Everything you need to avoid doing to stay anonymous on Tor

Steve Smith explains everything you need to do, and avoid doing, to stay anonymous while using Tor.

Episode #8-45 released on July 1, 2018

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Apart from the obviousness of using Tor to stay anonymous online, there are several things you can do to continue being anonymous online, as much as possible.

First, the Tor Browser will warn you that maximizing the window can allow some sites to detect the full resolution of the screen, this includes the full viewable portion, too. These vectors may seem unimportant, but since monitor resolution and available space can differ depending on applications and plugins being used, can be made to be fairly unique, or uncommon.

Which brings us to plugins. Do not install plugins in the Tor Browser. Keep those for your normal browser.

And, if you were looking forward to using a password vault in Tor, don't. Logging into any web-site will tie your session and account with the current Tor Circuit, and each other circuit after that, until you log out, or stop using that site within Tor.

Whenever supported, use the HTTPS version of all web-sites. The contents of your visit will remain encrypted, even if the fact you are connecting via Tor isn't.

Do not open any files or documents you have downloaded through though using any internet connected device, if you must open something like a PDF, use the built in PDF viewer in the Tor Browser, or get an OS like Tails, and open it in Tails, while offline. Some documents may have resources online that can record your real IP address. If the file is unique in nature, it would break the anonymous aspect of using Tor.

Another way of breaking the anonymous aspect of Tor, is torrenting. Just don't. Torrenting through Tor isn't anonymous, as the Torrent application will use your real IP address in order to connect to the peer to peer servers. Not to mention, that downloading through the Tor network makes you more of an ass hole, because you slow down the experience for all other users, too.

Do not share personal information, ever, on Tor. This includes personal email address, business email address, phone numbers, addresses, etc. Furthermore, do not use filesharing services like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc. over Tor.

For users that have issues with connecting to Tor or need a bridge because few people use Tor in your area, there is another solution. In the Tor Browser, click the onion, go to Tor Network settings, select Tor is censored in my country, and select one from the list, unless you already know a Tor relay bridge. This will allow you to connect to the Tor network. Additionally, you may use a VPN, but connecting the VPN to Tor friendly services, and using Tor normally, or with a bridge. However, the rest of what I stated before remains true. Some VPNs do keep logs, so keeping yourself anonymous, even with a VPN is important.

There is one addon in the Tor Browser that is installed, it is called NoScript. Keeping it in it's default setting should prevent you from seeing most advertisements on web-sites, but may, also, cripple some web-sites. Especially mobile friendly sites that require JavaScript to function correctly. You can allow scripting to run Globally, or by web-site, but keep in mind this. Unless you absolutely trust the web-site or need access to functionality that is disabled by having NoScript blocking JavaScript, it is probably not worth allowing JavaScript to run. That being said, a lot of sites will have degraded experiences because of this, not typical of normal internet usage.

A last note, because changing various settings in the options will change the behavior of the browser, which can, also, be detected by simple fingerprinting, I would recommend not to change anything about the behavior of the Tor Browser. Unlike a normal browser experience, the Tor Browser is setup to act as anonymous as possible, and each of the Tor Browsers, is made to look as identical as possible to everyone else's.

If you want to further make yourself more anonymous, besides using relay bridges and VPNs to tunnel elsewhere before connecting to the Tor Network, consider telling your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers about Tor, because the more people use it, the harder it will be to single out a single connection.

As to what your intentions are in using the Tor Browser, and Tor Network, that is not my concern.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net

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