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6 Tips for Safe Usage of Tails OS and TOR

I’m a big fan of privacy.  I don’t condone illegal activity here, I just don’t like the goons in Washington in my stuff!  Here are my Tails OS and TOR tips!

Tails OS – this is the best option as you can have an OS that is on a USB stick.  You simply boot from the USB and your computer forgets everything you did when you turn it off.  If you need a Tails OS drive, we can help you get that going.

TOR Web Browsing – TOR (The Onion Router) has clients available for Android, Linux, Windows, and OS X.  Personally, if I didn’t have a Tails OS USB stick, I would limit my usage to Linux… but not everyone has a linux laptop.  Of course, just using a Tails OS stick is a better way to go here.

  1. Never connect your Tails OS computer to your phone’s hotspot.  This is just a bad idea.  For one, your cell provider could easily detect that you are using a TOR network.  Secondly, your location will not be secure due to triangulation.  If the TOR node(s) you used were compromised, then assume your location is also probably compromised as well.  One could get by using a phone hotspot if it was a “burner” that had an easily removable battery and the user followed very careful regiment of removing the battery, booting up the phone only in a safe location, and the phone was carefully registered under an alias using a prepaid card (… this is a lot of work, so better just play it safe).
  2. Do not perform long TOR browsing sessions on your home WiFi.  The longer your session, the longer your exposure.  If you need a long session to draft long emails, etc, draft your emails offline, then copy/paste them into your online email (of course, we recommend Runbox for secure email).  Gather your data in short sessions (open up a bunch of tabs, get your news and stuff loaded, then go offline and do your reading).
  3. Get a small laptop with a decent battery, and do your longer browsing sessions outside a fast-food place or donut shop.  But… you may want to get your cup of coffee at a different location.  Remember, you are probably on camera.  So, when you buy your coffee, pull out your laptop, and boot up Tails OS… you could look kinda suspicious.  So, drink that coffee (bought somewhere else) in your car, pull out your laptop, and get your browsing done while you are incognito.
  4. Get a computer that supports a WWAN card.  You might think I’m crazy here, but if you get a cellular broadband enabled laptop (or add-on card) and have a alias burner cellular account with a prepaid credit card, you could pick up a GSM chip and get online wherever you want (of course, change it up since your location can be triangulated).
  5. Always leave your cell phone at home when you go out with your Tails OS laptop.  Think about it, the temptation to keep your cellphone on while you are out and about is way too tempting.  Leave your phone at home and then your cell phone can’t be triangulated with the same position of the donut shop or burner GSM chip you might use in a laptop.
  6. Break your surfing habits.  You might be tempted to check your personal email account while on TOR, but that’s a stupid idea.  Don’t try to visit personal social network (like Facebook) while using a TOR connection.  First, they can detect the discrepancies in location and make you do captcha codes to verify your identity.  Second, you are just handing over your identity while on TOR… and that itself is dumb… why bother use TOR if you are going to tell everyone who you are?

Stay safe and post your questions!

ePrepper is going offline this month and will likely be offline before the end of January 2017, unless I can find someone to either take over the site or migrate its content to. Properly maintaining the site has been taking up too much time and cutting into my family. I would like to see the content of ePrepper get absorbed into a larger site. If you run a blog and are interested using content from ePrepper, please email dan [dot] michaels [at] eprepper [dot] net.

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