Free Anonymous Proxy Servers Are a Security Risk
How many lists or websites dedicated to bringing lists of free anonymous proxy servers are there? Do a quick search on Google and you’ll find loads of them and have you noticed how these list change or are updated? If you want to know why I suggest you think what exactly is the appeal of an anonymous web proxy server.
The reasoning is quite simple, every web site you visit on the internet will record your IP address in their logs, so technically your entire web surfing history can be traced back to your specific PC and it’s associated IP address. Lots of people don’t like this and as such the anonymous proxy server can help with this specific problem. If you connect to a web site via a proxy server, your IP address is not left on the web server you visit but only the IP address of the proxy server.
So that’s great – I can keep my Surfing Private using an Anonymous Proxy
Well up to a point, you are keeping your surfing private from the web server you are visiting but you may be paying a very high price. The fact is that by using a proxy server you are funnelling absolutely all your data via a single server. On the proxy server you use there will be a full log of absolutely every web site you visit matched up to your IP address, in fact the owner of this server can potentially intercept quite easily every single piece of data from your surfing sessions.
So do you Trust the Administrator of the Free Proxy Server you are using
I’m sure you know all about the administrator of your chosen free anonymous proxy server, after all you are entrusting him with lots of your personal data. Sadly people rarely think of this, the simple allure of ‘Free’ and ‘Anonymous Proxy’ seems to offer anonymous browsing at a price we all like. When you combine the facts that many, many of these servers are misconfigured or hacked servers using them becomes utter madness.
Can you Imagine sending all your personal data via a Hacked proxy server controlled by a East European Hacking Group
Because that is simply what lots of people are doing using an anonymous proxy for free if they do not know who controls or administers this server. The vast majority of these servers are insecure or infested with all sorts of malware. Let’s be honest who’s going to supply unlimited bandwidth and a free proxy server for nothing, I’m afraid we all know that world doesn’t quite work that way.
My other problem with anonymous proxies is the fact that people think they have complete privacy when using them. It’s completely untrue, the vast majority of your web browsing is conducted in clear text, your IP address and web sites you visit is recorded at your ISP (who must keep the logs according to a European Directive) and in many other places across the internet. There are ways to be completely protected on the internet but they generally cost some money or are extremely slow, if your privacy is important you should decide but please don’t use the unknown free anonymous proxy – it’s utter madness from a security perspective.