Hi all, I use the web around *0 hours per day (work from home). Everything I do is online, and I have had just about enough of *****ing, corporate surveillance and the like. Totally sick to death of it, and once I started reading about browser fingerprinting etc, it has become a small obsession of mine lately to try and change things to protect myself a bit.

Please don't be one of those (hopefully not found on a forum like this anyway!) who instantly answers a question without another question along the lines of "Why do you want.......?" or "Are you a criminal?" etc. Grrr! No I am not a criminal, and wanting to keep MY info to Myself is not a CRIME, nor tantamount to feeling an urge to become a criminal

So, that said, I have a few questions and haven't found too many forums discussing this sort of stuff so I thought I would try you guys

*. Tor Browser without Tor Network - I have read a few people s***esting using the Tor browser without using the Tor network itself, instead using a good quality VPN service instead. However, this concerns me. I do not believe for a second (though I can't prove otherwise) that Tor is anything but a government spying program, put out there to let criminals do lots of nasty crime on, eventually creating a place where the real people they are after start doing business, and hence easy to find all in one place. This is merely an opinion, one I can not back up with evidence, but plenty of s***estions such as who created the Tor network, how many people have been caught on it (very easily in some cases) etcetera. So the US Navy creates this network, its super secure and encrypted etc, and then they just kindly hand it over to the public. Yeah, ok, whatever Trevor I know many people believe it, and I know many people sell dodgy stuff on the network and don't (yet, YET) get locked up for it, but my opinion has always been that govts don't care about crime which hurts people, only stuff that threatens the govt itself. That's what they are after, and they don't give a damn how many filthy low lifes are peddling their wares on there in the mean time. So, that being my opinion, I am wary of even downloading Tor as they seems a great way to get flagged as a potential criminal, whereas using something like Firefox, Waterfox, or hell even just plain vanilla Internet Explorer might be much more effective. 'Hiding in plain sight' as it were. I am interested in other people's opinions here as I know I may be wrong.

2. Browser fingerprint - I got a hell of a shock when i went to amiunique.org and saw I was extremely unique due to my browser settings, OS version, time date screen resolution etc etc. This leads to a big question, surely no matter HOW good your VPN, if you're using a browser with a unique footprint, it's YOU no matter what IP you're on?! Am I right? If so, how to counteract this?

*. Tails - For reasons given above, I would not really want to get myself flagged for installing an OS commonly used by criminals. However I have seen many people s***est using this OS to prevent all the data leaks and back door trojans, corporate surveillance etc. Does anyone use Tails and is it better than say setting up a separate machine with Windows 7, *5, Ubuntu, or Mac OS on?

4. iPhone - I have an iPhone and to be honest, I don't use **% of its features (i do like the email and messaging systems in my pocket but thats about it). After reading about the data collection going on by big companies like Google, Apple, MS etc, I am tempted to bin the smart phones and go back to good old Sony Ericsson phones which fit in one hand and a pocket instead of a rucksack . However, is it possible to prevent data collection from iPhones? I suspect not, but asking before I dump it in case I am being too hasty.

Grateful for any and all constructive comments.