Tor, also called the onion router, is quite popular these days. Though it has been around for quite a while, many people are talking about it nowadays because of the anonymity it provides when using the internet. As you know, cybersecurity attacks are on the rise. Thousands of cybersecurity cases have been reported in the US. so far and it has taken individuals and businesses by a storm.
Due to that, a lot of people are turning to Tor as it provides you with complete anonymity, as mentioned earlier. Not to mention, it's free to use, so you don't have to purchase it or pay a subscription fee unlike many other web browsers. On the other hand, a question arises that is it safe to anonymize yourself when using the internet? Is it legal to use Tor? Let's dig the details and find more about it.
Is it Safe to Use Tor?
Let's address the elephant in the room first. The question is, is it safe to use Tor? And the simple answer to this question is, yes. Using Tor is absolutely safe and it works just like any other web browser. The only difference is that it doesn't keep a track of your data or browsing history like most other web browsers.
Apart from that, Tor hides away your IP address and location, providing you with 100% anonymity when using the internet. Whatever website you visit won't be available to keep a track of your data when visiting via Tor. Plus, you won't have to worry about deleting your browsing history.
I'm sure you must be thinking why delete your browsing history when you're not doing anything wrong? Well, people do it all the time due to privacy concerns. It isn't always done because something is wrong. A lot of people use Tor when working on a sensitive project or handling a confidential file. Tor acts as a barrier between you and the hacker. It also keeps your data and device safe from viruses and malware; thus, it won't be wrong to say that there are many benefits of using Tor.
Myths Associated with Tor
As mentioned above, there are a lot of misconceptions regarding Tor. Many people believe that Tor allows sharing illegal content and provides you with access to the dark web. Over and above that, a lot of people claim that it's illegal to use Tor. What you need to know is that all these statements are myths. Let's bust them and see how to use Tor browser safely.
Provides You with Access to Dark Web
What is the dark web for? It's a term used for the use of the internet for illegal activities, including harassment and extortion, contract murders, drug dealing, human trafficking, financial frauds, phishing scams, etc. Due to all these things, the use of dark web is not accepted in any civil society and people discourage using Tor for the same.
However, the thing to understand here is that Tor doesn't give away access to the dark web. It is just a myth. If you're using Tor only to enjoy some anonymity when browsing the internet, there's nothing wrong with it. In fact, it depends on the user. Accessing illegal content using any web browser is wrong. It has nothing to do with Tor in particular.
Tor is Illegal
Another myth is that Tor is illegal. The answer to it is simple. It isn't illegal to use Tor. It is legal in most countries, including the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other European states and Asian states, making it no different than other web browsers like Google.
The only difference is that Tor keeps your identity hidden when using the internet. In other words, it works like a VPN. When using the internet, people often use a VPN to change their location, hide their IP address, and access geo-blocked content. Tor serves similar functions. It helps you access all the geo-blocked content with ease by hiding your IP address and location.
Tor is Used for Sharing Illegal Content
It's a generalized statement and kind of illogical. As a matter of fact, any web browser can be used to share or receive illegal content. People often share illegal content using popular web browsers like Google with the help of a VPN or SD-WAN.
Therefore, it won't be wrong to say that it's not the web browser but the person who's using it. When sharing illegal content, you should blame the person instead of the web browser. Tor does give you some anonymity but at the end of the day, sharing or receiving illegal content remains in your hands.
Tor is Used for Whistleblowing
Many journalists as well as attorneys have whistleblowers who report about the illegal activities happening around or the crimes and injustices. Of course, whistleblowers help solve some great mysteries and cases but we cannot neglect that prying on people is incorrect and unethical.
A lot of people believe that Tor is the go-to browser of whistleblowers and it's used for whistleblowing all around the world. Some people might be using it for whistleblowing but again, it isn't the only platform and no, it was never meant to be used as one.
Also, if no rules are broken and the cause is good, whistleblowing isn't entirely bad and the same goes for Tor. When using Tor for the right reasons, it's safe and absolutely legal.