How to configure TOR and Tails for better Security and Comfort

How to configure TOR for better Security

TOR makes you browse the dark web anonymously, stii some default configuration can pose some risk and leave you exposed.

Here you can find some ways to make it more secure:

Go to Tools / Options / Privacy & Security
or enter about:preferences#privacy in the URL bar of TOR.

Suggested settings:

Prioritize .onion sites when known: Always.

Delete cookies and site data when Tor Browser is closed.

Use custom settings for history.
Always use private browsing mode

Warn you when websites try to install add-ons Prevent accessibiliy services from accessing your browser
Most importantly, set Security Level to Safest. It will disable JavaScript from any website, which is one of the greatest security hazards for TOR. You can also set the Security Level clicking on the shield on the right side of the URL bar.

How to configure Tails for Security and Comfort

Tails provide a secure environment. Everything is totally encrypted, and anything not expressely saved into the Persistent directory is deleted when you turn off your system.

This also means you also lose every configuration of the user interface, and the software (especially TOR). Having to configure everything every time you boot your PC with Tails not only is tiresome, but can also pose a security threat, since TOR Security Level is set by default to Standard (the lowest possible) and you may forget to set it to Safest before to start browsing the Web or the Dark Web.

However, you can save some configuration files into the Persistent directory. We assume you have created the Persistent space on Tails, if you haven't yet, you can create it from Tails boot screen.

This is how you can have more security and comfort on Tails, by configuring TOR to the Safest Security Level, setting a dark theme for the Desktop User Interface and TOR, and keeping it persistent after the reboot.

First of all configure TOR as it's explained in the dedicated section above. Make sure you have set the Security Level to Safest.

To make TOR configuration permanent, open the Terminal first. You'll have to run some commands manually on the console.
You can find it on Applications / System Tools / Terminal .

Enter the following commands:

cd /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/dotfiles
mkdir .tor-browser
mkdir .tor-browser/profile.default
cp ~/.tor-browser/profile.default/prefs.js .tor-browser/profile.default/
chmod 640 .tor-browser/profile.default/prefs.js

Once you're done with the configuration of TOR, you may want to get a dark theme for Tails, to make it more comfortable, especially when browsing at night.

To enable the dark theme on Tails, enter the following commands in the Terminal:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface gtk-theme 'Adwaita-dark'
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-options 'none'
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background primary-color '#000000'
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background secondary-color '#000000'

Then, to make the dark theme persistent, enter also the following commands:

cd /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/dotfiles
mkdir .config
mkdir .config/dconf
mkdir .config/gtk-3.0
cp ~/.config/dconf/user .config/dconf/

Then you have to create a text file:

cd /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/dotfiles
Run editor .config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini on the Terminal.

Then type the following lines into the text file:
gtk-application-prefer-dark-theme = true
gtk-theme-name = Adwaita-dark

Save the text file and quit the text editor pressing CTRL+X, then y, and then hit ENTER.
Now, you're finished: reboot Tails and enjoy a safer environment and the comfort of the dark theme.