Saturday, 22 November 2014

Here Are 11 Do's And Don'ts Of Tor Network!

There is nothing better than The Onion Router aka TOR for those genuinly concerned about the privacy of their digital communications. The free software secretly routes your system’s Internet traffic over several places on the Internet, thereby hiding the actual source of communication improving your privacy and security on the Internet.

Tor network, Onion router, online, Privacy, security, Google, Windows, Linux, HTTP, HTTPS, SSL, TLS, Tor browser bundle

We bring you a list of tips and tricks for using Tor to protect you better when online:

1. Do Use Tor

Tor is widely known for providing online anonymity, having gained quite a lot of reputation at what it does. It can be used for:

-sensitive browsing

-reporting abuse or corruption

-serious business activities

-inter-state or inter-country communications

-publishing anonymous posts

-sharing personal secrets with family and friends

and more.

2. Don’t Use Windows

Refrain from browsing websites through Tor on Windows systems if you're looking to improve your Internet privacy. On Windows systems, security bugs and vulnerabilities present in the system may
compromise your privacy rendering Tor quite literally worthless. It's best to run Tor-configured Linux systems such as Tails and Whonix, Further, you can also set up Tor on any of your favorite Linux distro.

3. Do Update Your System

Remember, Tor is only as safe and secure as the system running the Tor client. Therefore, it is highly advisable to regularly update the Tor client, Tor-secured applications (browsers, instant messaging clients, email clients, etc.), and the operating system of your computer.

4. Don’t Use HTTP Websites

Tor is a traffic router and not a tool to encrypt the network traffic throughout the Internet, therefore, its exit nodes can read your Internet traffic when in the form of plain unencrypted data.

It's only obvious you use end-to-end encryption such as SSL or TLS when doing sensitive online communications that requires HTTPS websites. Further, add-ons like 'HTTPS Everywhere' automatically switch to HTTPS-mode browsing for supported websites. It's preferred you use these.

5. Do Encrypt Your Data Storage

Tor cannot secure the digital data on your computer. Complete security can only be achieved through encryption of data using strong cryptographic algorithms. LUKS or TrueCrypt can be used for the same.

6. Don’t Use Tor Browser Bundle

Tor Browser Bundle contains critical vulnerabilities and therefore should not be used for browsing websites anonymously through Tor.

7. Do Disable JavaScript, Flash And Java

Binary applications like JavaScript, Adobe Flash, Java, QuickTime, ActiveX controls, VBScripts etc run with user account's privileges. These might access and share your data leaving Tor rendered useless. Websites can use to track you using JavaScript. Meanwhile, Java and Adobe Flash run in virtual machines. These might ignore your system’s configured proxy settings, and share your data directly with the websites.

8. Don’t Use P2P

Tor network is not built for peer-to-peer file sharing. If you're into downloading torrents, remember you're simply busing Tor. Another downside is, it slows down other user's browsing on the network.

9. Do Delete Cookies And Site’s Local Data

Tor uses network packets to hide your real identity from the websites. However, it can't stop websites from using workarounds such as cookies and local data storage to detect your real identity.

10. Don’t Use Your Real Email

Tor protects online privacy and hides real identity. However if you’re giving out your real email on the websites, how is Tor to secure you? Ideally, you must consider a virtual identity while using Tor.

11. Don’t Use Google

Warning: Google periodically collects information on users’ browsing and search data to facilitate the growth of its revenue. Rather, go for alternatives such as Startpage and DuckDuckGo. These anonymity-compliant services offer search results without logging your IP address and storing cookies on your computer.
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