When you first started to see personal computers come on the scene back in the late 70’s and early 80’s there was not that much thought about the security of the devices. The people who created them did not envision that soon they would be used to talk to people all around the world. When you finally did get some of the signs that the personal computer would be used for networking, most of the time it was between people who already knew each other or professionals who were using it for work. But as more people started to purchase home computers and the more the networks started spreading, computer security became an issue.
Hackers both on the good side of the law and the bad started to figure out that they could use their computer and access another person’s computer over the network without anyone noticing. This especially became a problem when teenagers with nothing else better to do started figuring out that they could do this as well. What started out as little pranks started to become a real problem because they were started to access sensitive information on these computers. The companies that made personal computers and operating systems knew that there had to be a change.
But the change did not come quick enough. While the security changes in the popular operating systems at the time were incremental at best, the hackers got better in wide leaps and bounds. They found that they were able to access systems through a numerous amount of holes in the machine. And through all of this time both the personal computer and the internet started to become more and more popular. There were targets everywhere for a hacker to do damage.
At the time, Microsoft Windows was the biggest operating system in the world. It was both popular in the work place and at home. Since this was the case, most of the attacks on networks were aimed at Microsoft systems. And Microsoft did not handle this very well. They waited and waited until their reputation was pretty much slandered before they got serious when it came to securing your computer. And so even in this time, while Windows 7 is one of the safest operating systems on the market, it still has the reputation of having the most holes. But does it really? What about the other operating systems out there such as Mac OS X and Linux? While OS X has made some improvements lately it is Linux that has always been known as one of the safest operating systems to use. Is it still that way?
What is Linux?
While most people who are reading this article should already know what Linux is, there are some people who do not. Linux is an operating system just like Windows or Mac OS X. The difference being is that it is a completely open sourced operating system that allows anyone to work on the code. This means that if there are any problems with the operating system people can examine the code and figure out a fix for it. Once the fix is made, then it can be shared with the other installations of Linux.
And this is what makes the system so secure. You are able to get fixes all of the time and they come in more regularly than the other operating systems do. Also what makes Linux more secure is that it is based on the UNIX operating systems which when it was built, was built for security. Several people at the same time used UNIX computers so there was always a concern that it needed to be built with protection.
But recently there have been more and more holes found in Linux that have let the bad guys cause more serious damage. The problem with Linux is that it is the most popular server in the world. So while the bad guys are not able to find that many people using Linux at home, they will find Linux on a bunch of servers that are out there. That makes Linux a real tempting target when it comes to exploitation.
While Linux has had more problems than it used to, it is probably just as safe as the other operating systems that are on the market. Where once it had a wide lead when it came to security, that gap has narrowed a lot and there is very little difference between it and the other operating systems. But when it comes to using it as a server, it is still one of the safest operating systems out there. You can make a Linux server very hard to crack into. You just have to be willing to learn about it and make sure that you know what you are doing.
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