The Insecurity of Proxy Servers

It’s not surprising that most people are concerned about privacy online.  The majority of people use the web for a large part of their lives – everything from online banking to booking holidays.  But of course this does come at a risk, there are a new breed of criminals who operate online who are keen to steal your information and use it to their advantage.

It’s actually quite difficult to keep your details private online, surprisingly so. For a start the way that the internet has developed means that all our communications take part over a huge shared infrastructure.  In fact even the main protocol that is used to communicate online – HTTP, is a clear text based language with no built in security at all.  However the danger is that people try to use the wrong methods to secure themselves online but end up making matters worse.

Many people seem to think that using an anonymous proxy guarantees their privacy online.  However this is rarely the case, in fact most of the free proxies you’ll find online are very insecure.  Some are set up by identity thieves – set up to specifically steal passwords and account details.  Others are just hacked servers that their owners have accidently left open by mistake.  The reality is that using one of these  servers is probably about the worse thing you can do for your security.

Like many things in life, you get what you pay for – the only genuine secure proxy servers are run by private companies.  They then have the resources to ensure their servers are secure and properly administered.  In fact you’d be far better using nothing that using a free server you found on the internet.  It’s worth checking out some of the many VPN services available too, these increase security even further because they encrypt all your data in addition to hiding your IP address.

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