When navigating the internet, every place you go to will know your IP address, which means that they can easily trace you. But not only that - it’s also possible for anyone who can look at your network connection to see where you are browsing. Your ISP (the company that provides you with internet service) will absolutely see all of this, and even if the connection to the server is secure (using something like https), the fact that you are visiting that website is still basically public information.

The same thing is true when you are using a chat program. Someone that can intercept your traffic can see which servers you communicate with, and they might also be able to see other kinds of information. For example, they would know when you are sending or receiving a message. And they might even be able to tell the size of the message, even though the data itself is encrypted. All of these are problems, and can lead to invasions of your privacy. It might not seem like a lot, but for some people this kind of vulnerability is unacceptable. And for others, it is still better to avoid giving away information that we don’t have to. Why should your ISP have a better history of your browsing habits than your own computer does?

The solution to these problems is called Tor. Tor is both a program that runs on your machine, and a network composed of thousands of machines that volunteer resources to everyone on the internet. Using the program running on your machine, you can send all your navigation through it in such a way that your traffic will not be visible to anyone. The only thing your ISP will see is that you are using Tor. And the websites you visit can know that you are using Tor, but they will not know anything about you, and especially not your IP address. Tor uses advanced cryptography to give you anonymity.

CoyIM will automatically try to see if you have Tor installed on your machine, and if it’s there, it will simply use it. In this way, you can just install Tor and forget about it. CoyIM will take care of it for you. All connections to servers will be made using the Tor network, so your IP address will be protected. And any observers of your network traffic will be unable to see that you are even using chat software at all. What’s more, the Tor software actually adds several layers of additional encryption, which means that your content is even better protected than it would be without it. On top of this, CoyIM will automatically try to use onion services if possible to connect to servers. Once again, onion services add another level of privacy and security to your connection. But they also make it possible for the server to remain anonymous as well.

If you want to, you can turn off the Tor support in CoyIM. But by default, CoyIM will always try to use Tor. The extra protection you get from Tor is absolutely outstanding, and should not be dismissed.