linux is such, it is much less prone to malware. If you are still concerned you can use solutions like clamav and gufw ( available in software center) tpo further strengthen your defenses.

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Use script-blocking extensions for your browser that are available for Firefox, Chromium and Midori.

The majority of vulnerablities which Joesephine Public may be subjected to these days consist of alterations to a website's Javascript - the language which provides the dynamic, interactive elements of a web-page. An attacker will mainly use javascript to infect a computer with malware and this will not usually affect you if you run Ubuntu. But he/she may also use it to subtly modify a webpage in order to steal a password and in this case Ubuntu will not protect you.

The best of these script-blockers is easily No-Script for Firefox which is capable of not only blocking scripts, but also of providing Cross-Site-Scripting protection for those websites which you have whitelisted. It also blocks plugins such as Flash and Java, click-jacking and web-bugs. At first No-Script can be annoying because it will cripple many websites you visit, but gradually, as you whitelist the websites you trust, it will bother you less and less. I recommend to learn the keyboard shortcut to bring up the contextual menu (which can be changed in about:config) and to read a little the documentation on he web-site.

An Ad-blocker is something else to consider, since many of your trusted websites may serve you dodgy ads.

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script blocking is rather extreme, and does not really improve the security of the system as all websites are sand-boxed anyway. Also disabling scripts will break all interactive web applications, which are becoming a norm, and all these will stop working (no GMail for you). –  Guss Apr 14 '11 at 15:40
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No-Script is not about blocking your Gmails and your Twitters: you whitelist those. –  daithib8 Apr 14 '11 at 16:33
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@Guss: In-Reply-To: "Also disabling scripts will break all interactive web applications" : That's why a whitelist exist. The webbrowser is the most risky application on a computer since it's most used and can execute code using Javascript. Even if the system itself is not in danger, it protects you from malicious scripts like while(true)document.write("meh") or other unwanted behavior. You do not need Javascript for reading an article, although you need it to get a dozen of ads or a few milliseconds delay. I'm not criticizing JS, but the abuse of it. –  Lekensteyn Apr 14 '11 at 16:38
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I hardly call the example script above a thread to the user's system, and in general protecting against script execution is at most preventing attacks against the user's experience in a single website and is hardly a threat that one needs to pay special attention to when running Ubuntu - so it doesn't answer the OP. Also, protecting against malicious scripts by disabling all scripts (except specifically white listed) is the equivalent to protecting against computer viruses by turning off your computer or against biological viruses by never leaving home. –  Guss Apr 15 '11 at 13:19
    
@Guss: The examples you gave are not really valid. You are not shutting yourself from the internet. You can still do things you want. Most pages run fine with no script and if they don't you just whitelist them.It's like auto Sandboxing software. Most software runs fine in the sandbox. But some need admin priviliges and you trust them. So, you whitelist them. It's like the auto sandbox feature in Comodo firewall(with HIPS) for Windows. –  Ufoguy Dec 7 '13 at 18:00
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