Forum Thread: Signing into Websites While Operating as Root

Sometimes when I am using Kali, and operating as root, I would like to be able to sign in to a website(for instance email) for various reasons. However, I have it in my head, that this is an unsafe thing to do while I am root user, and so avoid doing so. This can be inconvenient, as it means logging out and back in as normal user to do what I need to do. I must have read somewhere that it's unsafe to sign in online as root(to gmail/facebook/null-byte or anything... even through tor or something..). Is this correct? I guess I can imagine a few reasons why it wouldn't be safe, hence my reluctance to do so, but I would like to hear some educated opinions all the same. Thanks for reading..

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3 Responses

It is unsafe to be operating as a root user all the time, if anyone gained access to your PC, that person would have root privileges already, without any escalation. Also, you're prone to making decisions or editing files that can break your system without the system telling you they're only for root i.e. protected. If you don't know why it is a bad thing to be operating as root online, then you probably shouldn't.

It is a common (and reccomended) Linux practice to use a limited access user all the time, and cast root commands preceding them with 'sudo'. If you're using backtrack/kali, make a limited user and make it your default login option.

Thanks both of you for the answers. I'm not too worried about doing damage to my own system as root, the only time I would be root for any lengthy period of time is on Kali, and I know enough not to make bad or irreversible mistakes. I guess the question I should really have asked was:

"How can I get around the inconvenience of having to log off root, and into a normal user profile, just to sign into websites?"

as I did figure it was a possibility to be giving someone an easy root access to my computer, if I got hacked in some way.

Elliot, I will look into that solution.

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