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Question does pop os need a firewall?

mogly

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I still consider myself quite the newbie on the whole Linux universe but I've used a couple of others as well mostly ubuntu based.
so what I'm trying to say is my knowledge is still pretty limited.

so I've been using this as my main daily driver for a week or so on my laptop and I'm pretty happy with it BUT I've just realized that there was no firewall enabled until I manually enable ufw and installed gufw as well.

so my question is was the whole time my system open/vulnerable to "outsiders" since im using my laptop quite often in public cafes and bars?
do I need to reinstall or am I just a little too paranoid?? <-- I've been using this also for online transactions

is pop os secure out of the box (because ufw was disabled by default) ?
 

ids1024

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Nov 2, 2020
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There probably shouldn't be any issue running without a firewall, but it can be a good idea. You can use nmap localhost to see what ports are open (though even then, not all of them will respond to a computer other than localhost).

I think it's a good idea to block all incoming ports except a whitelist of things you specifically need (which may be nothing). But in principle it's not required for security.
 
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mogly

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apart from using vpn what else could I do when connected to public wifi?
 

derpOmattic

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I use a firewall / killswitch while on VPN. It will drop all connections if the VPN fails, which is always possible. If you're on a public network when that happens, it could reveal a lot of information. There's many ways to achieve a killswitch if you look online. Some require advanced knowledge of iptables and ports. The one I'm using is a little crude, using tun0 with OpenVPN, but it does the job and doesn't need re-configuring if you change server. I'm working on refining it, which includes some automation, but not there yet.
 

mogly

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I use a firewall / killswitch while on VPN. It will drop all connections if the VPN fails, which is always possible. If you're on a public network when that happens, it could reveal a lot of information. There's many ways to achieve a killswitch if you look online. Some require advanced knowledge of iptables and ports. The one I'm using is a little crude, using tun0 with OpenVPN, but it does the job and doesn't need re-configuring if you change server. I'm working on refining it, which includes some automation, but not there yet.
I've been looking for something like this to be honest but shouldn't there be a way to this automatically?

like the "Always on VPN" on android devices?
which is so convenient btw..
that should definitely be a new feature on network manager on future releases

i assume this wouldn't be complicated for someone who knows how to do this
 

derpOmattic

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like the "Always on VPN" on android devices?
You're welcome to use the VPN clients / apps that the providers supply, but I don't trust them. Also, you can use nm-connection-editor to automate things a little, but I prefer to manually make the connections and watch the network.

If you run nm-connection-editor, then choose the "General" tab on the network you're using (not the VPN server), which will give you access to the check box to connect the VPN automatically.
 

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