Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Why is Linux better than Windows or macOS?

Independent security experts favor Linux over either Windows or macOS, explaining all the reasons why is an article in itself. We’ll touch on two of the big reasons most pros favor Linux over Windows and macOS, then zoom in on Linux distros.

Two of the biggest reasons experts say Linux is more secure than Windows or macOS are that Linux:

- Is Built on Open Source Software
- Is a “Small” Target for Hackers

Linux is Built on Open Source Software

The code that Linux is built on is open-source software. That means anyone can read or modify the code. While that may sound like a privacy nightmare, it is actually the opposite. Independent programmers from all over the world work on Linux code. That makes it almost impossible for a bad actor to add malicious code to Linux without someone seeing it.

Contrast this to proprietary operating systems like Windows or macOS. The proprietary source code is controlled by the company and hidden from outsiders. If you use a proprietary operating system, you have to trust the company. Will they ensure that no malicious code gets added by outsiders? Will they add malicious code themselves?

Windows 10, for example, has code in it that records all sorts of information about how you use your computer. Microsoft inserted this code intentionally to gather this information for their own use. In the Linux world, a small army of programmers guards the source code against this kind of behavior.

Linux is a “Small” Target for Hackers

According to Statistica, in 2017, there were over 1.3 billion users of Microsoft Windows in the world. They also stated there were over 170 million users of MacOS 10.

What about Linux? Around 28 million users. In other words:

- There are about six times as many MacOS users as Linux users.
- There are almost 50 times as many Windows users as there are Linux users.

If you were a hacker, which target would you choose? The 1.3 billion Windows users or the 28 million Linux users?

Social Engineering May Be the Biggest Threat of All

While the operating system you use is important to your online privacy, social engineering might be an even bigger threat than some piece of malicious software.

“The key to social engineering is influencing a person to do something that allows the hacker to gain access to information or your network.” – Kevin Mitnick, Internet security expert and “world’s most famous hacker.”

Bad guys of all types use social engineering techniques to get around the protections built into your operating system. They take advantage of your trusting nature or curiosity to trick you into giving them the information they want.

See this article to learn about various social engineering attacks and how you can protect yourself from them.

Okay, so what exactly is Linux?

We’ve been talking about Linux and how it differs from Windows and macOS. But we haven’t said exactly what Linux is. Let’s do that now.

Linux is a family of free and open-source operating systems. It is based on core software called the Linux Kernel. Because the Kernel is free and open-source, anyone can use it to create their own version of Linux. When someone bundles together the Kernel and the rest of the software to make a fully functional operating system, it is called a Linux Distribution, or Linux Distro.

Developers have created hundreds of Linux Distros for a wide range of purposes. Some can replace Windows and macOS on the typical user’s desktop computers. Others run everything from the print server in your office to the most powerful supercomputers. Even the Android operating system running your smartphone is based on Linux.

While it is cool that Linux is used in so many places, that doesn’t help us much right now. So for the rest of this article, we’ll concentrate on Linux Distros that run on personal computers and are used for typical personal activities. We’ll ignore the versions running on smartphones, supercomputers, and other places.

source: blokt.com 

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