The Onion Router - 2017-01-14As many may have noticed, unfortunately TOR has been presented by the media as solely a tool for illicit activities that most of us consider to be extremely alarming (ie child pornography, hit-men, counterfeit bills, etc.), when those of us who have used TOR (or do use it regularly) know that the TOR project itself has nothing to do with these activities, and more importantly that it can be used for our own privacy just as it can for those of the criminals. However, because of this association that has been pounded into their heads by the media (where every time it comes up it's because some illicit activity is being done through it) they are often afraid to even use it for navigating the clearnet (used when referring to websites in the clear that we are all used to, like this one) fearing that somehow that will involve them in illicit activities, despite this not being the case at all.
Therefore, whenever you may try to talk to people and try to convince them to use TOR the will often shy away due to its very negative image. So how do we talk to people about using TOR without scaring them off? Well, one 'alternative' is to simply talk about the alternatives, such as Freenet or I2P, however this still avoids TOR which is one of the largest of these anonymizing networks, and therefore the most secure/private. However, notice one thing, everyone knows of TOR as TOR, when in reality TOR is simply an abbreviation for "The Onion Router", a name by which barely anyone knows it. Therefore, I believe that a good solution would be to stop referring to it as TOR and to begin referring to it by its full name: "The Onion Router". Because people do not know it when referring to it as "The Onion Router" they will not be afraid of it as they are when they hear TOR, they will not be thinking that it will draw them into some illicit activity, and they will be more willing to listen because they haven't heard of it before.
Of course, this does not mean that now that you refer to it as "The Onion Router" they will automatically be interested in it, but it will lift one of the barriers to helping people protect their privacy.