Securing your online privacy with Tor

    Date31 Mar 2005
    6631
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    You may never think about it, but many of your online activities may be monitored and analyzed. Advertising companies, government agencies, and private users can use traffic analysis to gather information about which Web sites and pages you visit, what newsgroups you read, and whom you talk to on IRC. While there is no need to be paranoid (or is there???), you can keep your online communication private. The Tor project can help you with that.

    Traffic analysis is based on the fact that every packet of data sent from your computer includes a header containing information about source, destination, size, timing, and other items. If you take a look at a packet header you can at the very least see who sent the the data packet. That's what traffic analysis in its simplest form is about: intercepting data packets and looking at their headers.

    Tor tries to keep your packets private by distributing your transactions over several places on the Internet, so there is no direct connection to your destination. As Tor's Web site puts it: "The idea is similar to using a twisty, hard-to-follow route in order to throw off somebody who is tailing you -- and then periodically erasing your footprints."

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