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With this operating system you can have privacy and anonymity

With this operating system you can have privacy and anonymity

With the popularity of social media, it would seem as though people are not all that concerned with their privacy. Some like to share updates about pretty much anything they do, and while no one really cares about what anyone else had for lunch, the point is if you want to know what someone is up to, you may just have to look online.

Just because people aren't bashful about their lives does not mean they want everything they do online to be recorded, yet with the way browsers and operating systems are set up, there is a record of a lot of what we do. Unless you are a programmer, you may not see much of a way around it.

But there is a way, actually. An operating system that is designed to start on almost any computer from a DVD or USB drive exists and, best of all, it is free.

Leave with nary a trace of your presence left behind

The OS is called Tails, which is an acronym for "The Amnesic Incognito Live System." A live system that is based on Debian GNU/Linux and is designed to preserve your privacy and anonymity, Tails allows you to surf the internet anonymously and bypass censorship almost anywhere you go and on any computer without leaving a trace. That is, unless you explicitly ask it to.

Does that sound good to you? It sounds good to us.

Tails is able to protect your identity by way of using state-of-the-art cryptographic tools that encrypt your files as well as emails and instant messages. That technology will allow you to circumvent censorship pretty much anywhere you search.

A big part of Tails' effectiveness is the Tor anonymity network. Tor is a free and open-network software that helps defend against traffic analysis, which is a kind of network surveillance that infringes upon personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.

In simple terms, Tor works by having your communications go through a network of relays that are run by volunteers all over the world. By doing this, Tor prevents someone from watching your internet connection and learning what sites you visit. It also prevents the sites from learning your physical location.

While much of this may seem like it is straight out of a spy movie, it's really something that can benefit us all. Tails will work regardless of the operating system currently installed on the computer, so it can be used pretty much anywhere.

It is also configured to not use the computer's hard disks, even if there is some swap space left on them. Tails only uses RAM for storage space, and that is automatically erased when the computer shuts down.

After you shut Tails down, the computer will start up again with its usual OS. Any sensitive documents or files that you want to save can be done so on another USB stick or external hard drive.

Have a question about operating systems? Kim has your answer! Click here to send Kim a question, she may use it and answer it on her radio show. The Kim Komando Show is broadcast on over 450 stations. Click here to find the show time in your area.

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