Don’t touch that proxy! You don’t know where it’s been.

 

Ok I get it, there are times you may feel that certain web pages are better to access without anyone actually knowing it was you. But do you really know the risks that you open yourself to?

 

Simply put, proxy is a server that connects you to your url destination. The proxy accesses the desired webpage on your behalf masking your identity and then it sends it back to you so that you can see it as well; or at least that is what most people think happens.

 

The exciting reality is that if you setup up a proxy connection through your browser’s connection manager, your ISP still knows which websites you have accessed. Furthermore, since you now funnel all your inbound/outbound traffic through a 3rd party server (an untrusted 3rd party) you expose all of the information which passes through this connection to the proxy server administrator.

 

The most common scenario when people are using proxy is to view a few websites and then later forget that they are still connected through the proxy settings. One wrong HTTP request such as access their blog dashboard or login to emails or some other activity which should stay secure – and it might be too late. They and the cat is out of the bag. If the proxy admin happened to be an adversary waiting for this to happen, they have just obtained the desired information: easy access to your private stuff.

 

This is what is meant when I say, “Do not give your WordPress login to anyone.” And if you used a rogue 3rd party proxy for your WordPress posting, you just did.

 

Some proxies are functioning in “transparent” mode which actually passes all your visitor information to the destination server therefore your identity is not hidden at all.

 

Even the automated applications that promise 100% browsing privacy by changing your IP address through a set of proxies are not an exception, and are exactly the opposite – the risks are even higher (unless you are using TOR).

 

Instead, take advantage of a few decent VPNs. One of my favorite is OpenVPN (Private Tunnel). It is easy to setup. When you connect through it traffic from your computer to their servers is encrypted (which prevents eaves-dropping) and your connection to the desired location is made under a different IP address and therefore hard to trace (keeping your privacy). And, as far as I know they do not log your traffic unless instructed by the police; and they keep your browsing history truly private.

 

Free proxies are like a bad egg. You won’t know it’s bad until it cracks and than it’s too late. So the next time you get that itch to use proxy for your private browsing, use VPN instead.

 

If you wish to comment on any other better private browsing options below, feel free.

 

 

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