Assuming the latest Tor bundle is being used, what additional steps could be taken to reduce the ease of some attacker connecting the dots among fingerprint data and getting closer to an identity?

What are the most common things Tor users do that compromise their anonymity without them being aware it?

And is the use of a VPN along with Tor actually making the fingerprint more unique and easier to identify?

2 Answers 2


Some obvious anonymity fails:

  • checking your Gmail, etc.
  • logging into your Facebook account
  • using a fake Facebook account, but friending your true-name friends
  • tweeting your true-name friends
  • having the same set of interests that you do as your true name

Beyond that, it's prudent to firewall everything involving your true name from your anonymous activity. The Tor browser doesn't protect against downloaded files that phone home later when you're not using Tor.

It's better to use Tails or Whonix. You could also fragment your anonymous activity among multiple Whonix instances. Even if one instance gets hosed, the adversary can't see the rest.

Using VPNs through Tor wouldn't help you be anonymous. That's useful for evading website blocking, or when you need to tunnel UDP through Tor.

  • Wouldn't a VPN help in the case of a rogue Tor exit node being used?
    – demiters
    Jul 23, 2014 at 6:32
  • Yes, but maybe you can't trust the VPN operator ;) You could use a VPN through Tor for a particular pseudonym. SecurityKISS are good people, I hear. You can also rent a VPS via Tor with well-anonymized Bitcoins, and run a private VPN via Tor. Indeed, you can run the VPN server on the VPS as a hidden service, and connect to it via Tor.
    – mirimir
    Jul 23, 2014 at 15:52
  • That does seem a bit overkill, though. Oh well, gonna have to find some nice balance there. Thanks!
    – demiters
    Jul 23, 2014 at 16:34

You can access all these sites: facebook, gmail, twitter, etc. but you must use a completely anon email acct/credentials when registering. Yes, per previous answer, don't use anon account and then friend all your friends/relatives. The torproject website has a big list of 'do nots'. torproject.org

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