Tor: the onion browser which is well known for providing anonymity and security to the user. Is it really true? Well, we will discuss it in later part and you would know by yourself that it is really true or not. So you started using Tor for achieving anonymity over the internet. It is true that Tor protects your real IP and encrypts your data over the network, but it is partially true. Certain things should be take care of to stay anonymous online. But Tor is not a perfect solution for being anonymous and secure at all over the internet. Let us discuss.

Exit nodes can be compromised

Exit Node: Exit node is a point, where you leaves the Tor network and enter into the public or other network. Exit node is the last entity of the Tor network and after that it leave Tor network.

When you browse internet using Tor, the internet traffic is route to many random relay’s before exiting from the Tor network, which can give you slow internet bandwidth experience than normal. Suppose you requested for Bing.com. Now, what will happen is that this request will pass through various random relay’s and at one point (Exit Node) it will leave the Tor network. Hence after that exit point your traffic can be sniffed and one can monitor your request.

It’s recommended to use HTTPS always. Suppose you are browsing an encrypted website (Suppose Yahoomail) and if your traffic is being monitored at exit node than no need to worry because your traffic would be in encrypted form. But, if you are browsing an unencrypted website (http) and  you are being monitored at exit node than it is something to worry about. Because the sniffer can keep track of your traffic that which web pages you are browsing and all.

Make sure to always use HTTPS, to avoid being sniffed by Government or any individual.

Tor Exit nodes can be Geo-Located on map and you could find it on Blutmagie

Using Tor with Windows

Windows; the most used OS around the world. Well, Windows do has certain security flaws which could allow the tracker to trace you back. So it is not a good practice to use Tor with Windows. Flaws can make your identity vulnerable and your anonymity could be compromised.

Make sure to always use Tor with Linux powered OS like Tail and not Windows.

Browsing certain sites on Tor

Browsing websites like Google, Facebook could compromise your anonymity. These websites uses various tools like Google Analytics, Ad trackers and many more to name it for optimizing user experience which could compromise your location, identity. So never login to any of such websites. Providing personal information on websites that ask your email, phone number could compromise your anonymity. Avoid using search engine like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Make practice of using DuckDuckGo search engine for anonymity.

Avoid login to any application and make sure to use DuckDuckGo instead of Google, Bing, Yahoo search engines.

[Tweet “To hell the circumstances. I create opportunities – Bruce Lee”]

Browsing any website that does not use HTTPS than the private information like login, password, session, cookies could all be monitored and captured.

If you send an email using SMTP (no TLS) then the email could be monitored and intercepted.

Using plugins and JavaScript in Tor

By default Tor browser take care of certain settings like it disable JavaScript and disable plugins. However you can always change the setting. But it is good to keep it as default. If you are using JavaScript than it is likely to be in risk that your Real IP could be leaked by browser. Using another browser while using Tor, can reveal your identity and compromise your anonymity.

What is VPN? Does VPN make you anonymous?

If you are serious about anonymity than you should not change settings of the Tor browser and you should avoid using another browser with Tor.

Final Words

Anonymity could be achieved with certain precautions and steps to be taken. Hence, 100% anonymity is nearly impossible. Tor is not the deserved solution for achieving anonymity and security. At some point your traffic can be monitored and intercepted. Read a guide on Avoid being hacked and stay safe online

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