Any semblance of privacy we used to have on the internet is long gone, anonymous proxy surfing is becoming more common as people realise just how much of their personal data exists online. Do you have to be a technical wizard to protect your privacy online, well if you want to do it for free it definitely helps?
What are the Issues in Surfing Securely
The main areas of concern are usually the following:
1)ISP Logs which contain your IP address and every web site you visit.
2) Web Server Logs – which record your IP address
3) HTTP Transport – unfortunately the majority of web traffic is in plain text so can be intercepted and read easily.
So whats the Solution and will it cost me?
You can protect yourself to varying extents by using paid or free technology. The easiest part to protect yourself against is the Web server logs, if you use anonymous proxy surfing your IP address will not be recorded in the web servers you visit. Setting up a proxy server manually is quite simple in IE you will find it in Tools/Internet Options/Connections/LAN Settings – just input the address of the anonymous proxy and that’s it. The problem is finding a free proxy to use as the majority are hacked or misconfigured servers and are nearly always painfully slow.
You can also use an Open source program called TOR which is more secure than selecting a random anonymous proxy and hoping it’s not run by a Russian Hacking Club! TOR has the potential to be extremely secure but it is fairly difficult to set up and again can be extremely slow browsing using it unless you stick to text only sites.
To deal with the other points you’ll need to use some sort of encryption protocol, try looking at Stunnel which enables you to encrypt TCP connections inside SSL (Secure Socket Layer). Again it’s free but you’ll need to pretty technical to get it all working, it’s quite fun experimenting though if you have the inclination and time.