Preface - How to be Anonymous Online: Step-by-Step Anonymity with Tor, Tails, Bitcoin and Writeprints (2016)

How to be Anonymous Online: Step-by-Step Anonymity with Tor, Tails, Bitcoin and Writeprints (2016)


Why publish a new guide for 2016?

Since publishing the original How to be Anonymous Online guide in February 2013, I have made updates almost monthly. While this ensured that those who purchased the guide were buying relevant information, eventually the monthly tweaks to that information left them with partially outdated instructions. To make up for this, I did two things. First, I posted the updates as blog posts on my website Second, I periodically asked Amazon to allow those that already owned the guide to download an updated version.

While blog updates are useful and ensure everyone stays in the loop, someone that purchased the guide in 2013 has the headache of going through three years of posts to see what has changed. As for Amazon, they usually deny my requests to send out free, updated versions to those that already own the guide. When Amazon has approved my request (which has happened once in three years), it has been eight weeks before they make the update available.

That brings us to this 2016 version of the guide. Those of you that purchased How to be Anonymous Online six months ago will not find this guide to be much different than the one you already own. Those of you that purchased How to be Anonymous Online three years ago will find that the 2016 edition is a whole new animal. And, those of you that are buying this guide for the first time have an up-to-date and entirely relevant set of instructions on How to be Anonymous Online.


I know these instructions will be purchased by anonymity seekers of many levels. Here is where I am coming from in writing this guide and what you stand to gain.

First, this guide is $4.99. There is something worth $4.99 in this for 95% of you. For beginners, you will be totally anonymous online in two hours (and that is giving you time for a cigarette break). For post-beginners, you will discover some little, yet important, detail(s), like a wrong setting in Tor, that will blow your cover if uncorrected. After all, Tor and Tails DO NOT come preconfigured for total anonymity (f.y.i., there is more to this guide than Tor). Remember, if you have one, single, tiny, little hole in your system, you are NOT anonymous. If you are a know-it-all anonymity expert hacker computer science grad student, you do not need this guide, so feel free to move on. Again, this guide is only $4.99. You probably earn that in 15 minutes at work. Amazon will even give you a refund if you think this whole thing is a total waste.

Second, it is easy to be anonymous once you know how, but it is a pain in the ass when you don't. For $4.99, I will take the pain out of your ass. In the last ten years many anonymity "game changers," like Tor, Tails, and Bitcoin, have come about… However, they have flaws. Tor and Tails need some modifications to be secure. Bitcoin is not anonymous in its current form. It does not even pretend to be anonymous. It is pseudonymous… This is a HUGE difference. I talk about why this matters and how Bitcoin can be anonymous shortly with modifications YOU will make (and no, not "Bit-Laundry" services).

Third, PGP Encryption is confusing. I break it down into short step-by-step instructions, saving hours of figuring it out yourself ($4.99 to save a few stressful hours of your life is a good deal).

Fourth, this is not a book you read these are instructions you follow. If you are looking for a book to spend the day reading by the fire, do not buy these instructions. If you read these instructions in 30 minutes, and then complain that this 'book' merely says install Tails, you did not read this page, AND you did not follow the instructions. It will take you a couple of hours to build a solid system. If you want to spend $4.99 to do things the right way the first time instead of spending days searching Google and browsing forums trying to figure this stuff out yourself (and still leaving holes in your system), purchase these instructions. If you build your kid a doll house, you do not want a book about doll houses, you just want instructions for building a doll house. For $4.99, I am telling you what to do without asking you to subscribe to a proxy service, buy software or trust a third party.

Fifth, I post all updates on my blog. I make updates often, and there is no reason you should have to buy a new copy to stay "in-the-know." As new technologies are developed, new shortcomings are discovered (like how your mega-strong encryption will be broke in 5 years), and spelling mistakes are corrected :/ I will share them with you.