Tor is an online platform that is revolutionizing everything from the war on drugs to internet privacy. Now, people use tor to try and stay anonymous online – but people also make a lot of stupid mistakes, that even with TOR, they’re not going to be anonymous. So today I’m going to share the top four ways to AVOID compromising your private information on Tor. What is Tor? Why would you want to browse the web anonymously? Some people use it because they simply don’t want their personal information shared with companies, marketers and the government. Anonymous bloggers and citizen journalists in a dictatorships use it, and Journalists Without Borders recommend it. It’s also handy if you’re whistleblowing government corruption, which is why Amnesty International also recommends it. Tor is also called The Onion Router, and sometimes THE DARK WEB – the Tor browser. How does Tor work? Tor routes your internet traffic through a network of randomly selected points that are scattered all over the world. So your information doesn’t go directly from you to the website you’re looking at. It first bounces around these points, which makes it difficult for people to follow you. They can’t see where you’re going, other than that you went into the tor network. It’s the same way you might turn corners at random or duck into stores if you thought someone was following you home. All the traffic that passes through relays within Tor gets encrypted and re-encrypted multiple times until it reaches the last computer in the Tor network. This encryption is like erasing your footprints. You can’t just access the tor network from anywhere – you need to download the Tor browser in order to access the network, which you can do at torproject.org How is TOR different from a VPN (or a Virtual Private Network) Tor has similarities and differences to a VPN. A VPN works like a middle man, similar to Tor – it sends encrypted data to a VPN server, which then connects to the website you’re looking for. That website is only able to see the IP address of the VPN server, not your personal IP address, so if I’m in Australia and I want to watch American content that is normally blocked, I can use a US-based VPN to trick… CNN or whomever… into thinking I’m in the US. Even better, all your internet traffic is encrypted – so a VPN is perfect for when you’re using wifi hotspots and other public internet locations (so other people at Starbucks don’t see your Bank Of America account along with you). They’re similar in that Tor and a VPN allow you to hide your original IP address and location so that no one can track your activities online, and Both services let you to bypass geo-restricted sites and access geo-blocked content. But whilst Tor is free, a VPN generally costs money, and whilst outside observers can’t watch your internet traffic, the VPN holder can, which means it’s not a completely fool proof method of staying anonymous online. A VPN won’t get you into the Tor world, so if you’re looking for the magical door to the deep web, you’ll still need Tor. Tor isn’t perfect – the police still routinely bust child porn rings and drug marketplaces like The Silk Road. Here it comes – the four easiest ways to reveal your identity while still using Tor. Using the same User ID and/or password as you do on public sites. PICK SOMETHING TOTALLY RANDOM and for added deniability, never keep a copy of that information on your computer, on yourself, or on your property. Use your memory people! Keeping digital evidence, like metadata in your photos. Don’t post unnecessary stuff on the dark web, and if you do post stuff, keep it to a minimum. Remove metadata from photos! Leaving physical evidence, like fingerprints on that gun you’re selling. Like US resident Michael Focia. He used the Tor network to sell a gun to an FBI agent, and stupidly forgot to wipe his prints off it first. Surprise to no one, he’s behind bars for 15 years. Tor and VPNs allow you to do illegal stuff more easily, like report on the government, share information, buy drugs, and order hitmen. But wherever there is crime, there are police.