Online privacy is a huge issue today, especially when there are over five billion people around the world that are online (Statista). No one wants entities, or worse, cybercriminals, to use their personal and financial data without consent for their own ends. The risks also exist in the cryptocurrency space. As crypto is digital cash, malicious individuals prey on the owners and users.
Monero is often called “Bitcoin Improved” because it guarantees anonymity, unlike Bitcoin. Its cryptographic technologies ensure that all aspects of any transaction are kept hidden. These include the identities of both senders and recipients and transaction amounts. There is also no way for either party to see how much XMR the other one has. These catapulted Monero as the top privacy-oriented crypto there is today.
Monero users, unsurprisingly, put a premium on online anonymity. Mainstream media portrays privacy crypto coin owners as involved in illicit activities, which is an unfair assertion. There are people who simply do not want a digital footprint in their online financial activities. Anonymous digital currency is also vital for those who are escaping abusive situations or who live in countries under repressive regimes. Just as you do not want a stranger to know what is inside your house, so it is online and crypto.
How does Tor figure in online privacy?
The Onion Router or Tor is a free open-source web browser that conceals a user’s internet activity. David Goldschlag, Mike Reed, and Paul Syverson of the U.S. Naval Research Lab (NRL) came up with the idea of onion routing in the 1990s. It was evident that the internet lacks security and it can be used to track and surveil people who are online. Onion routing enables those who use the internet to have privacy. This was made possible by routing internet traffic through multiple servers, encrypting it in every step.
In the early 2000s, Roger Dingledine began developing an NRL routing project with Paul Syverson and Nick Mathewson. They named their project Tor to differentiate it from other onion routing proposals. Tor is a decentralized network with thousands of relays run and maintained by volunteers. “We, at the Tor Project, fight every day for everyone to have private access to an uncensored internet, and Tor has become the world’s strongest tool for privacy and freedom online.” (torproject.org)
Tor blocks trackers to make sure that ads do not follow you. It will automatically clear your browsing history. You are also free from anyone monitoring your online activity. Journalists working in countries with authoritarian governments use it to protect their sources and themselves. Law enforcement officials can monitor and track down criminals through Tor. For Monero users and those who value privacy, Tor solves the problems and risks of online activity.
You just need to download Tor and run it in the same way you download Firefox or Chrome. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. Once you have downloaded it, you can access websites that are available on the Tor network. They have unique addresses than the .com you have grown used to. For instance, Facebook is https:facebookcorewwi.onion on Tor.
You can use Tor and a VPN at the same time to make it more difficult for entities to surveil you, though this will affect your internet speed. Security experts recommend you use a VPN for your everyday web activities and launch Tor when you would like to remain anonymous, like financial transactions.
Tor, though, is slower than regular internet browsing. Another major drawback that users of Tor experience is “prominent web services block access to Tor” and some websites that allow access may require you to click through a lot of captchas, according to CSO Online. This may irritate you, but it is a small price to pay for privacy.
Using Tor is legal in most countries except if you use it for illegal activities, such as drug trafficking. It is illegal to use in Iran, China, Russia, Armenia, Egypt, Mongolia, and South Africa.
For Monero holders who are looking for a lightweight web-based wallet on Tor, you can create an account using xmrtor3fsapuu6y26za7vpzox4vpaj6ny5viq2arbmozm7kg6jitnlid.onion. Take advantage of the features XMRWallet owners enjoy. You can use your XMR any way you want without risking your privacy and putting yourself in danger of criminals. XMRWallet allows you to use Monero without requiring you to download any software. It has multiple language support, and it is completely free, including importing previous transactions. Registration is not required, and it is easy to use. Create your own XMRWallet and expand the privacy and anonymity that Monero provides.