Is Tor Browser Safe for Surfing the Net?
Some time ago, Internet users were sure that Tor is the only browser that can let them stay safe while surfing the Net. People chose it even for accessing the dark web. However, over the past years, the situation has changed. Some cases prove Tor is not completely safe. CIA, FBI, and NSA managed to break such well-known Tor’s security. So, is the Tor browser safe still or not? Let’s discover it right now.
How Does Tor Work?
The Tor browser masks your internet traffic. For example, when you surf the Net, the browser sends your data past numerous Tor computers. This way, Tor aims to ensure that third parties can’t see the actual place where the information is going from. Simply put, Tor prevents governments and websites from linking your online performance with you. When Tor cloaks your information at every node (or stop), it adds another layer of encryption or removes it; everything depends on the traffic. In other words, using Tor should be anonymous and safe in terms of internet experience.
Moreover, using Tor is not illegal. Different people use this browser to stay anonymous and feel free to say what they want to say without any fears. In other words, it is a question of freedom of speech. This way, people can freely express their opinions on any political issue and still not be afraid of getting prosecuted. At the same time, some people choose to use Tor out of principle. Such users aim to prevent companies and marketers from tracking them. However, now the question comes: is the Tor browser safe or not?
Tor’s Safety Cracked
As a few court cases prove, illegal activities on the dark web may be tracked and linked to definite individuals using Tor. In other words, third parties can discover and collect a person’s IP address and other data, even if he/she is using the Tor browser. Before, it was possible due to the fact that NSA has a huge part of the Tor nodes. As a result, the NSA saw who used the following nodes. Hence, if the people are identifiable, the police can easily track their online performance and arrest them in case of illegal practices.
This proves that the Tor browser is not as safe as it has been before. Hackers regularly try to break Tor’s security. Many third parties are eager to access the data that is hidden by the Tor browser. This is exactly what happened in 2014. A group of researchers that the government financed managed to collect information from the Tor browser. Later, the situation occurred again. Users reported the leak, which made IP addresses of macOS and Linux users seeable. Tor didn’t put up with the situation and did everything to cope with it.
What Risks Are Associated with Using Tor?
Is Tor Browser safe? Now you know that it is not completely. Like any other system, it comes up with its drawbacks. Even if the developers do their best to prevent the leak and cope with it in case it happens, you can’t know for sure when it will happen again. Moreover, there are other reasons to worry about provided safety. Here they are.
Tor’s users often become the target of hackers, and let’s face the truth; it is no fault of Tor for sure. Such hacks occur because the person’s device is not protected well. It may happen to anyone, so every person should be aware of it. Viruses, criminals, and others may hide on the pages you visit while surfing the Net, especially the dark web. That’s why you should mind your every click.
The problem is that you may still be tracked while using the Tor browser. The reason is bad exit nodes. You see, exactly, it is the last stop before connecting to a website or page. The person who controls the node can easily check the traffic that passes through it. Similar to the NSA, your internet information is not private anymore. There is always somebody who can check what pages you are visiting. Pay attention that you keep being anonymous as the node owner can’t trace the data source because it passed through two more nodes before.
Is Tor a Good Option for Anonymous Browsing?
You shouldn’t worry while using the Tor browser while navigating across the regular web. Most third parties and governments are not interested in such content. Instead, they are focused on illegal activities, like spreading child porn, etc. Furthermore, Tor is open source, and even official organizations like the Navy will not hide secret entrances within its code. All in all, you may feel free to use Tor for general Internet browsing. However, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about basic rules to stay safe and protect your data.
How to Use Tor Safely?
The Internet is full of dangers that you should be aware of while switching to the Tor browser. These dangers are associated with plain privacy risks, as well as more severe attacks on your safety, for example, viruses, etc. In any case, it is important to protect yourself from all sides. The following tips will help you do the maximum to stay safe:
- Choose reliable antivirus software. As you now know, any unpleasant things may happen even if the Tor browser is optimized well. It is especially true for the dark web. However, you can prevent most of these problems if you use a reliable antivirus program. After installing good software, regularly ensure that you are using the latest version for better protection.
- Install a trustworthy VPN service. If you combine these two privacy solutions, you can gain more protection. A VPN can easily encrypt your data and let you surf the Net anonymously. In other words, no third parties can access your personal information or track your online activities. Mind, a trustworthy VPN service like VeePN, together with the Tor browser, lets you enjoy double protection while surfing the Net.
Is Tor Browser Safe: Summing – up
The short answer to the question “Is Tor browser safe?” is positive. You can use it and surf the Net anonymously. But, it is highly recommended not to rely only on it. Numerous situations proved that unsafe usage of Tor might lead to data leak and even more severe consequences. If you do not want to deal with hacks, criminals, or viruses, you should consider different ways of protecting your data. Tor browser in a successful combination of a trustworthy VPN service will be the best decision ever. VeePN can mask your real IP address and prevent third parties from taking and using your personal data.