Nine easy security tools

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Health & Safety

Let's face it: Except for the most paranoid (or best-informed) of us, security is a drag – it's what you have to deal with before you can get on with real work. Luckily, Ubuntu comes with a complete toolset of security utilities that make the process much less painful.

The trouble with security is knowing where to start. Security involves the entire operating system and can require an intimidating amount of expertise. So how can you secure your machine without making security a lifetime study?

Most people know enough to install some sort of antivirus tool like ClamAV [1] and anti-spam filters such as SpamAssassin [2] and Bogofilter [3]. However, antivirus protection is low priority on Linux, unless a system exchanges files regularly with Windows machines. Moreover, both antivirus and anti-spam tools are reactive security, useful only after you already have a problem. Your security is almost always much tighter if you focus your attention on architectural security – that is, settings designed to prevent intrusions in the first place.

Fortunately, not only are architectural security fixes common, but a few are easy enough for even new users to apply. Of course, that doesn't mean that they might take time to apply. Sometimes ease-of-use may be only relative to similar tools and still require a long and difficult learning curve.

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