I2P Safety | OPSEC Tips To Stay Anonymous

Image By James Cridland

I2P is an amazing network from a technical perspective, as it delivers a great degree of anonymity and security online. But in the end I2P is merely a tool, and can only go so far in protecting your anonymity. It is up to the user to take full advantage of the protection offered by I2P by acting intelligently. Unfortunately, using I2P in a way that preserves your anonymity online is more difficult than one may think. So here’s five best practices for the uninitiated to help stay safe on the darknet:

i2p screenshot

1. Keep Your Router Online 24/7

Imagine if every time you logged into and out of IRC, your router went on and offline at the same time. Over time, it would become pretty obvious who the router that the person logging into the IRC channel belongs to. It may be bad for the power bill, but keep your router online all day and all night.

2. Share Bandwidth — Lots of Bandwidth!

The more bandwidth you share, the less obvious it is when you yourself participate in the network. This means that if someone is watching your connection they wouldn’t know whether you were sending a message to someone, or whether you were just passing one along from someone else. Also, allowing lots of bandwidth through your router speeds up the whole network! The only downside is slightly higher bandwidth use each month, but for most of us that isn’t much of a problem

3. Shut Up

This one is straight from The Grugq. Shut up. If someone asks you the weather, it’s always Sunny on I2P. People often get carried away with talking about their personal lives, but if you want to stay anonymous, either stop talking or misinform. Take for example seemingly trivial information, such as the weather. If you were to complain about the weather on IRC 365 days a year, eventually it would narrow the search down to quite a small area if someone were to look for you. So, if you feel you must talk, spread misinformation whenever possible. If someone asks what line of work you do and you’re a carpenter, tell them you’re in finance.

4. Rotate Aliases

It was the headline of #salt for quite a while: “Grandiose ego and bad OPSEC get people f*cked”. People often use the same username or alias online so that they build a reputation, but this is at the cost of anonymity. The Grugq once said that as soon as your identity starts being effective and gains a reputation, then it’s time to phase it out and rotate to a new one. This is advice we should heed. If everyone rotated their identities regularly, entropy would increase and we would all be safer. Just remember: never cross-contaminate. Keep your identities separate and distinct from one-another.

5. Disable Javascript

Javascript and anonymizing networks have never gone well together. Enabling Javascript allows code to run inside your browser that can work to deanonymize you, and on I2P there’s no reason to have it enabled. So crack open your browser’s settings and shut’er’off so you don’t end up like FreedomHost users on Tor. Another quick modification that can go a long way to helping you to stay safe is to disable cookies. Cookies have been used before to track Tor users, so let’s disable them before they track I2P users as well.

Bonus:

Never, I repeat never, configure your browser’s proxy settings to ignore non-.i2p domains. If an eepsite loads anything from a regular clear-net domain, such as a .com, it will be sent through the regular internet instead of I2P, exposing your real IP address. Dedicate a browser, or get owned hard.

This article was originally posted on my own site, TheTinHat.com.

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