How to be Anonymous Online: Step-by-Step Anonymity with Tor, Tails, Bitcoin and Writeprints (2016)
Section: Up and Running
Now, you are now ready to boot your computer using the Tails DVD
Tails - DVD Version
The single biggest advantage of the Tails DVD is that you cannot save data or customize it. These limitations reduce your risk of falling victim to a virus or Malware.
Here's how to use it:
1. You need to boot your computer from the Tails DVD. Pretty much every computer made in the last ten years will boot straight from the DVD if it is inserted during the startup process. So, either restart the computer with the Tails DVD inserted or insert it immediately upon starting the computer. If the system boots into Tails, pat yourself on the back. If not, immediately upon starting your computer you may see a message instructing you how to boot from a DVD
2. If the computer boots properly from the Tails DVD, you will come to a screen that says Boot Tails
3. Select Live
4. You may see 'error' and 'failed' messages during the boot process. Just wait them out. Tails should boot within 3 or 4 minutes.
5. Once Tails starts, you will see the Welcome to Tails screen. Just click Login
1. Once an Ethernet cable is plugged in, just wait, Tails will automatically establish a connection.
2. You will get a message in the top right corner that says Connection Established, followed by another that says Synchronizing the System's Clock.
3. Also, you will get a message saying your version of Tails is out of date and has numerous security holes… You will fix this later.
4. The Iceweasel Web Browser will automatically open once you are online.
5. Once open, go to https://check.torproject.org/ to verify that your connection is established
1. Click on the network icon (it is a little icon with two computers and a little “x” located toward the right side of the top toolbar).
2. Click it to see the available wireless networks.
3. Select a network and, if needed, enter its password.
4. You will get a message in the top right corner that says Connection Established, followed by another that tells Synchronizing the System's Clock.
5. Also, you will get a message saying your version of Tails is out of date and has numerous security holes… You will fix this later.
6. The Iceweasel Web Browser will automatically open once you are online.
7. Once open, go to https://check.torproject.org/ to verify that your connection is established
In the Iceweasel Web Browser:
1. Click Edit > Preferences
3. Click Close
At this point, you are running an anonymity system that is three years out of date. If you are already bored with these instructions, play online with what you have so far, but, come back later because there is A LOT more that must be done to secure your system.
Tails – Flash Drive and MicroSD Version
The big advantage of the Flash Drive or MicroSD card version of Tails is it allows you to upgrade safely. Also, the Flash Drive lets you do an emergency shutdown simply by removing it. Furthermore, you can save files, bookmarks, etc. from session to session.
To minimize the chances of compromising your anonymity, you should keep changes to Tails at a minimum. Part of your anonymity stems from not having a digital fingerprint... Or, more accurately, not having a unique digital fingerprint. Every time you make a change to Tails, your digital fingerprint becomes a little more unique. You do not want Kim Jong-Un using your prints to compile a track record of everywhere you have been.
Also, saving data opens the possibility of housing malware inside your system. Encryption and anonymous IP addresses are not going to protect you if you are being watched from inside your system.
That being said, it is time to set up your Tails USB Flash Drive or Micro SD card:
***Again- “Windows 8 Certified” Flash Drives Do Not Work With Tails. “Windows 8 Certified” flash drives are not bootable, meaning you cannot use them to boot your computer into Tails. Flash drives that are NOT “Windows 8 Certified” work fine. Just check the packaging when you buy a drive. It will be clearly marked if it is Windows 8 Certified. An alternative is to use a Micro SD Card with a USB adapter. Many SD Cards are sold with a USB adapter for under $10. USB adapters sold separately cost even less.***
1. (Re)Boot your computer from the Tails DVD (to shut down or reboot, click the top-right red button or press ctrl+alt+delete)
2. It is common to see 'error' and 'failed' messages during the boot process. Just wait them out. Tails should boot within 3 or 4 minutes.
3. Unlike before, at the Welcome to Tails screen, click Yes under More Options, and then Forward
4. Create a Password*** (this is temporary so you can make it easy) and Login
***This is a temporary administrative password that only lasts one session. Occasionally you will be required to use an administrative password to perform certain tasks.***
5. Once logged in, insert your USB Flash Drive or Micro SD card with its USB adapter
6. From the top toolbar, click Applications > System Tools > Tails USB installer
7. Click Clone & Install
8. In the Tails LiveUSB Creator window, click the Target Device drop-down menu and choose your USB Flash Drive (it is probably preselected)
9. Click Create Live USB
10. Click Next
11. Once installation is complete, click OK
12. YOU ARE NOT FINISHED
Now, you will configure a Persistent Volume.
1. Go ahead and shut down Tails (click the top-right red button or press ctrl+alt+delete)
2. Leaving the Tails USB Flash Drive or Micro SD card inserted, restart the computer and boot from the Flash Drive or Micro SD card. If you know how to do this skip to step 4, if not…
3. Leaving the Tails USB Flash Drive or Micro SD card inserted, restart the computer with the Plop Boot Manager DVD also inserted. The computer will boot to a menu with a few options. Choose USB
4. Next, choose the Live option to start Tails
5. At the Welcome to Tails screen, choose Yes, and then Forward
6. Create a Password (this is temporary so you can make it easy) and Login
7. From the top toolbar, click Applications > System Tools > Configure persistent volume
8. Create an insanely strong 20+ character password (You can go to https://identitysafe.norton.com/password-generator to generate some strong password examples, then make up your own) and click Create. THIS IS THE SINGLE KEY TO YOUR NEW SECRET WORLD. MEMORIZE IT!
9. A Persistence Wizard – Persistent volume configuration window will open once the persistence volume is created. Personally, I click every option except the last three (APT Packages, APT Lists, Dotfiles). This way almost everything I do in Tails carries over to the next session
10. Once you have made your selections, click Save
11. Now, restart Tails and boot from the Tails USB Flash Drive or Micro SD card (using Plop Boot Manager if necessary)
Now that a Persistence volume has been created, you have the option to use it each time you start Tails from your Flash Drive or MicroSD card. If you choose not to use a Persistence volume at startup, Tails will run like the DVD version. If you choose to use a Persistence volume, Tails will run with your personal settings, files, etc.
To use a Persistence Volume:
1. In the Welcome to Tails window, answer Yes to Use Persistence?
2. Enter the Persistence volume password you created and Login
3. Once you login to Tails, you can find your Persistent folder inside the Amnesia Home folder located on your desktop. Anything you save into the Persistent folder will carry over each time you use Tails with the persistence option selected
A few things you should know about the Persistence Volume:
· Your encrypted persistence volume is not hidden. This means that Kim Jong-Un cannot randomly access it, but, since he knows it is there, he might torture you for the password.
· Tails relies on consistency across all platforms to reduce the uniqueness of your digital fingerprint, therefore, customizing your system may create a traceable digital fingerprint.
Remember when I told you that you could use someone else’s computer without them knowing? Tails is how. When a computer boots from Tails it circumvents Windows and the computer's hard drive (in fact, you can remove the hard drive and still use Tails). Instead, it runs as its own operating system, utilizing only the computer's RAM. At shutdown, even if you eject the Tails DVD or remove the USB flash drive while the system is running, Tails wipes the RAM.
When using a computer other than my own, I only use the Flash Drive or Micro SD card in its USB adapter. The reason being, I do not have to worry about the Flash Drive getting stuck inside the computer when I need to do a quick bailout. I can just yank it and go. Even if I need the Plop Boot Manager DVD to boot, I can remove it as soon as Tails starts.
The websites pages to visit EVERY TIME you go online
Anonymity is always under threat. As such, you need to verify that you are securely connected to the Tor network, and you must stay current on Tor news. Every time you go online, the first websites to visit are:
4. http://slashdot.org and search “Tor”
5. https://search.disconnect.me/, search “Tor”, and then click “News”
News of a Tails or Tor exploit will travel fast. You do not want to find out when it is too late.