Storing sensitive documents

The persistent volume is not hidden. An attacker in possession of your USB stick can know that there is a persistent volume on it. Take into consideration that you can be forced or tricked to give out its passphrase.

Read also our instructions to securely delete the persistent volume.

Overwriting configurations

The programs included in Tails are carefully configured with security in mind. If you use the persistence volume to overwrite the configuration of the programs included in Tails, it can break this security or render these programs unusable.

Be especially careful when using the Dotfiles feature.

Furthermore, the anonymity of Tor and Tails relies on making it harder to distinguish one Tails user from another. Changing the default configurations can break your anonymity.

Installing additional programs

To protect your anonymity and leave no trace, Tails developers select and configure with care programs that work well together. Installing additional programs may introduce unpredictable problems and may break the protections built-in Tails. Tails developers may not want or may not be capable of helping you to solve those problems.

Browser plugins

The web browser is a central part in a system like Tails. The plugins included in the browser are carefully chosen and configured with security in mind. If you install other plugins or change their configuration, you can break your anonymity.

Use to the minimum

Use the persistent volume only when necessary and to the minimum. It is always possible to start Tails without activating the persistent volume. All the features of the persistent volume are optional and need to be explicitly activated. Only the files and folders that you specify are saved.

Opening the persistent volume from other operating systems

It is possible to open the persistent volume from other operating systems. But, doing so might compromise the security provided by Tails.

For example, image thumbnails might be created and saved by the other operating system. Or, the contents of files might be indexed by the other operating system.

Other operating systems should probably not be trusted to handle sensitive information or leave no trace.