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Peppermint princess

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I've finally installed "a linux" on my old laptop - Peppermint.

This is the first time I've ever browsed the Internet without proprietary anti-virus protection.

What do people tend to do?

Good for you, enjoy the ride!   :-+

I think I don't understand the question.  Tend to do about what?  If you mean about antivirus, with Linux an antivirus is not mandatory, like it is with Windows.

I've never got into any virus problems in the last years, since I ditched Windows.  Though, back when I was using Windows, with all the antivirus programs, I used to have to reinstall every couple of years or so because of getting the OS trashed by viruses.  No problems since I moved away from Windows (used so far mostly Kubuntu or FreeBSD).

In Linux I am usually browsing with Firefox (I avoid Chrome), and with the 'uBlock Origin' extension installed, an add blocker for a cleaner Internet, not an antivirus.

You don't need an anti-virus, but out of curiosity, did your old anti-virus actually trigger in any non false positive cases?

The only time you are subjecting yourself to something dangerous with Linux is when you download and run random binaries that are not in a repository or you have to add a third-party repository, as often happens with proprietary software.

Welcome to the penguin club!

Nowadays there is no difference, in terms of security, between Windows and Linux systems. Both platforms are equally good, if your threat model is a typical attack aimed at making your wallet thinner or using your resources. If you believe you are safe only because you are now mounting a penguin, I have bad news. You are on a path to a disaster and the only thing protecting you is sheer luck of Linux distros being less popular.

The reason Windows is doomed to be compromised without comprehensive and extensive AV software is not the operating system itself. The vulnerability is located between chair and keyboard. You remain the same user as you were on Windows — and you carry the risk with you no matter what OS you choose. Home Windows deployments are notoriously horribly maintained. Random, unautidable software is allowed to run and often reconfigure system. Acceptance of someone doing whatever they want in user’s system is widespread. Not understanding actions taken or following poor advice is everyday occurance. If you keep that attitude, choosing a different kernel is not going to save you.

Some practices present in Linux distros, like using package managers with declarative packages, being required to understand the system and low availability of software, provide minimal protection. But there is only so much it can do. Observing support channels of some distros is leaving no doubts: breaking stuff by doing the same mistakes that lead to trouble on Windows is common.

I've never used an antivirus package on Linux. I haven't used one on Windows for years either, I keep my browser up to date, use an ad blocker and script blocker and I don't visit sketchy websites. I haven't come across a virus or malware in many years. IMHO most antivirus packages are virtually useless and do little more than slow down your computer and give you a false sense of security.


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