Tails of Tor: Linux Access to the Dark Side of the Internet Part 2

Category: Tech Today

Good Practice

If you're going to undertake a Mission Impossible (1994) expedition of visiting someone's work terminal after hours and you want to leave no trace whatsoever of your online activities, then Tails should definitely be your LiveUSB of choice. Before getting into your unitard and practicing your creepy Tom Cruise grin while hanging upside down with your LiveUSB however, take note of the following:

1. On boot, click More Options and assign a Root password. If you skip this step, you will be unable to run any administrative tasks such as running Synaptic Package Manager and accessing restricted partitions.

2. To set up a persistent volume for your Tails LiveUSB, use the Tails USB Installer. I used UNetbootin to create my Tails LiveUSB so I couldn't create a persistent volume for my installed applications and configurations until I created another Tails LiveUSB using the Tails USB Installer. For those who haven't created a LiveUSB yet, it's time to use your much-neglected optical drive and burn a LiveCD then create a LiveUSB.

Unique Toolset

Specialized Linux distributions such as Tails always get overshadowed by mainstream distributions like Linux Mint and Ubuntu, but there are many reasons to give them a try especially since they normally include quality applications you may not have heard of. Specialized Linux distributions are also more focused on a particular goal or use. A few of Tails distinguishing utilities are:

1. KeePassX - Like most users, I'm terrible with passwords, but security in light of break-ins in major web services is more important than ever. KeePassX is an efficient and easy-to-use password manager for Linux.

2. IceWeasel with Tor - The main reason you would probably use Tails is for the incredible amount of attention placed on privacy. IceWeasel comes with Tor-friendly proxy settings and HTTPS Everywhere. Little to no further configuration is really needed for most users though.

3. Vidalia control panel and i2P anonymous network access

4. Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit - For the truly paranoid, remove the metadata from your images and documents using Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit.

While running Tails, you can also use preinstalled Pidgin, Liferea and Claws Mail for your normal online activities. Almost all Linux distributions also have some unusual utility included. For Tails, it's two versions of Gobby Collaborative Editor.

Continued in Tails of Tor: Linux Access to the Dark Side of the Internet Part 3


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