HAPPY READING - James
There is a perception about anonymous surfing online, it is that all you need to do is hide your IP address and you have protected your anonymity. I'm afraid this is very far from the truth, there are I'm afraid many different facets to protecting your surfing and masking your IP is just a part.
Of course it is relatively straight forward to hide your IP address from some people, for instance the web sites you are visiting. All you need to use is a proxy server which acts as a buffer between you and the web site. However there are a few points to consider about the proxy server you use.
Anonymous Surfing Online - a Proxy Checklist
- Is the proxy configured correctly? There are many different types of proxies, many of them offer no protection whatsoever and pass all your information on in their headers.
- Who runs the proxy? The normal configuration of a proxy server will mean that you are sending and trusting all your data to the proxy owner.
- How is the proxy server run - what about logs? The proxy network I use delete it's logs instantly - do you know what happens to your logs?
- How is the proxy funded? An important question, if it's a free proxy - why is it being run? Who is paying the bills and why?
- Is you data safe ? Beware many proxies are run by identity thieves, who realise if you control a proxy server you control all the data that flows through it.
These questions are important, proxies are used by employers to monitor and track internet usage of their employees. If you are using one on your home connection, make sure it's secure. If you aren't sure, then simply don't use that proxy.
Anonymous proxies can offer increased security, they can offer some anonymity on the internet - but only if chosen correctly. There are many, many programs both free and paid for that merely mask your IP address by scanning and pointing your data through free anonymous proxies on the internet. This is incredibly foolhardy, a proportion of those free proxies are run by hackers, identity thieves and even governments. They are left open merely because it is the easiest way to steal someones data by having them send it to you through an anonymous proxy !! So play safe and you can enjoy anonymous surfing online, look for a professional product and make sure that they also encrypt your data through a VPN or SSH tunnel.