The Tor Project : Anonymity Online

As of now, we don’t have any privacy online. It can be the government or websites we browse , keep an eye out for what we do and store that data. And in times like these what we need is a tool to protect us from the exploitation and protect our privacy.

Why should we be worried?
That is because website knows from where a person is browsing and identifies the user. Then starts profiling the user. This helps them to send targeted ads to the user in a hope that the user will buy it. This information can then be sold to others and they exploit it.The result can be unwanted mails , ads and many more.  Now there is a near to perfect solution to it. Its TOR.

Tor helps the user to stay anonymous , provided the user obeys certain browsing rules while using the tor network.

So what exactly is TOR?
The TOR project is a network of servers called the tor network run by volunteers all across the globe.  So when a user is on the tor network , and sends some request, (say a search for a particular topic) then the request is sent through the TOR network and it flows through various path and  finally comes out of some random server present in the TOR network. So the website to which the request was sent thinks it came from the server from which  the request came out of the tor network and not from the user. Hence keeping you anonymous.
How anyone could get into the TOR network –
Getting into the tor network can be done through downloading and setting up the tor bundle. Its mainly a Firefox browser that it configured and modified to connect to the tor network when you open the browser. Tor also allows user to view  blocked website because of its amazing technology.
The bundle can be found HERE.
But one should note that to stay anonymous , the user should follow the rules strictly. Some of them are the tor browser plugins are disabled.Which means most of youtube videos wont play, One cannot use torrent through TOR and also that when a file or a document is downloaded, It shouldn’t be opened before exiting the TOR  network. So read the whole set of detailed Documents from here.

I have used it and its interesting to know the way it works. What is even more amazing is that, the Tor project includes an operating  system called TAILS. Tails is actually Debian Linux operating system which is modified to help its users stay anonymous. Its designed to run off of a pendrive and helps to leave no trace of what the user was doing. This OS can downloaded here. 

So all you have to do is make  a live USB of trails and run it directly from the pendrive each time. Tor or Trails both don’t save history, so it means that all the work when done is deleted, leaving no trace. SO its advisable to store important data in permanent drives rather than on the USB stick itself.

Utilizing the tor network purely depends on the user. It can protect a user if used correctly or sacrifice the privacy if misused. I have  high interest in this project and there is lots to explore  about the TOR network and lots to know about the services it offers. More than following a standard procedure, this is about exploring things, so the more you explore, the more you use it, the more you will start liking it. Give it a try!!

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Interesting commands on Linux :SET 1

Here are some fun commands you can try on your Linux system probably when you are bored or want to try something new and something different. I really liked these commands and hope that you will enjoy using it too.

  1. cowsay
    you can make an image of cow appear on the terminal and  show any text that you want , as if the cow was saying it –
    So install cowsay using one of the following command :
    sudo apt-get install cowsay                     (for Debian based OS)
    yum install cowsay                                   (for Red Hat based OS)
    here is how the uoyput will look:
    cowsay1If you want to have a coloured cow to show any text install xcowsay .  Install it same way as cowsay but replace cowsay with xcowsay.
    Run it and ul get a coloured cow some where on your screen.
  2. Steam Locomotive (sl)
    this command “sl” runs a train across your terminal. Its really cool!!
    So install it using one of the commands:
    sudo apt-get install sl                            (In Debian like OS)
    yum -y install sl                                    (In Red Hat like OS)
    run the command  “sl” in he terminal, you should see something like this:
    sl2
  3. toilet
    This command itself is funny.. but what it does is takes a text string and builds the text in some different forms like using symbols some colours,etc
    To install use one of the command:
    sudo apt-get install toilet
    yum install
    toilet

    run the commands as :
    toilet seeTheSource
    toilet3or run the command: toilet -f mono12 -F metal seeTheSource
    toilet4
  4. telnet
    telnet is a network protocol and it causes stories to be run like some kind of animations. Nothing has to be installed here, all you need is a working internet condition.use the command:
    telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl
  5. cmatrix
    this command is used to create the matrix effect on a terminal.install it using the suitable command:

    sudo apt-get install cmatrix
    yum install cmatrix
    
    cmatrix
  6. espeak
    this command is used for text to speech. So you can configure it to be a welcome sound when your OS loads. Or use it to read text just like that.
    install espeak using one of:

     sudo apt-get install espeak 
     yum install espeakthen run it as: espeak "this is see the source" 
     or any other text you want. And have fun.

So all these commands are really fun to use, there are lots more available.. I will post about more useful commands in the coming posts!!