I want to be able to log into social networking sites like FB. Do I have to make a new account or will Tor protect my identity still? I think I logged into FB and realized that I might not be protected anymore. What do I do? Should I make a new identity and then a new account?

  • What did you thought Tor would protect you against in the context of Facebook? You got a FB profile that isn't the real you, but you got busted, so someone knows who you are?
    – bastik
    Dec 23 '13 at 22:47
  • Is there a way to fix it? Dec 24 '13 at 2:54
  • I take it the answer's "no." Dec 24 '13 at 2:55
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    Well you can still create a new facebook account over Tor and use it over Tor and not even FB would know who you are. Until you start to get friends with exactly the same people and have exactly the same interests as your old profile.
    – bastik
    Dec 24 '13 at 9:08
  • what if you log into facebook using the tor browser??
    – user
    Jun 22 '14 at 12:27

When you make a Facebook account and whenever you log on you give them your identity. That's kinda the whole point of Facebook.

The purpose of Tor is to make delivery of your internet traffic anonymous. Tor doesn't make the contents of your traffic anonymous.

  • What if I didn't post anything on Facebook, rather I just logged in? Does that not matter or is there something I'm not getting? You said the "contents" aren't anonymous. Or should I just give up and get a different anonymous browser or a VPN instead? Dec 24 '13 at 3:41
  • If your facebook account is registered under your real name then facebook, ofcourse, will always know who you are. I don't think anything provides exactly what you're looking for.
    – user194
    Dec 24 '13 at 3:51
  • Oh no, my name is registered under a fake name Dec 24 '13 at 3:55
  • I changed it a long time ago. No one is allowed to use my actual name on FB without my permission, which is never. That's a whole other story though. Dec 24 '13 at 3:56
  • So is my email. Dec 24 '13 at 3:57

If you have a shell account (meaning it uses a fake name and stats) and reveals nothing personal, then using Tor you can mask your location and trail. HOWEVER, keep in mind there are other ways that you can breach your security, even with a Tor connection.

For example, if you enable Flash, there are hidden flash embeds in the FB code designed to track stats, much like Urchin does but to a more unbelievably detailed level, such as how much time you spent on a page, what you looked at, where you clicked, what you clicked, if you scrolled all the way down or not, where you went next, where you came from, and so on and so forth. Among the data it gathers is your session id, geo tags, and so on. Because it uses Flash, it gathers it client side, which means its getting it directly from your system, this WILL expose your external IP, the real one, it will also expose whatever else you have exposed on your system that can identify you. To solve this problem, make sure you disable Flash while using Tor, ALWAYS - unless you accept the risks I have mentioned.

Additionally, FB uses JavaScript HEAVILY which also has the same capability client-side and can expose like Flash, maybe not as insidiously but still pretty extensively. This is almost integral to FB function but it can be used without JS, which means if you disable JavaScript, you should be ok. In Chrome, disable it from the Settings, or use HTTP Switchboard and in Firefox, same thing in Options, or use NoScript which is suggested even by the Tor Project.

So to recap, if you want to the full benefit of all the web technology has to offer, then NO you will not be secure on Facebook - short answer. But, if you are willing to sacrifice Flash and JavaScript (which pretty much eliminates most apps on FB) then YES you will be just fine. Just be informed in making your decision.

  • How to disable Flash and Javascript? Dec 31 '13 at 2:30
  • @user3079044 which browser are you using? In Firefox you go to Addons -> Plugins -> Disable all by setting them to "Never Activate" and for JavaScript, Mozilla in their infinite wisdom decided to make it difficult to disable JS, so you need to go to about:config -> type javascript, locate the option javascript.enabled -> double click to change to false (assuming its true now) and that's it. Dec 31 '13 at 7:31
  • If you are using Chrome which I don't recommend with Tor given that its very chatty in phoning home to Google, so not exactly stealth, anyway just go to about:plugins -> locate Adobe Flash Player -> Click Disable. Now go to Settings -> Show Advanced Settings (at the bottom of page) -> Click Content Settings under Privacy -> Under JavaScript select Do not allow any site to run javascript and that's it, you are done. Dec 31 '13 at 7:34
  • I think I'll also switch browsers. Which one do you recommend? Dec 31 '13 at 20:07
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    For more control over your browser, nothing beats FireFox, although lately they seem to have been corrupted by Google into removing interface access to options and being more chatty but if you know where to look under about:config you can still tweak them the way you want, but Chrome is not there yet. For regular use, its fine but for anything serious or secure, I wouldn't rely on it. If you have the Tor Firefox, stick with it. It has been best configured to work with their service so it would be your best bet. Jan 1 '14 at 1:13

If you log in with your account, and have logged into that same account some other time from your regular connection - then you are not anonymous. If you have provided a email you also have logged into with your regular connection - then you are not anonymous, things like this can be traced.

However I think it's important to mention that Facebook has a .onion domain - https://facebookcorewwwi.onion/ , using that with the torbrowser will make sure facebook do not get what IP you are connecting from, since it's a hidden service. This is a legitimate service they provide. They will know it your account that's in use, but not where you connect from.

There is a post on torproject's blog with more information.

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