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How Do I Choose the Best Open Source Security Software?

Article Details
  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 12 July 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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When choosing the best open source security software, you should consider your particular security needs and ensure that any program you choose can protect your information and does not include flaws that can actually compromise your system. You should typically look for the most used security software available, as this means that there is a large open source community supporting it and it is likely to have a greater database of security threats. Before you download and use any open source security software, you should also ensure that others have not had security issues while using the software and be sure to choose the program that best meets your needs.

Open source security software refers to programs that are developed to improve security and protection of digital information and computer systems. These programs are developed under an open source or public license, unlike commercial software that is protected by a copyright. The open source license on this type of software usually allows others to download, use, and alter the program in any ways they see fit.

One of the first things you should consider with open source security software is the community that exists to support such programs. Since open source software can be altered by its users, many people change and continue improving upon these programs after release. If you choose a program with a large community and user base, then you are more likely to find regular updates and improvements upon the program. Open source security software is also likely to have a greater database of potential viruses and other malicious software or "malware" due to a larger community, which can help protect you against more threats.

You should consider what security requirements you have, so that you can choose open source security software that addresses your particular needs. If you want to encrypt data that you send between instant messenger programs you use in a business office, for example, then you should look for a strong encryption program. On the other hand, if you want protection against malware by scanning your system and any incoming data, then you should look for an antivirus program.

Any open source security software you choose should also be reliable and not be a host for malware. Some people may use software downloads to distribute malware, such as viruses and Trojans, so you should research any software before you download it. There are some open source security software programs that are legitimate and safe to use, and research can help you separate the harmful from the helpful. You should look for user reviews and forums in which numerous users have shared experiences using such software, and you should only download programs from a reliable site that you trust to host clean downloads.

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