Tor, short for The Onion Router, is a free and open-source software that enables anonymous communication over the internet. It works by routing your internet traffic through a network of volunteer-operated servers, making it difficult for anyone to track your online activities. However, using Tor alone is not enough to ensure complete anonymity and security. You also need to understand and manage Tor’s security settings to protect yourself from potential threats. In this article, we will explore Tor’s security levels and how to adjust them based on your needs.
Tor Browser, the most popular way to access the Tor network, has three security levels: Standard, Safer, and Safest. Each level provides a different level of protection against potential threats but also comes with its own limitations. Let’s take a closer look at each level.
Standard: This is the default security level in Tor Browser. It allows most website features to work as intended, but may still block some potentially dangerous content, such as scripts and plugins. This level is suitable for everyday browsing, but may not provide enough protection against advanced tracking techniques.
Managing Security Settings
To manage the security settings in Tor Browser, click on the shield icon next to the URL bar. This will open the Tor Browser Security Settings panel, where you can adjust the security level and other settings according to your needs and threat model.
In addition to the security level, you can also adjust other settings, such as:
• Block all third-party cookies: This setting blocks cookies from websites other than the one you are currently visiting. This can help prevent tracking across multiple websites.
• Disable WebGL: WebGL is a technology that allows websites to render 3D graphics in your browser. However, it can also be used to fingerprint your browser and track your online activities.
• Disable WebRTC: WebRTC is a technology that allows real-time communication between browsers, such as video and voice chat. However, it can also leak your real IP address, compromising your anonymity.
Task for the Day
To better understand how Tor’s security levels affect website functionality, try experimenting with each level and visiting different websites. Take note of any differences in website behavior and functionality, and consider which level provides the right balance of security and usability for your needs.
Tor is a powerful tool for protecting your online privacy and anonymity, but it requires some understanding and management of its security settings to be effective. By adjusting the security level and other settings in Tor Browser, you can customize your level of protection according to your needs and threat model. Remember to experiment with different settings and levels to find the right balance of security and usability for your needs.