Newbie here. Firewall advice.

I have finally tired of windows (viruses, malware etc) and I have installed Ubuntu 10.04 for netbook as a usb standalone (not hard disk installed). I would like to try online banking. On windows I have Kaspersy internet suite, ani-virus, firewall etc. Is it safe to just log on to my bank account. :-\

Many thanks

Ps I’m a photography freak so I’m looking forward to trying the Gimp and Ufraw under Linux… :slight_smile:


Well, I don’t run any sort of anti-virus / anti-malware software - and I still have money in my account :slight_smile:

Assuming you are using a NAT router - this is all you need for general home access …

Linux and online banking…

Linux browsers use the same encryption as Windows and Macs, so once your data is sent from your PC it’s exactly AS secure.

But most data theft occurs before this point… the data is usually “harvested” by viruses/malware and/or keyloggers, and is then transmitted to the thieves… there are no known viruses/malware in the wild for Linux.

That said, be aware that some banks (notably Nationwide) do NOT automatically cover you for online fraud protection unless you use a “supported” browser/OS combination (see thier Online Banking Promise), and Linux is specifically excluded from this !!!.. I thought this was a joke when I first heard it, but see here:
(Unbelievably, they don’t even specify a need to have antivirus/anti-malware software running in Windows to automatically qualify)

So it would probably be a good idea to check with your bank first.

This is NOT because Linux is less secure… it’s pretty much universally accepted to be the MOST secure… the London Stock Exchange switched to Linux, and I’m pretty sure they deal with the banks on a regular basis :wink: … it’s more a reflection of the fact that the banks policy makers don’t understand it, and haven’t spent the time to test it.

Strange eh, specially when you consider there is a good chance their own servers probably run Linux.

As for Firewalls, as MP points out… as long as you’re sat behind a NAT router, there is no need for a firewall.

Many thanks for the replies.

Adam :slight_smile: