If you want to keep your privacy when you surf – proxy surfing is essential. Unfortunately this is where most peoples knowledge ends and they will happily fill in the address of some free anonymous proxy then feel they are completely invisible.
Bad, Bad Move
Have you ever wondered why people give away free things on the internet ? Ever wondered why those kind people will cripple their servers by allowing ever anonymous hunting stealth surfer on the planet to surf using their proxy? Well if you’re curious I’ll tell you.
Most of them Don’t know
That’s right most of the time, the owners of the servers are completely unaware that their server is being used as a free anonymous proxy. A simple misconfiguration on their server and they’ve opened it up for everyone to use. All those fine people worried about their anonymity are generally stealing someone else’s bandwidth as they surf. Of course most aren’t aware of this and they’ll happily recommend to their friends and the server will get slower and slower.
But it Could be Worse
Sure you’re leeching a service off some system for free, it may be extremely slow but at least you have some anonymity. Much better off than the folks who stumble upon one of the other types of free anonymous proxies – the nasty little hackers honeypots. That’s right the anonymous proxies deliberately set up (again usually on hacked servers) to get people firing all their html traffic across. The reason – so that they can intercept and analyse every piece of data that you send across the internet. Identity thieves love these, all that information and you send it direct to their servers to log, analyse and exploit. It’s seriously time to check your credit card statements.
The ironic thing is even if you do use a legitimate anonymous proxy it affords you little anonymity as you proxy surf. All it will do is prevent your IP address being logged on the target server. Your address is still logged at the ISP along with every web site you visit plus all your traffic which is logged and kept. The majority of web traffic is in clear text which can also be picked up across the internet, each and every piece of data has the return path (your IP address) logged for everyone to see.
An anonymous proxy is a small part of security by proxy, surfing anonymously takes something a lot more sophisticated. And no do not mean those so -called anonymous web surf proxies here you have to type in the URL you wish to reach into a web page. These are usually are painful to use (as they rewrite the html code) and again all your data is logged before you reach that point in any case !
Personally I pay a small fee for a secure encrypted service where I surf the net anonymously and all my communication is encrypted to US military levels. The software provides me with as near total anonymous browsing as is possible – I also use it on my work PC as it prevents all my web traffic being monitored by sites I visit, wireless hotspots I use etc. It even sits on my USB keyring so I can use it on any PC I care to use.