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I've recently disabled root access on my server and enabled sudo for my user. However I also use this user account for SFTP and logging into cPanel. Is there any security issue with this? By default I always used the same user account for both SFTP and cPanel, now also having it as a sudo user I'm not sure if this is correct. Am I supposed to be using a separate user for SSH, separate user for SFTP and separate user for cPanel? Or is my current setup not an issue? Thank you.

Edit: Heh, is this really such a bad question? I'm not sure it just didn't feel right to be using the same user for various activities. Well I'm glad I asked to confirm that there shouldn't be too much worries.

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closed as off topic by Michael Hampton, Ward, gWaldo, EEAA, Magellan Oct 29 '12 at 5:06

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I personally am using the same user for everything. Ensure that the user has a strong password (8+ characters, alphanumeric and symbols). Also ensure that the computer you are using for SSH stays malware free.

You should install something like fail2ban, logwatch, or CSF/LFD, which give you knowledge of any possible brute forces and also help block the offending user.

An extra bit of advice: Use SFTP built into the SSH server instead of an FTP server, or FTP + SSL (FTPS - not to be confused with SFTP !). The Older plain FTP protocol is insecure, as the login and password are transmitted as clear text over the network.

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Thanks, I did actually stop using plain FTP a while ago, but I just use FTP as a term in a general sense. I guess I should get used to saying SFTP more. :) Hmm, how about if say my host needs terminal access, should I create a separate user or just let him use my account? – user1699176 Oct 28 '12 at 21:25

The short answer (to your first question, at least) is "maybe".

UNIX has a concept of users - these are the "system" users that you'll see listed in /etc/passwd. Some programs defer to the system for authentication - and thus share the same set of users - and some programs don't.

(FTP servers often do use the system's users, but certainly don't have to; cPanel probably has its own set).

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