Tor Anonymity: Things NOT To Do While Using Tor

Do you run Tor on Windows? Do you Google and Torrent on Tor? Here is a list of things you should NOT be doing while using Tor or else your privacy is as vulnerable as without Tor.

The Onion Router, or Tor as it is more commonly known as is a free anonymity software which people all over the world use for hiding their real identity while browsing the internet. A user’s online privacy and anonymity is something that is not always respected by ISPs and government officials, not at all in today’s world.

In an age where cybercrime is growing at a breath-taking pace, add to that the activity of government agencies like NSA spying intensely on their citizens’ internet activity, anonymity and privacy while using the internet is a hard thing to come by. At times like these, Tor comes out as a boon for people.

It is simply a browser that provides you anonymity by routing your network through many different relays on its Tor network. Your identity is protected since your connection to an end node is made through an intricate network of relays. However, the degree to which Tor helps you out depends on the way you use it. We provide you with some Don’ts while using Tor.

Not Updating regularly

Tor is a free software, and like all software, it has some bugs and glitches which are frequently resolved via updates. Moreover, Tor is just a browser that works on top of your operating system, so if your OS itself is compromised then, Tor won’t do you any good. Therefore, it is quite essential that you regularly update your Tor client as well as your operating system.

Using with Windows

Windows is the most used operating system in the world, and with Windows 10, despite its security and privacy issues, the number of users has increased even further.

However, using Tor on top of Windows is not a good practice, since Windows is full of security flaws that allow hackers to gain leverage over a user’s system and after that his sensitive data. It’s no use using Tor to hide your identity when Windows OS can cause your sensitive files to be hacked.

Using Google as a search engine

Google uses a lot of tools like Google analytics to build a complete profile of people who use it. Although it helps in providing people better search results and overall experience, it involves recording a lot of personal data like name, location, etc. If you are using Tor to hide your identity, then using Google on top of that is a waste of Tor. It’s like hitting the gym and then eating a double cheese pizza right after coming out. So, do not use Google while using Tor. Search engines like DuckDuckGo do not track your location or record your search results so give it a try.

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Keeping Java enabled

JavaScript, Adobe Flash, etc. are dominant browser languages that can be used by hackers and spies to gain access to your system. These languages use virtual machines and run via user accounts so they have a lot of permissions which can be used to share your personal data online. So even if you are using Tor to hide your identity, keeping these enabled will do you no good.

P2P

Sorry, but no torrenting on Tor. BitTorrent and other P2P clients provide information like your IP address to the peers and end nodes, so if you use P2P while using Tor then again it is a canceling out factor. Anyone in the peer pool can see your IP address and thus your identity is compromised.

End Note

Tor is a free software to provide people anonymity on the internet. However, it is merely a traffic router. It cannot, for instance, encrypt all your files and your entire internet connection.

Therefore, the onus is on the users to use it to good effect so that they may reap the benefits of using Tor properly and succeed in their aim of remaining anonymous on the internet. This article highlights just some of the ”don’ts” while using Tor. We would advise you to do some more homework to identify other such issues with using Tor.

Top, Featured ImageAndrew/Flickr

Written by Ali Raza

Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.