How To Stay Truly Hidden Using Tor

 

In this context, the term fingerprint refers to what is specific to the way you behave using the Internet. This can be used to determine whether a particular user is behaving safe or not.

When using the internet it is possible to know that you are using Tor. This section explains some issues regarding the fingerprint and how this could be used to identify you as a Tor user.

For the websites that you are visiting

The websites that you are visiting can retrieve a lot of information about your browser. That information can include its name and version, window size, list of available extensions, timezone, available fonts, etc.

To make it difficult, Tor Browser tries to provide the same information as Tor Browser on other operating systems in order to have similar fingerprints.

For example, Tor includes Adblock Plus which removes advertisements. If an attacker can determine that you are not downloading the advertisements that are included in a webpage, that could help identify you as a Tor user.

For your ISP or local network administrator

  • Tor bridges are most of the time a good way of hiding the fact that you are connecting to Tor to a local observer.
  • Usually users of Tor Browser on other operating systems also have network activity outside of Tor, either from another web browser or other applications. So the proportion of Tor activity could be used to determine whether a user of Tor Browser is using Tails or not. If you are sharing your Internet connection with other users that are not using Tails it is probably harder for your ISP to determine whether a single user is generating only Tor traffic and so maybe using Tails
  • When starting, Tails synchronizes the system clock to make sure it is accurate. While doing this, if the time is set too much in the past or in the future, Tor is shut down and started again. This behavior could be used to distinguish Tails users, especially since this happens every time Tails starts.

Photo by laboratoriolinux

Photo by laboratoriolinux

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