thanks so much for your work. Ive just started using TOR, and need some basic help, aside from the excellent FAQs. I've tried using OFTC as recommended, but it wouldn't verify my nickname etc. (I've emailed them for help there)

I need to know a couple things before I dive right into TOR (esp re password manager)

Im not a journalist, protestor, political activist, criminal, etc etc- just an ordinary user of web, genuinely concerned about digital privacy, security, rights, not just for myself, or individuals but as to how the global digital landscape is being shaped and all the human, political, social etc consequences play out. I guess im trying to align with the "good guys"! Something like that. Hence I love TOR, EFF, DRW in Australia, Intercept, Snowden etc.

Could you please direct me to the right place to ask my "new guy" questions? I'll put them here below as best I can. Kindly Mark

1- Is it safe to import safari bookmarks?

2- I use Bitwarden password manager on safari and chrome. Is it safe/good to use Bitwarden in TOR?

3- I use Nordvpn, and I know one ought not use any vpn with TOR. This may cause an issue when I need to use (for example) safari and TOR at the same time for some reason. Is there a way around this? (I've been turning the vpn off and on as required when switching between browsers erk...)

4- I know one shouldn't use any browser extensions. So to clarify: using TOR automatically eliminates the need for any of them?

5- Is there any point using TOR on my MacBook, but not on my iPhone? if im using it on one but not the other, doesn't that invalidate it or at least undermine any benefits I might gain? I see theres is onion for iOS , but seems tricky to use.

1 Answer 1

  1. Yes, Bookmarks are safe. Bookmark files are just simple html.

2,4 Why are browser extensions not suggested for Tor Browser? a. Because you want to fit in with all other Tor users. You want to be as anonymous as possible. If a website sees that your browser configuration is slightly different than other users because of a browser extension, the that's a way for that website to see you as different. You will still be anonymous but you won't blend in with all the other Tor Browser users. b. Without thorough testing you can't be sure that some random browser extension won't just give away your data anyway either because it is badly written or through malware. Maybe the Bitwarden extension does neither and you're 100% safe. Cool, but nobody can suggest that you use it without knowing for sure.

  1. At best using Tor Browser with a VPN hides the fact that you are using Tor from your internet service provider instead your VPN provider sees that instead. At worst, if your VPN provider logs what you do including the fact that you are using Tor. (They may say that they don't, but do you trust them?)

  2. How important is your anonymity to you? Do you go to the same website every day using both which negates using Tor? The Tor Project does not have an app for iOS because of some of their restrictions without jailbreaking your phone. They do suggest that you try Onion Browser.

  • Many thanks to you for this. To clarify: * I understand and accept about no extensions, all good- the question is more about the need for them in TOR. I use privacy badger, ghostery, Adblock....that kind of thing. So- is it right to say that TOR eliminates the need for them? **pretty sure this is a dumb question..if I open an app only phone, does that negate benefit of using TOR in any way? Cheers
    – user30240
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 2:28
  • Further to this, i realised that Bitwarden has an app for mac, in which case can just copy/paste url's, usernames, passwords etc. into TOR. *Does this seem a clean "workaround" to avoid the extension?
    – user30240
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 4:49
  • I'm sure those addons could increase functionality. For example, Tor Browser doesn't have the best adblocker. It's not that it doesn't need them. It's that the developers don't see that they are the most important things to include. Tor Browser is fairly narrowly focused on anonymity and other functions are not as important.
    – elmerjfudd
    Commented May 11, 2020 at 9:03

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