Reasons why the Linux OS doesn’t easily get infected with Malware.

This information is referring only to the Linux desktop OS and not the Linux server. Linux is known as a very secure operating system. This is true, however there is a common misconception that Linux can’t be infected with malware. This is not true, while it is a lot harder to infect a Linux computer with malware it is still possible. Lets be clear on the fact that malware is used to describe all malicious software in general while a virus is a specific form of malware. Unfortunately a virus is commonly used as a broad term to define all types of malware which is technically incorrect. When present, malware on a Linux computer tends to show more overt like behavior such URL redirects or phishing emails as opposed to Windows malware which tends to show more passive like behavior such as a virus running as a background process.

Root access

Malware on Windows can run without the users permission such as a virus which can run in the background processes as a .exe file. With Linux if you do happen to come across malware it will not run without root access in which you would have to enter your password to grant access. If this happens to you, never enter your password if prompted after being redirected to a site or clicking on a link attached to an email. Certain Linux distros dont even have an admin account.

Market share

Something that’s often overlooked is the fact that a significant amount of people use Windows and Mac more then Linux. This means that a lot more malware writers use Windows as a platform for malware infection. This is not the main reason why Linux is more secure but it’s still a significant factor.

Virus protection

Most cautious users can use Linux for years without virus protection and not have their computers infected with any malware. However there is always the possibility of sending an email attachment or file to a Windows user without knowing that the file has malware code written for Windows. This doesn’t impact your computer but techincally still means that your computer has malware on it if the file is infected. If the file is infected with malware it can still do damage to other non Linux computers your sending files to. There is also the possibility of being redirected to a phishing site since a phishing site is not directly infecting your computer with malware. While for most people spoof sites are obvious, it is still possible for someone to make one simple mistake that can infect their computer or somebody else’s. With a virus protection program you can scan the files before you send them and you can also avoid URL redirects to phishing sites. Sophos Virus protection for Linux is a good program to use.

So yes Linux computers are more secure for multiple reasons, however it would still be a good idea to be just as cautious as you would be with Windows. This is ecspecially important for beginner Linux users since they may not be aware that being careless can still get their Linux computer infected or information stolen at some point or another.

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Different Linux distributions explained

Linux uses different versions of the OS called distributions or distros for short. There are hundreds of distributions with only a portion of them being the most used and the most popular. Choosing a distribution can be a little difficult if you aren’t familiar with Linux and what it has to offer. Certain distros are more user friendly and easier to install than others, as well as a few being lightweight distros which are better suited for older computers with slower hardware. Other distributions require significant Linux knowledge in order to use since a few distributions use the terminal and other software more in depthly. Here is a list of the most well know Linux distributions and what they offer.

Linux penguin

Debian

Debian is one of the oldest Linux distributions around dating back to 1993. Debian is a multi purpose distribution and can be used as a server or a desktop. There are a lot of distributions such as Ubuntu and Mint that are based off of Debian. Debian isn’t complicated to use however the the installation and post installation process requires extra steps such as configuring hardware which can be a little daunting for a begginer. For beginners a distro like Ubunto is recommended over Debian although if your willing to learn a little Debian isn’t that hard to get the hang of.

Anti X

Anti X is a lightweight distro based off of Debian. Relatively easy to install. Anti X uses iceWM as the desktop environment. Good performance but not so flashy on the interface.

Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a popular distro based off of Debian. Kali Linux is used for security and penetration testing. Debian comes loaded with hundreds of software tools related to security, penetration testing, computer forensics, and reverse engineering. Kali Linux is not a beginner distro and is only recommended to those trying to learn about computer security and penetration testing.

Knoppix

Knoppix is a distribution based off of Debian that runs off of a CD or USB drive. Knoppix isn’t as extensive as Debian since it runs off a media device and uses little memory. Has a decent looking interface.

Slackware

Slackware is one of the oldest Linux distributions. It is a multi purpose distro only recommended to experienced users. Slackware Uses GNOME, KDE, and XFCE as desktop environments.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a desktop distro based off of Debian. It is aimed at being very user friendly just like Windows and OSX and is the most popular distro around. Ubuntu is an excellent choice for beginners. GNOME is the desktop environment that is now used, replacing unity.

Lubuntu

Lubuntu is a lightweight version of Ubuntu. The application selection isn’t as extensive since it’s a lightweight distro. Lubuntu is a good choice for older computers with slower hardware while also being just as user friendly as Ubuntu.

Linux mint

Linux mint is user friendly desktop distro based off of Ubuntu and Debian. Mint is a very smooth well designed easy to install distro which uses Cinnamon, Mate, and others as a desktop environment. Mint uses a similar display to Windows.

Linux lite

Linux lite is a lightweight distro based off of Ubuntu. Linux lite is easy to use, easy to install, and comes with a good amount of apps. XFCE is the desktop environment that is used. Linux lite is relatively user friendly.

Elementary

Elementary is a lightweight distro based off of Ubuntu. Elementary uses a clean and elegant user friendly interface making it one of the best looking distros and a great replacement for MAC since it uses a desktop environment very similar to MAC called pantheon. Elementary is easy to install and comes with a large repository for apps.

Zorin OS

Zorin OS is a distro based on Ubuntu. It easy easy to install and is very user friendly like Windows. Zorin OS uses GNOME and LXDE as desktop environments.

Open SUSE

Open SUSE is a distro developed by the open SUSE project. Uses GNOME and KDE as desktop environments. Great distro for new users.

Fedora

Fedora is a community desktop distro based off of redhat. Fedora is one of the first distributions to introduce wavland and systemD. Always uses up the latest up to date software. Fedora is relatively easy to install and uses GNOME and KDE as desktop environments.

CentOS

Cent OS is a very stable community distro based off of Red Hat. The difference is that it is mainstream unlike Red Hat but it is just as stable. Relatively easy to install and uses GNOME and KDE as desktop environments.

Arch Linux

Arch is a multi purpose rolling distro recommended by experts. Rolling means that the Arch OS updates automatically. Arch uses the latest software. Arch Requires a bit of knowledge to use and maintain. Cinnamon, GNOME, and KDE are used as desktop environments.

Antergos

Antergos is a more user friendly version of Arch Linux. It comes with more apps and more drivers.

Manjaro

Manjaro is a fairlly lightweight distribution based off of Arch Linux that a lot of experts use. Manjaro is Not recommended for beginners unless your trying to jump right into an advanced distro. Manjaro uses Cinnamon, GNOME, and others as the desktop environment. Just like Arch Linux Manjaro is also a rolling distro.

Deepin

Deepin is a desktop distro that comes from China. Deepin has it’s own QT5 desktop environment and also has it’s own software such as an audio player. Deepin is relatively easy to install.

Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux is a Lightweight version of Linux meant to run from a USB drive or CD. It is designed so that it can run without the computer having a hard drive. A CD may be a better choice since a USB stick will eventually loose it’s life. Puppy Linux is very lightweight so it uses very little memory.

So it really depends on what kind of experience you already have with Linux and whether you’re a beginner or not. If you want to jump right into a distro that requires learning to use and maintain then Arch Linux, Manjaro, Debian, or Slackware are good distros to use. If you just want a replacement for whatever reason and are looking for a user friendly distro then Ubuntu, Linux mint, or Elementary are good choices.

Benefits of two step verification.

Two step verification is a feature where after you log into a website or an application you will be sent a code to your mobile number or email address where you then have to enter it to verify that you are the one accessing your account and not somebody else who has stolen your password. Two step verification is available for most applications and websites. You can enable it through security and privacy settings. You should always have two step verification enabled on any application or website that you use. It’s better to secure your account then regret it later down the road.