Is VirtualBox safe or a security risk?

VirtualBox is a popular open source virtualization program used by individuals and businesses. If you've tried creating virtual machines on a Windows or Linux system, you've probably used this tool already.

VirtualBox can be used for many purposes and for many people, so you may be wondering: Is it completely safe to use? What are some risks that you should be aware of? Let highlight some of the security-related details of VirtualBox through the following article.

Is VirtualBox for Linux and Windows safe to use?

Yes, VirtualBox is safe to use on any supported platform. It is developed by Oracle, one of the largest software companies. It is not a security threat to your computer.

However, when you use VirtualBox to create a virtual machine (VM) for a specific purpose, you must keep a few things in mind.

When can VirtualBox become a potential security risk?

Is VirtualBox safe or a security risk? Picture 1

Technically, VirtualBox isolates the VM from your host operating system. But some user actions can expose the virtual machine to host malware. (For clarity, host refers to the system you use to install the VirtualBox program).

Here are some cases where VirtualBox can help malicious actors infect your computer system.

1. You did not update the virtual machine

Regardless of whether it is a Windows virtual machine or any other operating system, the virtual machine must be regularly updated to ensure proper security.

Of course, there are use cases when you might not want to update it; for example, testing a specific version of the operating system as a virtual machine. In that case, you should immediately delete the VM after testing or update it as soon as possible.

2. File sharing enabled between host and virtual machine

If you decide to share your files or folders with a virtual machine, it opens up a potential point for malware to get into your computer.

This is likely to happen because users do not often install anti-virus programs on virtual machines. So when you download a file from an unknown source inside the virtual machine, it may not be safe to use.

3. Use vulnerable apps

Virtual machine for testing. So users try a bunch of applications that they don't want to install on their host system. Some of those applications may present a security risk and allow malware to penetrate the host operating system, if you have enabled file sharing.

4. Use an outdated version of VirtualBox

VirtualBox, like any program, can have bugs that pose a security risk. So, if you're using a specific version of VirtualBox and haven't upgraded it yet, you should consider updating it immediately.

Is VirtualBox a security risk?

Not really. There are millions of VirtualBox users running the virtual machine without any major hiccups.

However, if you don't want to take any risks, the tips mentioned above will give you an even safer VirtualBox experience.