Risks and Benefits of using Anonymous Proxy Servers
Is it really possible to have complete security and privacy online? Most people these days doubt it. Exposure seems almost inevitable. At some point, anyone who goes online will disclose details they would rather not share. How does this happen?
- Your internet provider or ISP assigns a number (IP address) to you when you go online.
- Your IP address can be acquired as you enter any webpage, any chat room or any other site online.
- Your IP address can be used to check other details about you and your system (your location, internet connection, server, and more).
- If the website you visit holds a counter or tracker, it may have the ability to acquire more data about your system (your operating system, browser, browsing history, screen resolution, and keywords).
However, millions of people access the internet every single day. Internet usage in the United States is increasing exponentially. According to a Pew Research Center study, 43 percent of the population goes online several times a day and about a quarter are constantly online. This staggering statistics have convinced enterprising but malicious individuals to fish information online from users. Whether you are a regular user or not, you may want to remain anonymous without compromising information about you and your system. You need a server that works on your behalf or as your proxy.
What is an anonymous proxy server?
This special server functions as a middle party between you (the user), and the actual server of the website you visit. Whatever request you make is first received by the proxy server which, in turn, sends it to the website. It is the same server through which the response from the target website is delivered to you. So how does this server gets you online anonymously? The proxy server replaces your IP address with its own. The proxy server forwards to you the page you want to access free of software scripts that could compromise your identity.
How do proxy servers differ based on the level of anonymity they offer?
A transparent proxy server does not offer anonymity and shows your IP address to others.
A simple anonymous proxy server identifies itself as a proxy server but keeps the user’s details hidden. Or it may show your false IP address to website owners.
A high level anonymous proxy site does not disclose to another website that it is a proxy and does not reveal the user’s details.
What are the benefits and risks of using an anonymous proxy server?
- It offers a secure and private browsing online by hiding your IP address and other details from the website you are visiting.
- It is the best available option for you if you want to keep your identity and location hidden from others.
- It speeds up your browsing if the browsing details are stored to a cache.
- Some malicious servers can store the user’s data and use it further for their own purposes.
- A third party can get the data stored on a server if it is not configured properly.
- Some free anonymous proxies may not be anonymous in the real sense of the word because they can still give away the user’s IP address.
- The quality of service can be lower if you are using a public proxy server.
Can I use an anonymous proxy server safely?
Do some research before you make up your mind. Make sure it is completely reliable and secure. If and when you must use one, keep your private data and passwords encrypted using every tool you can find. Paid private proxies or shared proxies are quite popular these days especially those who already know the risks of using free proxies. The benefits outweigh the costs and this is a huge advantage for people care about their privacy and security online.