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Basically, I created a gmail account using a VPN, and then created a tumblr associated with that Gmail also using a VPN. However, I am now realizing that tumblr records the type of device I am using and google tracks everything so my browser fingerprint could give me away.

I want to know, if I delete the email and the tumblr that I created using a VPN, then install a VM on my laptop, use a VPN on the VM, install Tails and Tor, and then recreate the GMail and Tumblr, how anonymous would I be?

Would google then still be able to use a browser fingerprint? Or would tumblr still be able to identify what kind of device is being used?

And I also have a VM right now, should I uninstall it and then reinstall it to start fresh so that no previous information could be used. When I last used my VM I didn't have a VPN on

  • "Would google then still be able to use a browser fingerprint?" if you use a browser, of course. What are you really asking here? – schroeder Feb 19 '18 at 17:03
  • I don't want to have a unique fingerprint so that websites cant track me, is my setup enough so that doesnt happen? – user477465 Feb 19 '18 at 17:06
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Browser fingerprints always work. You can make them much less effective by disabling Javascript etc, but you can't keep a server from fingerprinting the browser (and the device and operating system) based on the HTTP headers that get sent to the server.

The point of using Tails would be that everybody who uses it shares the same browser fingerprint, so it can't be used to uniquely identify you. But running Tails will make you stand out as a Tails user.

Running Tails inside a VM adds a layer of security in case your instance of Tails is hacked (possibly through a browser weakness) - so it will keep the files you store on the hard drive of your computer/laptop out of reach of an attacker, but it won't make a difference if you're just interested in not providing information about your device to a server (eg GMail).

https://panopticlick.eff.org/ has a nice service to measure how unique you are based on your setup.

  • Thank you! Is there any way you know of that could keep my information (like what kind of machine/device I am using) from being known, to a server like GMail or tumblr – user477465 Feb 19 '18 at 17:13
  • Check out privoxy.org – Pascal Feb 19 '18 at 17:21
  • Thank you. One last question: given my current setup, does deleting the current Tumblr and Gmail and recreating it with the new setup I want to employ, have any leaks or exposures that could potentially give away my identity? – user477465 Feb 19 '18 at 17:38
  • Yes, possibly, if you use the same information to set up your accounts, but there's no way to tell. – Pascal Feb 19 '18 at 17:46
  • No I wouldn't use the same information. I would delete the GMail and tumblr. I'm asking about if I create a new Gmail and tumblr with a VM, VPN, tails/Tor, and Privoxy – user477465 Feb 19 '18 at 17:56
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Google = security BUT does not equal privacy in any regard.

I'd recommend getting a free ProtonMail email account and using that if you want better privacy/anonymity than google. And in terms of your VPN setup. Again, if your goal is privacy then cancel the VPN account and use your ProtonMail account to setup a new VPN account in TOR on Tails. Also, VPN services are tricky in terms of finding legitimate ones that are truly private and not logging (they all say they don't log but that is far from true) or are locked into 14 Eyes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes

In my research I have found Perfect Privacy (https://www.perfect-privacy.com/) based out of Switzerland to be very good in terms of both privacy & security.

"Would google then still be able to use a browser fingerprint? Or would tumblr still be able to identify what kind of device is being used?" Yes, unless you are using TOR Browser, Browser Extensions or the like to block scripts & tracking, etc.

You can test your browser fingerprint here: https://panopticlick.eff.org/

  • Thank you! So just to be completely clear: If I delete the GMail and tumblr that I have now, install a VM and use a VPN, then access Tor on Tails and create a new ProtonMail account, and then create the Tumblr account am I anonymous? Or would I need to spoof my user-agent or something so that my device information is not given away. – user477465 Feb 19 '18 at 20:24
  • also if I run a VM, is it possible to trace that I am using a VM and then trace my main computer from that? – user477465 Feb 19 '18 at 22:09
  • Security & privacy are about levels and motion...not about products or point in time; meaning there is no panacea and its an ongoing process. So to say or declare you are anonymous is not a train of thought that I subscribe to. It requires continuous testing to insure the level of privacy you are looking for. so to answer your question. Those items I mentioned will provide you with more privacy. And depending on what browser you are running and what scripts you allow...yes there are methods for determining if the client is virtualized or not. – Blue Street Feb 20 '18 at 19:13
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Opsec fail 101. You made the gmail and tumblr with insufficient anonymity. Those are now to be considered burned resources. You can tails/tor/vpn/etc up new stuff and use those, but the ones you've already made have already leaked. Deal with it.

The Gruqq does a lot of good writing on this. Learn from him. Also, figure out your threat model. And realize that you can be as paranoid as you want setting up all these accounts, but if you send someone money and email them your address so they can ship you a block of cocaine, it was all worthless.

  • This is not an answer – schroeder Feb 20 '18 at 10:34
  • but on tumblr someone can delete an account and that username becomes available again. so why cant i delete the account and make it with entirely new credentials but still use the same username – user477465 Feb 20 '18 at 16:41

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