The key to online security is using one of the most secure Operating Systems. However, opinions differ as per the most secure OS for daily use.
When it comes to choosing the most secure OS, you need to consider how fast the vendor releases a patch when a vulnerability is detected along with the purpose of use.
You should note that the OS you use does not guarantee to keep you safe from hackers who hack using social engineering and other means for probing users. Interestingly, 84% of hackers gain access to victims’ systems using social engineering in addition to other means.
Although using a secure OS protects you from malware and virus attacks, it will not, however, give you a 100% protection guarantee unless you’re armed with the following:
- User education
- Secure firewalls to keep out intruding traffic
- High sense of vigilance
- Regular patch update
- Reliable antivirus to protect you from downloading corrupted downloads, file extensions, plugins, etc.
Three Most Secure Operating Systems
The Linux Operating system is an open-source OS that has been making the news as one of the best OS since in the ‘90s. Its Open-source feature allows developers to develop patch updates to any vulnerability detected before hackers can take advantage of such vulnerability.
Users prefer the Linux OS because it is a stable OS free from malware and virus infections, which takes away the fear of having to reinstall the OS due to regular malware invasion.
Though, because Linux is an open-source OS. It allows its users to run the software, learn about the workings of the software, and personalize the software to suit their needs.
Features of the Linux OS
- A user account is the only root account that can carry out all administrative tasks. All other types of accounts do not have rights outside of files the files for which they have permission to access.
- Application isolation for restricting a program from affecting other running programs or host system
- the System Firewall uses the Netfilter framework in the Linux kernel to restrict incoming and outgoing network traffic.
- The Syslog and Klogd monitoring and audit facilities which keep a record of the activities of the different components of the system
- Resource allocation control which limits the number of resources an application or an account can use up in its operations.
- System recovery for restoring program files of all software in the software management tools in the event of an accident
- Host integrity testing for verifying the integrity of a running system in the event of an attack
- Software management which is a repository of software files for providing the correct version of all system software.
- Secure Remote access with OpenSSH which is a version of the SSH standard which uses a secure encryption mechanism and also grants the user the following categories of remote access
- Remote access by using command-line
- A remote command execution
- Remote access to graphical software
- File transfers
- Encrypted storage for encrypting storage volumes with sensitive files. Users need to provide the decryption password to access an encrypted volume, which can be a temporary storage device or a system’s entire storage space.
- File permission feature which determines how users access files and directory on a Linux OS. Depending on the types of permission granted for file access; users may or not be able to either read, write, or execute program files.
The Open BSD is an open-source OS created by a team of volunteers at the University of California’s Berkeley Software Distribution Center.
Open BSD OS is preferred for its full-disclosure policy. This enables its developers to be completely open with any security vulnerabilities about the Open BSD OS they may have discovered.
The open BSD is gradually gaining popularity among skilled-tech users because of its minimal and secured OS, which is focused on improving the security of its OS at the expense of user satisfaction. Hence, it is not an OS for low-skilled end users unless you want to learn to code.
Thus, other features of the Open BSD OS include Proactive security, integrated cryptography, portability, standardization, correctness, and its compatibility, and relatively small size on systems.
The Amnesiac Incognito Live System (TAILS)
The TAIL OS was initially developed for the Project Protect whistleblowers to protect the identity of whistleblowers. However, regular users who want to protect their privacy and data traffic can download and use the TAIL OS for free.
Furthermore, the TAIL OS aims to protect a user’s activities online without any trace by using the TOR network. This encrypts and transmits a user’s data through several untraceable nodes before reaching its destined server location.
Features of the TAIL OS
- It is a minimal OS that takes up little space; hence a user can download and run the OS from an SD card, or other temporary storage devices
- Activities on the TAIL OS is secured and protected from hackers and other forms of cyberattacks
- TAIL OS is noted for its robust data and identity protection; hence, it does not leave any trace of users’ activities online
- Reliable encryption protocol which encrypts users incoming and outgoing data traffic
- Access to restricted and censored contents online
- Compatibility with all types of systems and OS; hence, the TAIL OS can serve as an alternative to a system’s primary OS. Therefore, it can be a perfect complement of the most popular Windows OS.
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However, irrespective of the above listed options of the most secure operating systems; the type of OS you use should have certain criterias. The best way of securing your OS is by obeying the following rules
- Promptly update any released software patch
- Don’t root your system
- Don’t give guest access to older servers on the same network with you
- Use secure passwords or use a password manager to manage your passwords
- Download files and documents only from a trusted source
- Use up to date antivirus software on your system for an added security layer against virus and malware infections
- Use a VPN to secure and protect your data traffic and privacy.