Tails, a live operating system powered by Debian Linux, provides an environment aiming to protect your privacy and anonymity. You can download the ISO and put it on a DVD, USB drive, or an SD card. From there, you can boot a system into this different operating system while leaving the native operating system untouched. Tails has made quite a name for itself recently with journalists reporting on Edward Snowden against the NSA.
Tails is built on security and includes useful applications pre-configured for security. It utilizes Tor and secure design to make sure no trace of your session is left on the client computer. It stands for The Amnesic Incognito Live System. Version 1.0 of Tails just came out this week.
The built-in apps for Tails include web browsers, IM, email clients, office, graphic editors, video editors, audio editors, and more accessories. It also includes encryption tools, HTTPS Everywhere, and a secure file deletion tool.
The default look for Tails is Debian Linux.
When first starting the live environment, you can start Tails with the default options or customize them. The options include an administrator password, a skin to look like Windows XP, MAC address spoofing, and configuring your network access.
The Windows XP skin is actually quite complete and intuitive for a Windows native.
The system will warn you for various conditions such as if Tor isn’t completely connected, you’re running in a virtual machine, or you use the (clearly marked) insecure web browser instead of the securely configured Ice Weasel.
Tails is updated every six weeks to coincide with Firefox’s updates in order to keep the built-in browser secure. You can download the completely free Tails from https://tails.boum.org/download/ or learn more about the system from its About page.