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Using a computer nowadays means leaving your footprints everywhere on the Net, just like walking along a beach, and...
Using a computer nowadays means leaving your footprints everywhere on the Net, just like walking along a beach, and it makes you feel like you are never alone. Cookies follow you everywhere you go, and in this NSA era, it is almost impossible to stay hidden no matter how hard you try.
But it doesn't have to be like that anymore. After more than five years in development, and working with only donations and almost no funding, today Tails version 1.0 is being launched. Tails is an open-source operating system that allows everything to be fresh the moment you start up your computer, and when you shut it down, it goes completely blank. Actually, it looks like you are using a new computer every time you start a new session, and then throwing it away when you are done with it.
Tails was presented at this years Chaos Communications Congress and it has been getting everyone’s full attention since then. It uses an external disk, like a USB, SD card or CD to boot up your computer. Using a CD makes you completely immune to malware, but as the CD slowly slips into extinction, and more and more computers are being sold without a CD drive, the USB is much more convenient to use.
Getting Tails to work isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are a lot of computers that can't run the OS, and for now it works best on Linux-friendly machines. It may feel a little strange and uncomfortable to use at first, but it has all the same applications just like any standard computer. Instead of Outlook it uses Claws mail, and Firefox (or Chrome) is replaced with Tor browser.
Even though it has a lot of troubleshooting, it does give you enormous privacy. Keeping the operating system on a disk means you’re operating independently of the computer. Also, it makes your setup portable, so you can take it everywhere with you and even work from a public cafe, being sure that no one is “following you.” There are plans for the new version to be even more secure because it will randomize the computer’s MAC address, keeping you even safer.
The intriguing part about it is that as much as it allows you to go undercover, it also works for Tails, because no one knows who's behind it. The team has never been publicly revealed and they use secret names. They say, "Some of us want to remain anonymous. Some of us simply believe that our work, what we do, and how we do it, should be enough."
Security is hard for sure, and it requires discipline, so you will have to stay away from Google and Facebook. However, it is worth a try if security is more important to you than sharing your selfies on Facebook.