I used to run Linux on my laptop as part of a dual-boot configuration (yes, I kept Windows on there too). Nonetheless, I always felt pretty safe with it, and tested development projects and used the Linux side for data backups, etc. as well. Recently, there has been a lot more talk about malware on the platform, and while I haven’t heard a lot of noise (meaning folks freaking out about it), Mark Rals of Reallylinux.com is coming to the rescue anyway.
First, I love pre-emptive strikes, so while I don’t think malware on Linux is a widespread problem, it is nice to know people are thinking about it up front. Second, I think it is hilarious that one of the top 10 tips from Mark is to distribute Linux to as many Windows users as possible. I tell my OS X cohorts that they should get anti-virus protection, if not for their own safety, for the safety of others they communicate with, so the recommendation for spreading Linux does make serious sense.
Lastly, I did eventually give up my dual-boot wonder for another POSIX system (OS X), but that doesn’t mean I gave up the open source stuff. This site runs on a flavor, and I still use many open source apps (pre-compiled and source) on the Mac. The open source community is watching out for you, so get familiar with what they have to offer, Linux user or otherwise.
You can also check out my original Dell C840, Fedora Core 3 + Windows XP, dual boot configuration here.