Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Anonymous Proxy Server

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Hackers nowadays are very clever. They could easily get personal information from unsuspecting Internet users by the way these users surf the web. Being in the virtual world under a different surname and fake avatar doesn't mean that our identity is forever safe. There are some other precautions we need to take when we go online. In this post, I would talk about using anonymous proxy servers as one of the several ways to help us secure our identity.

So why do we need to protect our identity? Identity includes our name, credit card information, contact details, Social Security number, and other personal information. If these information go into the hands of hackers, they could use these information to steal money from us. If we've been participating actively on forums and have been sharing a lot about our secrets (such as personal problems, health problems, etc.), then we don't want our name to be revealed. For unsuspecting females, stalkers could find their targets' addresses easily if they dig deeper into the web. Of course, it doesn't mean that we can't enjoy online conveniences because of these dangers. We just have to know how to surf smartly.

One effective way to hide our identity is through anonymous proxy servers. First, I'll talk about IP address. Each computer unit has an IP address attached to it. An IP address is required so the information we solicit across the web could be sent back to our browsers. IP addresses are series of digits that our Internet Service Providers or ISP assign to our computers. Once a third party gets into the ISP's database, our IP addresses could be revealed along with our name, home address, phone number or even credit card information. Of course, ISPs are prohibited to reveal our information to third party members (unless under special circumstances set by the law), so IP addresses alone are unlikely to reveal our information to hackers. But when combined with other surfing data, such as web history, the hackers could indeed piece the information together to reveal our identity.

To hide our IP addresses, we could use proxy servers. Proxy servers act as a medium between us and the web servers (where we ask information from). When we type our queries in the search engines, instead of sending our IP addresses directly to the web servers, we send it through proxy servers. The proxy servers, in turn, erases our IP addresses and replace them into their own. The web server would then send the information back to the proxy server, and the proxy server would send the information, now free of additional software scripts that may compromise our identity, back to us. A popular type of proxy servers are the web-based proxy servers. To use their service, we just enter the URL into the address box in their website. Because our queries go through these proxy servers as a medium, loading time becomes slower. Before choosing a proxy server website, we should learn about their privacy policies first. Other websites are fake and were made by hackers. So we have to know first about the reputation of the proxy server before using their service.

Here is a list of proxy servers that you could try:
www.hidemyass.com
www.cgi-proxy.info
www.privacyconnector.com
IPSafety.net
proxify.com
anonymouse.org
www.anonymizer.com
ninjacloak.com

In my next post, I would discuss about ways to protect our identity when using the search engine.

Source: howstuffworks.com, about.com, v7n.com