Finally! Peace of mind using Ubuntu
I would say that I have achieved a level of peace of mind while using Ubuntu that I have not had in many years since using Microsoft Windows XP or 7 64 bit. I have read almost all of the Ubuntu security stickies and I have implemented the recommendations and guides that I thought were applicable to me or made sense for me to invoke. My System76 Lemur Ultra Thin (lemu4) and Ubuntu 12.04.1 64 bit Long Term Service is fully hardened against almost all possible attack vectors. People that know me and my zealous desire for perfect security say that I have gone overboard and I have more security than most corporations and government customers. That is due in part to the large number of IT certifications that I have studied for and passed in the past several years.
Ubuntu allows me to focus on the task at hand without worrying about the next 0 day vulnerabilities or exploits or attack vectors trying to create a security breach and compromise my user data or operating system or software application. I can't say that I am invincible as that would be preposterous, but I can say that I have done almost everything reasonable to harden my Ubuntu and I am satisfied with my work thus far. It's going to take a government with all of its resources to find me and attack me in order to destroy my PC or compromise my user data. I don't have to worry about hacker groups targeting me or script kiddies launching attacks against me because fortunately I'm a nobody in this world and I don't have any useful data to them that they could profit from an advanced persistent threat attack.
I can leave my PC on most of the time without worrying about the safety or security of my identity or my user data using Ubuntu.
A fully hardened Ubuntu installation is nearly as good as OpenBSD 5.1 64 bit and it is very similar in terms of the security tools and the level of protection. It also requires the same level of hard work to harden Ubuntu and careful usage of the sudo command. A fully hardened Ubuntu operating system is exceedingly difficult to crack if you pay attention to the warnings and guides here in Ubuntu Forums.
It's better to have a secure PC so that you can transport it to hostile environments safely like public 802.11 Wi-Fi hot spots at libraries, hotels, or coffee shops. Universities are another concern because there are computer scientists and security professionals that may have malicious behaviors though these do not tend to be staff or professors. It's the other students that I need to be concerned about like physical theft.
I looked at a lot of other BSD and GNU/Linux flavors and distributions and I chose Ubuntu because it gets the balance right among security and usability along with user friendliness. At first, I wanted to wipe Ubuntu on my System76 and install OpenBSD 5.1 64 bit, but I realized that I could achieve pretty much similar results if I took the time to read and consider the GNU/Linux security tools and architecture and I paid attention to the Ubuntu security stickies and a couple of specific security threads that I subscribed to for esoteric information needed to further harden and monitor my Ubuntu installation. The primary advantage of Ubuntu is its larger user base and the Ubuntu Forums community along with the vastly superior and richer number of software packages available.
Again, I am not invincible nor do I pretend to be. I am just writing to say that I have achieved a very high security level with Ubuntu that required a moderate amount of hard work in return. I like knowing that Ubuntu does not make the headline news for security breaches or vulnerabilities like Windows or OS X each month. I like the fact that I can use my System76 PC in peace. I like knowing that I can focus on the task at hand without having to worry about security all of the time because the ball is in my court and I have full control over the entire operating system and software applications that I choose to install on my PC.
It was not easy to get to this point. I had to re-install Ubuntu from scratch several times because I made too many mistakes due to the fact that I did not read the warnings or guides carefully enough. Most of these mistakes were made late at night while I was in the process of hardening Ubuntu and I was tired because I did not get enough sleep. Now, I do security related tasks after I have had a good night of sleep and I harden Ubuntu even further during the mornings or afternoons. I make sure to read and research specific security practices or tools as thoroughly as possible to consider all implications before I invoke the sudo command to implement the changes to my Ubuntu.
This is great. I could not have achieved this level of peace of mind or security with Windows 7 or OS X Mountain Lion. Most importantly, it was very affordable. It only cost me several hours of my time. I could break the work down to smaller pieces and harden my Ubuntu over a few days time to reduce the number of mistakes that I made which is what I did.
I don't provoke others to try to target me or attack me either which is also equally important. I usually don't attact much attention from others and I am more than willing to offer my help and support to them even if they don't use Ubuntu which earns me friends.
Ubuntu has made my life much easier and more affordable. I can focus on my creative writing or preparing myself to pursue a masters degree program soon instead of worrying about the next security breach or vulnerability. Ubuntu keeps me in touch with my family members and friends equally as well as Windows or OS X and it's much more secure and faster too. I don't have to wait and wait and wait for things to get done with Ubuntu.
Nothing beats Ubuntu for safety, privacy, and security if you are willing to sacrifice some of your personal time to read and research before you invoke commands using sudo. I used to think that OpenBSD was the most secure operating system in the world, but I would humbly submit that Ubuntu ranks highly right up there too.