Tails is a live system that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity. It helps you to use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship almost anywhere you go and on any computer but leaving no trace unless you ask it to explicitly.
It is a complete operating system designed to be used from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card independently of the computer's original operating system. It is Free Software and based on Debian GNU/Linux.
Tails comes with several built-in applications pre-configured with security in mind: web browser, instant messaging client, email client, office suite, image and sound editor, etc.
Tails relies on the Tor anonymity network to protect your privacy online:
all software is configured to connect to the Internet through Tor
if an application tries to connect to the Internet directly, the connection is automatically blocked for security.
Tor is an open and distributed network that helps defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.
Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.
Using Tor you can:
- be anonymous online by hiding your location,
- connect to services that would be censored otherwise;
- resist attacks that block the usage of Tor using circumvention tools such as bridges.
Use anywhere but leave no trace
Using Tails on a computer doesn't alter or depend on the operating system installed on it. So you can use it in the same way on your computer, a friend's computer, or one at your local library. After shutting down Tails, the computer will start again with its usual operating system.
Tails is configured with special care to not use the computer's hard-disks, even if there is some swap space on them. The only storage space used by Tails is in RAM, which is automatically erased when the computer shuts down. So you won't leave any trace on the computer either of the Tails system itself or what you used it for. That's why we call Tails "amnesic".
This allows you to work with sensitive documents on any computer and protects you from data recovery after shutdown. Of course, you can still explicitly save specific documents to another USB stick or external hard-disk and take them away for future use.
Communication in the most safest way https://tails.boum.org/doc/anonymous_internet/pidgin/index.en.html
For chatting and instant messaging, Tails includes the Pidgin Instant Messenger.
To start Pidgin choose Applications ▸ Internet ▸ Pidgin Instant Messenger or click on the Pidgin icon in the application shortcuts.
For more detailed documentation refer to the official Pidgin user guide.
Off-the-record (OTR) encryption
As explained on its official page, Off-the-Record messaging allows you to have private conversations over instant messaging by providing:
No one else can read your instant messages.
You are assured the correspondent is who you think it is.
The messages you send do not have digital signatures that are checkable by a third party. Anyone can forge messages after a conversation to make them look like they came from you. However, during a conversation, your correspondent is assured the messages he sees are authentic and unmodified.
- Perfect forward secrecy
If you lose control of your private keys, no previous conversation is compromised.