What Is An Anonymous Proxy And Are They Really Anonymous?
An anonymous proxy just sounds so safe and secure, I’ll be completely anonymous using it and safe from censors, snoopers, hackers and identity thieves. Unfortunately that is not quite the case, it’s just a little deceptive and things are not quite what they seem. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of these proxies and in fact I use them myself but you should be quite clear on what they actually do.
When you use an anonymous proxy, your browsing session goes something like this -
You send request to proxy server, proxy server forwards that request to the web server, web server replies and proxy forwards the answer.
So the main benefit is that the web server never actually sees who is requesting the web page, the request can from the proxy server and that’s all it sees. Now this is fine and it does give you some anonymity on the web but only from the web site you are visiting.
You are still left with many privacy concerns -
1) All your browsing information on your PC – although that is easily cleared by using privacy options on your browser
2) Every web site you visit is logged at your ISP and linked to your PC
3) The proxy server has a complete log of all your browsing
4) If you browse you probably use HTTP which can be intercepted and read by anyone
There’s quite a few more but the main area of concern for me, and the reason why many people are the victims of some form of identity theft is they use free anonymous proxies that are completely unknown to them. These are often set up by hacking groups to harvest personal details (yes yours!) and steal identities. If you want to protect yourself online, never, ever use any sort of anonymous proxy which you know nothing about.