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Fooson and Barson each have a user account on a machine. None of them are administrators. Fooson wants to protect their homefolder so that Barson cannot access the files there. No hard drive encryption is used. In order to do this, Fooson invokes the command:

chmod 700 /home/fooson

Does this come with any potential problems? Will Fooson experience any problems using the computer if the home folder is 700 instead of 755?

How secure is this? I realize it will not protect the files if Barson gets sudo access or steals the hard drive. But how well will it stand against Barson, provided that Barson has regular user access and is able to use the terminal?

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If Barson is not out to hack and use actual security exploits, this is a standard method to deny access. Fooson will not have any drawbacks besides actually sharing data directly.

The How secure is this? question may not really be answered regarding the continuous ping pong between finding and fixing security issues.

If Fooson wants to explicitly only block Barson (and keep 755 otherwise), he might have a look into ACLs.

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  • Take a look at man acl or search for the terms "Access Control List" and "Linux" in your favorite search engine for more info about this "fine tuned" blocking @FelixJN mentions in the last paragraph.
    – Garo
    Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 14:12

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