Sometimes you just don’t want to be tracked. That’s where TOR comes in wearing a Guy Fawkes mask to save the day. TOR stands for The Onion Router, and the name comes from the many layers of encryption and security applied. Before you get any ideas on using TOR for illegal activity, consider that the NSA will specifically target TOR traffic to find criminals.
The NSA has a technique that targets outdated Firefox browsers codenamed EgotisticalGiraffe, and targets Tor users in general for close monitoring under its XKeyscore program. Attacks against Tor are an active area of academic research, which is welcomed by the Tor Project itself.
The easiest way to get into TOR and begin browsing is by using the TOR Browser. It’s very easy to get, and can be downloaded from the homepage over at http://torproject.org. Install the browser, and as long as the onion is green at the top your traffic is relatively secure. One of the most important things for you to remember however, is that the TOR Browser only protects traffic going through the browser itself. Another important factor to consider is that anonymization only works if you are attempting to remain anonymous. In other words, don’t log into your bank, Facebook, or email accounts through this browser if they are tied to your actual identity in any way. Doing that would essentially be like wearing a mask with your full name taped to the front of the mask.
Our sponsors over at Computer BITS created a quick video about how to get online and using TOR, seen below. If you’d like to learn more about TOR, visit the Wikipedia link here.