Security

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Security

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:26 am

I'm going to start investing online. Currently I'm using WinXP. I'm paranoid that some virus or keylogger or whatever could potentially steal info from WinXP so I'm thinking of dual booting with Ubuntu and using Ubuntu + Firefox exclusively for my online banking stuff. (No Porn!) The added bonus is that I get to try Linux for the first time. :) I'm correct in thinking that Ubuntu would be the safer way to go than XP right? Would Opera also be better than firefox or is it pretty much a wash?

Also any recommendations for antivirus? Would it be worth it to pay for it or can I get away with using freeware?
flying hippo
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Re: Security

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:30 am

Your ISP can have antivirus software available for free. Comcast, for example, uses McAfee. Embarq uses F-Secure. Both are available FREE :D for their subscribers. You can certainly use Firefox for all your banking needs, since I have done so for several years now. Just keep it updated.

Ubuntu, I am sure, is a nice Linux distro, but there is no need for it if your WinXP is updated with the latest updates and antivirus & firewall software.
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riviera74
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Re: Security

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:00 pm

Firefox with noScript is probably one of the safest ways to browse the web that I know of. It allows you to only enable scripting on sites you select. Since scripts are the probably the biggest source of malware you cut out alot of risk that way. Granted I'm not a web security expert, that's just been my experience since I started using that setup.
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Re: Security

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:13 pm

One other thing you could do is just run Ubuntu from the live-cd whenever you want to do your banking. Don't install it or anything. That way every time you load up Ubuntu, it will be as clean as the first day. :wink:
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SuperSpy
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Re: Security

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:35 pm

If you decide to continue to use XP then use a limited account with a software firewall that blocks incoming traffic but also alerts you to outgoing traffic. Sunbelt and Outpost are 2 of many firewalls that do that. Also, make sure that the website you are using provides some sort of encryption or SSL. Most finacial institutions do but it is good to double check. If you use or have a wireless router at home then verify you have it locked down (if the wireless function is enabled) or set to the highest level of encryption (WPA2 if available) with MAC filtering enabled and SSID broadcasting disabled. Linux will not be a benefit if someone could connect to your unsecured wireless network and capture your traffic.
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Re: Security

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:47 pm

dolemitecomputers wrote:If you decide to continue to use XP then use a limited account with a software firewall that blocks incoming traffic but also alerts you to outgoing traffic. Sunbelt and Outpost are 2 of many firewalls that do that. Also, make sure that the website you are using provides some sort of encryption or SSL. Most finacial institutions do but it is good to double check. If you use or have a wireless router at home then verify you have it locked down (if the wireless function is enabled) or set to the highest level of encryption (WPA2 if available) with MAC filtering enabled and SSID broadcasting disabled. Linux will not be a benefit if someone could connect to your unsecured wireless network and capture your traffic.

That's really only effective if he only uses that account, period.

Any risk isn't coming from the banking half of computer usage. It's coming from the general use. If you use an admin account for "normal" use and get infected with something, using a limited account to do what's "safe" anyway isn't going to help much at all. The security in what the poster is suggesting here comes from using a different OS than normal for banking stuff, not really from the configuration or what OS it is (although running a non-windows OS makes it much more difficult to cross-contaminate). For that, the livecd suggestion is probably the "best".
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Re: Security

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:40 pm

I'm curious as to how running an Ubuntu live cd in something like VMware Player would compare, security wise. Me thinks that would be pretty secure, pretty convenient (as opposed to rebooting) and free for the consumer.
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Re: Security

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:44 pm

Firestarter wrote:I'm curious as to how running an Ubuntu live cd in something like VMware Player would compare, security wise. Me thinks that would be pretty secure, pretty convenient (as opposed to rebooting) and free for the consumer.

You're still vulnerable to any keyloggers or similar bits of malware installed on the host OS. Running vmware gives you very little here. If you do something like that for a security purpose it's to keep sketchy/hazardous activities in a sandbox - it doesn't do much at all for the opposite.
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mattsteg
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Re: Security

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:28 pm

It's all a question of where you draw convenience vs security line. People hand over their credit cards all the time to waiters who go off and do who knows what with them.

And you can be completely paranoid, and do everything right, and still get screwed.
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Re: Security

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:32 pm

UberGerbil wrote:It's all a question of where you draw convenience vs security line. People hand over their credit cards all the time to waiters who go off and do who knows what with them.

And you can be completely paranoid, and do everything right, and still get screwed.

Yeah, I'd be more prone to be cautious with my normal install. Alternate OSes etc. are overkill, but if you really want to that far you may as well know what you're actually accomplishing so that you don't just make more work with little to no benefit.
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