Dangers of Using Proxy Servers

As an internet user any activity you perform on the internet can be traced back to you with the help of your IP address, which is a unique code assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider. An easy way of protecting yourself is by using anonymous proxies, which hide your IP address from websites. Though a majority of proxies are safe, there are still a few proxies run by webmasters with many a malicious intent. This article will help you to protect yourself better against such proxies.

Basically, a proxy is a collection of servers which allow you to access a website, while maintaining your anonymity by hiding your IP address. All information you wish to send to the website you are browsing passes through the proxy you use. Usually this information reaches the proxy in an unencrypted form, which means they can be easily read by the webmaster or the owner of the proxy. Such information transmitted may include your usernames and passwords and even banking information!

So, the first rule to follow when using a proxy is to never type in any information you wish to keep to yourself, such as your password, or credit card number. When checking your mail, or logging into your bank’s online banking system, never use a proxy. This helps in keeping all private information confidential.

When you first try a proxy website, be sure to read through the terms of service of that particular proxy. Proxies usually also have a privacy policy, which is also to be carefully read. If you doubt the integrity of the proxy site, never use the site. Only use proxies which are trusted by a lot of people, and have a proper privacy policy.

When using a proxy, you may also find that certain websites cannot be accessed, since the proxy has been banned by the site. In such cases, try a different proxy or try direct access.

Most anonymous proxies offer excellent service without the need for registration. If you find a proxy which requires registration, avoid using it. Any proxy which asks for personal information such as your zip code, or your social security or credit card numbers should also be avoided.

A few proxies are used as fronts for marketing sites. Such proxies observe your surfing pattern and send you spam or junk mail, based on your internet habits. Some proxies may also attempt to download software onto your computer. Such software may include viruses, spyware, adware and other malware. Never download any software from your proxy.

Not all proxies offer the same levels of anonymity. Some proxies even transmit your original IP address to the websites your surf. Others completely hide all information pertaining to you. Hence always ensure that the proxy you are using will serve your purposes.

Never use a proxy which does not support encryption when transmitting confidential information over the internet, such as your credit card numbers. This also means that you should never make any purchases while using an unencrypted proxy server. This is because since the information reaching the proxy is in an unencrypted form, it can easily fall into the hands of hackers.

So, while using a web proxy, you will definitely be taking a few risks. However, if you follow the precautions mentioned and keep in mind the risks involved, you will definitely have an enjoyable proxy experience.

Unblock Websites at School Or Work With a Web Proxy

If you have tried to browse certain websites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo or YouTube at school or work, you may find that access to these social networking websites may be blocked. This is because your network administrator is blocking access to these sites using firewalls or web filtering software. Most social networking sites are considered to be a distraction and counter-productive, thus most organizations choose to block them.

How do you bypass these network restrictions and surf blocked websites at school or work? One easy solution is to use a web proxy. A web proxy is simply another website that acts as a gateway to connect you to the sites you want to visit. To the web filters or firewalls, it would appear as though you are visiting another website which has not been blocked.

To use a web proxy, simply visit a proxy site, enter the address of the site you want to visit into the url input form and hit return. The proxy server will fetch the page and display the proxified contents as though you are surfing the site directly.

Using a web proxy is a very simple solution as there is nothing to install. However, there are some limitations to what a proxy can do in terms of functionality on the proxified pages. Some websites like MySpace and Facebook require javacript to function properly. When surfing these sites through a web proxy, make sure to choose one that has good javascript support.

A good network admin may also be working hard to block your access to proxy websites. Thus it may be necessary to frequently seek out new proxies that have not been blocked. If you need to find new proxies regularly, you can save the trouble by subscribing to proxy mailing lists that will email new proxies to you on a daily or weekly basis. You can easily find web proxy listing sites by doing a search on Google.

A New Type Of Proxy Script

Have you ever been interested in proxy scripts or websites? If you are anything like most webmasters, then you are always on the prowl, looking for the best types of scripts you can add to your websites. Proxy sites are very popular right now, because they are one of the most needed products to help protect online security, and to get around annoying firewalls at school or work, to unblock websites normally restricted.

In recent times, hackers are always attempting to gain and steal knowledge and personal information. This is why your anonymity is very important. Proxy sites are the sites that allow users to anonymously browse the Internet, without a hint or trace of where they have been, or who was viewing the page. Proxy sites are powered by different kinds of a proxy script. A proxy script is the type of script needed to run a proxy site. There are many different kinds of proxy scripts out there which are available free to use. The popular PHProxy and CGIProxy have both proven themselves to be the most popular of the sort so far, but recently, a new web proxy script has appeared on the web.

The name of this new web proxy script is called Zelune. Zelune has self declared itself the fastest web proxy ever made! If you do not believe this, or have never seen a zelune proxy in action, I highly suggest trying it out for yourself. The special thing about Zelune is that it uniquely uses a special cURL proxy script to download pages. What exactly does all this mean, and how is this a good thing you ask? Well, with the cURL proxy script, it makes browsing websites many times faster than your typical proxy script competitor. Another great thing about Zelune proxy script is that it has been created to basically revolutionize the world of proxy sites. Zelune is prepared to be such a new revolutionary product, that it will set the standards for what we consider proxy sites and proxy scripts to be. We so strongly believe that Zelune is the worlds best proxy script, that we offer it open source!

That is correct, you can download and make your own Zelune proxy for free, forever! If you are a web developer, you will already know you can easily build traffic, and make tons of money by putting our free script on your website, or making a website directly for it. If you have some kind of improvement that you think will make the Zelune proxy better, you have all the rights in the world to modify it to your needs, or suggest something to be updated on the full web release. You can find more information on Zelune on its Wikipedia page. If you would like to test out the speed and power of the Zelune proxy site, just click the mentioned link and you will find the script up and running. To install the zelune proxy script, all you need to do is download the required files, and follow the instructions given.

The actual download it self comes with all the files you are going to need to get started, including an option of many different free zelune proxy themes and templates to use for free on your website. It includes a read me file that has all the latest updates and changes regarding the script. The Zelune proxy homepage also provides a free zelune proxy list, so once you have made your own zelune proxy, you can add your website to the list to start receiving free traffic and money! The open source home of Zelune will also feature a zelune proxy blog that will teach you step by step on how to make money making your own zelune proxy guide, and best of all, for all of these great services provided on how to make yourself a daily income with very little work, we do not charge a dime for any of it! Best of luck, and we hope you make your own Zelune proxy to protect yourself, wherever you visit!

Understanding HTTP Proxies

Ever wonder how we get all those spam emails selling us stuff; saying that we have been pre-approved for a certain credit card; or offering us many different things from playing online casino to subscribing to pay-per-view shows and such?

There are a lot of reasons why we get all these kinds of emails; one of which is that our email address has been sold to a third-party buyer when we signed-up for certain online promos.

Another bigger reason is that our browsing habits have been monitored and tracked down by other websites who use trackers specifically for the purpose of marketing.

How do they track us down? They do this by using our Internet Protocol addresses. This is where an HTTP Proxy can come into play. What are these?

IP ADDRESSES AND HTTP PROXIES

IP ADDRESS

To know the answer to What are HTTP Proxies?; we must first understand what an IP Address is. Simply put, an IP Address is the configuration that the computer network has designated to our computers.

The IP Address allows other computers to connect to us when we are online to give us information on things we are looking for or to hook us up to the websites that we want to browse.

With this unique number configuration, it will be easy for internet predators to track down our browsing habits; from the sites that we frequent to our location. But these are not all that our IP Address can reveal about us.

Identity thefts; credit card fraud and other online malicious activities may befall us all because of our IP Address.

HTTP PROXIES

Now these are alternative servers that we can use when surfing the internet to allow our own IP Address to be hidden from online predators.

These will send information to the World Wide Web through an anonymous proxy server so that our online computer identity will not be open to the internet network.

To further understand What are HTTP Proxies?; what happens when we use them is that when we send information to the internet using any one of these HTTP Proxies; they use their own IP Address instead of ours.

We may think that this is already the solution we are looking for to prevent malicious hackers from using our identities but there’s more to What are HTTP Proxies? than just hiding our identities.

There are open HTTP Proxies that can do more damage to us than our own IP Addresses. These types of proxy servers are often manipulated by again, malicious users to control our computers to hack into or attack other computers; using us as the end-user.

The more reliable proxy servers are what we call Web-based HTTP Proxies. These do not require downloads or configuring our browsers; and these operate solely through Web browsers.

Now that we know a few things about the question What are HTTP Proxies?; it is solely upon our own discretion whether we want to use these or not. We should first weigh the pros and cons of using these proxy servers before using them.

Function of Server Proxies

Server Proxies act as middlemen between the web and the web user. They are easily installed on the user’s network or computer, such as the business office. Server proxies were originally invented to speed web browsing for caching proxies. However, they can also be used for spying, web anonymity and content filtering.

Server proxies store frequently accessed resources that speed up the load time and saving bandwidth.

Server proxy content filtering, used in countries, businesses and schools, restrict access to certain sites and pages by using blacklisted site database or flagging sites that contain specific keywords.

Salient Features

Server proxies who circumvent override the content filtering proxy instructions for gaining access to blocked sites. Often, web tracking is tracked by search histories and IP addresses of inspecting visitors. Few proxy servers enable users to hide their IP address behind proxies to anonymously browse the web.

As anonymous web proxies permit browsing anonymity, hostile proxies eavesdrop on web browsing of the user. Before hitting the website, most reverse proxy servers send online requests through proxy.

As the traffic passes through, proxies encrypt the information, including password, before passing them into website.

Advantages

Server proxies are firewall mechanized which substitutes a protected host network’s IP address with temporary addresses for data traffic. It makes decisions for authenticating the client or user’s IP address to establish connection to remote computers.

Server proxies act as intermediary or interface to connect two or more computers having different protocols, placed at remote areas over the net. When users try to connect to other users for connections, web pages and files available on database, the proxy server evaluates the connection based on the remote computer’s existing settings.

The moment the proxy server authenticates that the conditions are met, it makes the request on user’s behalf, establishing the connection.

The Dangers of Anonymous Web Surfing

The Dangers of Anonymous Web SurfingAnonymous web surfing is simply using the Internet without revealing information about yourself – the browser you are using, your IP address, your computer system, your location, etc.

You may not be aware of it, but when you go to a website, the server at the other end gets the IP address of the computer you are using to be able to return information back to your browser. In fact, all internet servers and services have some form of logging, and it’s not just your IP address that is being retrieved from your Internet session. The exact time that you accessed a web site, as well as usage history (i.e. links on the website that you clicked, actions that you performed, data that you entered) are recorded.

Companies use these logs for statistical, marketing, technical or legal purposes. In the office, it is likely that your company’s servers and firewalls are configured to keep track of employees’ Internet usage.

Anonymous surfing is done through an anonymous browser based proxy (a.k.a anonymizing proxy). This kind of website allows you to enter the URL of the web page or website that you want to visit, and the service will direct you to it while hiding your information from the other server. The website you visited will have no way to determine your IP address or location, because it would seem that all requests for information came from the proxy.

In reality, however, things are not that simple. Although companies offering anonymizing proxy services promise not to divulge your information, law enforcement agencies do have access to these records, and it is not unlikely that these will be used for surveillance purposes.

Also, you might get away with anonymous web surfing for while in your office or school, but sooner or later, the system administrator will notice that you are using an anonymizing proxy and even see the websites you visited embedded in the URL sent to the proxy or from DNS queries. This will definitely put you on a watch list and may be grounds for disciplinary action.

More importantly, anonymous surfing is not the same as encrypting sensitive information such as login credentials (i.e. username, password) and credit card details when transmitted over the Internet. Some users may lulled into a false sense of security and will not know that the credit card information they typed in are unencrypted and easily retrieved by hackers or server administrators with malicious plans.

There is plenty of information on the Internet on what to look for in a web proxy service for anonymous surfing. Consider also that anonymous web proxy services tend to be unstable and the current list changes constantly. Some services are offered for free, while some are not. Others are available for free but with limited features. To get the full benefit, you must pay one or more fees.

In the end, while anonymous web surfing is an easy way to navigate the Internet without worrying about your information being made public, it pays to do your homework to determine which anonymizing service suits your needs.

How to Safely Surf the Web

The truth is that by connecting to the Internet, you share information about your computer, your geographical location and even about the Web sites you visit. Anonymous surfing is the ability to surf the Web without being tracked. The main idea of anonymous surfing is to hide your online activity that may potentially expose your personal information to others. By surfing anonymously, no one knows who you are, where you’re connecting from or what sites you are visiting.

By using “sniffers” somebody could discover your IP address, cookies, what kind of computer you’re using – they could even connect to your hard drive and access your private files, including pass visited sites, passwords and banking information.

Web sites and other hackers can dig out information about you including your IP address. You can be found and tracked using your IP address very easily. Your IP address gives hackers an entryway into your computer.

Is it possible to surf the web anonymously? Stopping these hackers in their tracks? Yes. However, nothing is fail-safe – but it makes it very difficult for anyone to know who you are. There are products called anonymous proxy servers that help protect you.

Proxy servers work by retrieving Web pages for you. They hide your IP address and other important browsing information, so the remote server does not see your information – but sees the proxy server’s information instead. It’s like having someone drop you off at a neighbour’s home – and after they drive off, you return to your real home. They will have no idea where you really reside.

Surfing with an anonymous proxy site/service is a very simple process: all you do is enter in the URL you’d like to visit anonymously into your proxy server, and you’ll be able to surf leaving virtually no trace that you were ever there.

When you surf the web – you leave traces of your Internet activity everywhere! And, this can eventually lead to your true identity. Any url you access can record information about you such as your IP address, location, browser type, web pages last visited and other vital information that you might want to keep private.

Hackers are very serious. They can get access to your private information – steal personal information and enter your computer via security holes to cause damage to your computer.

It is estimated that nearly 90% of all computers are infected with some sort of spyware/malware that may allow hackers to discover your passwords and bank account numbers – basically giving them access to anything and everything on your computer.

There are many software vendors who sell anonymous proxy servers. However, There are also free proxy servers available. One really cool starting point for proxy servers is proxy.org – they have lot’s of information on proxy software and free proxy servers. A must see site for anyone looking to surf the web anonymously.

Secret Surfing With Web Proxies

Proxies are getting more and more popular, as companies and schools begin to block out more and more websites, these students and employees are now turning to the use of online web based proxies.

There are two main reasons that people use proxies. The first is for anonymous surfing and the second is to access sites that have been restricted by filter settings, which have been set by the company or school that you are attending. We will now take a look at these a bit more in depth.

We will firstly cover the anonymous browsing section, the IP address of any computer is recorded when you go onto a site. Your IP basically represents, or is as equivalent as your home address. People can automatically trace where you are located, with your specific IP.

Web based proxies eliminate this problem by using an anonymous IP, there fore you can surf on the internet as much as you like, without getting it tracked back to your home. There is nothing to install on your system, all you basically have to do is enter your URL into the address bar of the proxy.

The second use of proxies are used for accessing blocked sites at your work or education place. As the web 2.0 bubble grows a lot of people try to access sites such as Facebook or Myspace, this causes them to do less work and spend more time socialising. Although employees and schools can block out these sites, they can not stop all of the existing proxies. Therefore, a major source of traffic for these proxy sites are coming from these specific locations.

If you own a proxy yourself, you will notice that there is a drop in traffic over the weekends. This proves the theory, that most of the traffic is coming from work places or schools. While using a proxy you should always use the fastest possible connection, there are two types of scripts that are commonly used, one is PHP based and probably the fastest on the market, as it does not store cookies. The second is CGI based and runs a bit on the slow side.

Using a proxy can be great for various reasons as mentioned above, but they should not be used for performing illegal tasks such as hacking, as you will still get caught, as no body likes a hacker. So please behave with anonymous surfing as this is a well built system and should not be taken for granted.

Finding the Best Web Host for Proxies

Web proxies are becoming a hot topic amongst web masters as of late. They appear to be easy money and traffic but there are many considerations to be made before you seriously jump into the proxy hosting market. You should do your research if you are seriously considering joining the ranks of proxy web masters.

First off, proxy hosting starts with a web host. Most webhosting companies will NOT accept proxies. They are extremely resource intensive and can easily bring shared servers to a stand still if they get any decent amount of traffic. For anyone seriously considering hosting a proxy a VPS or dedicated server is a requirement. You need at least 256MB of ram on your server and 512 or above is highly recommended. Another thing to be careful of is control panels, cPanel, the most popular control panel amongst webmasters is very resource intensive and can use all 256mb of ram on a vps before your sites are even running. DirectAdmin and other lighter weight control panels are highly recommended to save resources for your users.

Disk space, proxies take minimal disk space. This should not be a huge concern in choosing a web host. A proxy acts as a relay of data, it plays a middle man of sorts between your users and the websites they wish to visit. This requires all websites use double the normal bandwidth of viewing a website. The first half of the data is your server requesting the website your user wishes to visit. The second half of the data is sending that website’s data back to the user. Popular proxies can eat a lot of bandwidth, make sure you have plenty to spare.

This covers the two main aspects of proxy hosting, ram and bandwidth. A decent processor such as a Core2Duo, Xeon, Opterons are a huge plus but generally this will become an issue after ram and bandwidth.

What should you be looking for in a web host when choosing one? Price isn’t everything. If you want to make money you better be prepared to spend some too. The $5 special on a shared server spells disaster if you plan on being successful. If a host lets you host proxies in a shared environment this might sound great and cheap but you have to wonder what else is running if they are going to allow you to use a lot of resources of the server. Only an irresponsible web host would let one user eat all the server resources, and you may not be the one using all those resources and then you will be very unhappy.

If you are going with a dedicated or vps solution as suggested you probably want good support response times in case something goes wrong. Depending on your skill level with servers, management may also be a good thing to have so you don’t have keep your machine securely patched and running yourself. Uptime guarantees are also a nice thing to have, a server that is not online isn’t making money.

Can I Keep Secure With a Free Anonymous Web Proxy

It’s not easy to keep secure on the internet these days, our electronic lives means that personal information is more valuable than ever. Learn a little bit about someone, some information and a password or two and you have a lot of power over them. That information is becoming easier to find the more we lead our lives on the internet. To highlight a point using a free anonymous web proxy is never going to keep you secure.

Some Hotel Snooping

Last week I stayed in a very nice hotel when I was working away from home. As I get rather bored some evenings being stuck on my own I often have a snoop around the hotel network to see what I can find. This was a large chain and the wireless connection to the internet was available at a large cost but as I was on expenses I happily paid rather than look for an alternative method! The login was simple and the surfing reasonably fast but very insecure.

After connecting I started up a copy of the free program wireshark which is an excellent network sniffer. Do you know what I saw – well everything really. The majority of web traffic is in clear text – so I can see every web page being requested and information being sent and received by every client in range – approximately about 35 with my Orinoco Gold card but I could easily get more with an external antenna.

I saw some strange web sites and some passwords, personal information, dates of birth, mothers maiden names that sort of stuff. All in clear text plainly visible to me – the only difficulty was the amount of information that was there but there are plenty of scripts available to filter this. Some stuff was encrypted from SSL sites but very little – how many people use the same passwords to access insecure sites as they use on their banking sites I wonder!

But to illustrate the point of this article I wanted to explain how much of this information would have been visible to me in that hotel from a surfer using an anonymous proxy?

That’s simple – all of it !

Yep that’s right all of it – every detail, an anonymous proxy shields your identity from the web server you are visiting, nothing else. It’s all visible to your ISP, the proxy owner and even bored computer geeks in the hotel room next door to you. So it’s a little bit anonymous but it won’t keep you secure. With a little effort I could have trapped lots of data in that one evening and tied it up to real people, via the hotel web system, room numbers and the emails and addresses whizzing across the ether.

It’s really not surprising that criminals prefer this method of stealing, it’s way safer and I guess much more profitable than mugging people in the street. It’s even easier when people are feeling secure by using a free anonymous proxy to keep secure.

The only person ironically whose data was safe in that hotel was mine because I take steps to protect mine.

If you want to read about some of my thoughts on using anonymous proxies and how you can surf without being spied on, try the link below, from there you can also try out a demo of the most secure, sophisticated secure web browsing product available anywhere.