A Basic Guide to SSH Server Connections: Part 2

Connecting to an SSH server is usually pretty straightforward, and your login credentials are encrypted for security. This makes SSH useful for other types of connections beyond basic shell access. Backup/syncing tools like rsync can use it, and file transfer programs like SCP for SFTP can use SSH technology for secure file transfers.

In part one, you learned how to make a basic SSH connection. Today, you will learn some helpful hints about SSH and security. Consider the following:

  • When you log into your server or VPS, you should never login as root (administrator) unless absolutely necessary. Login as your standard user account, and then, if necessary, use “su” or “sudo” to execute root commands. You can disable root logins for more safety.
  • Port 22 is generally the default SSH port, but you could theoretically use any available port. This may even add some anonymity to your SSH server, which may provide some very limited security.
  • Login from secure locations. While it is nice to be able to access your server on the go, make sure you are not doing it on a computer that could potentially compromise your server’s security.

Connecting via SSH is a safe and effective way to manage your server. Since it has many uses, even behind basic shell access, it is a valuable tool that every system administrator should use.