In the Linux world: Tails

tailsYou can download Tails Linux for free. I have it running under Oracle’s Virtual Box inside a Linux host, but the recommended way is to put it on a USB stick and reboot your computer. To quote the website: “Tails is a live operating system that you can start on almost any computer from a USB stick or a DVD.”

What it does:

  • use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network;

  • leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly;

  • use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.

Tor is a network that bounces your IP address all over the world, just like on movies and TV shows, to make you impossible to trace. Why do people want that? Are they terrorists? Well, what if you don’t want Google to know you are doing research for a novel involving bad guys doing realistic things, or maybe watching porn!

It’s such a clandestine way of using a browser, I read somewhere, that anyone who searches for Tails or Tor Browser, or goes to their site and download it, alarms the NSA.

It’s a pain to use. I tried logging into my Google account with it and it sent up all kinds of red flags that someone from Europe was trying to access my account (it was only me). That’s the whole point. When you use it no one can tell who you are or where you are.

If you don’t want to put the Tails OS on a USB stick to use when you reboot your computer, you can also just download and use the Tor Browser as a stand alone. I suppose people like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange use this stuff to foil authorities.

Have fun and don’t do anything unethical!

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