Anonymous proxies can help us enhance our online privacy and security. In the digital age, privacy is a fundamental human right that is under increasing pressure. Our online activities and personal information are constantly being exposed to and exploited by various actors due to increased online surveillance, data breaches, cyberattacks, and targeted advertising. This may harm our safety, independence, and general well-being.
Why privacy matters and what is its current state online
We’ll share some intriguing data to highlight the changing nature of online threats:
Malicious insiders, who account for 67% of respondents in BeyondTrust’s 2021 Survey of Evolving Cyber Threats in the Public Sector, and external bad actors, who account for 57%, are society’s two most worrisome threats. According to the same survey, the two most worrying threat actors in the next three to five years are organized crime (32%) and nation-state bad actors (36%). According to the UK Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, another unambiguous statistic indicates that 39% of UK businesses reported experiencing cyberattacks in the previous 12 months. Finally, according to Global Cyber Attack Statistics, 30,000 websites are compromised daily.
Privacy is not only about hiding something wrong or illegal. It is about having control over what we share and with whom. It protects our identity, preferences, opinions, and communications from unwanted interference and manipulation. It is about preserving our dignity, autonomy, and diversity in a world where conformity is often rewarded.
What Are Anonymous Proxies
Between our devices and the websites or services we access, proxies operate as a buffer. They replace our IP address, a unique identifier that discloses our location and device information, with a fake one. By doing this, we can hide our location and identity from the websites and services we use and anybody who might be watching our internet activity. An anonymous proxy is a dependable, safe proxy that conceals your identity and doesn’t leave any trail.
Types of Anonymous Proxies
Different types of anonymous proxies vary in their level of anonymity, speed, reliability, and functionality. Some of the most common ones are:
- HTTP proxies: These are limited to web browsers and web-based programs. They can respond to HTTPS (the encrypted version of HTTP) and HTTP (the protocol used to transfer data over the internet) requests. They are widely accessible and straightforward but may sometimes lack security and reliability.
- SOCKS proxies: These are compatible with all applications that support the SOCKS protocol, including torrent clients, chat apps, email clients, web browsers, and chat programs. They handle not only HTTP and HTTPS but any traffic. Although they are slower and more complicated to set up than HTTP proxies, they are more reliable and safer.
- VPNs (Virtual Private Networks): Although they are not exact proxies, these have comparable functions. Our devices and a remote server are connected by a safe, encrypted tunnel that handles all our internet traffic. They can encrypt our data and conceal our IP address so no one can see or monitor our online activity. Although they are a trustworthy and safe anonymous tool, they are designed for different use cases than proxies, demand more resources, and could slow down our internet.
Benefits of Using Anonymous Proxies
Using anonymous proxies can have several benefits for our online privacy and security, such as:
- Anonymity: We can stop websites and services from tracking or gathering personal data by hiding our IP address and location. Furthermore, we can avoid discrimination or censorship because of our identity or place.
- Bypassing geo-restrictions: We can access material and services that are otherwise restricted or inaccessible in our area by altering our IP address to one from a different nation or region. For instance, we can use social media sites restricted in some areas, watch movies, or listen to music only accessible in specific nations.
- Enhanced security: We can defend ourselves against hackers, malware, phishing, identity theft, and other cyber threats by encrypting our data and communications. Additionally, we can prevent government surveillance (where authorities watch or intercept our online communications) and ISP throttling (where our internet service provider slows down our connection based on our usage or content).
Choosing the Right Anonymous Proxy
Selecting a suitable anonymous proxy depends on several factors, such as:
- Our needs and preferences: What degree of security and anonymity are necessary? Which kind of service or content are we hoping to access? How much dependability and speed are we looking for? What amount are we ready to spend?
- The quality and features of the proxy: How quick and steady is the stand-in? How many locations and servers does it offer? How simple is it to set up and operate? To what extent does it work with various devices and apps? Which protocols and encryption does it use? To what extent is the proxy provider transparent and reliable?
- The pros and cons of free vs. paid proxies: Free proxies might be alluring initially, but they frequently have disadvantages like poor security, intrusive advertisements, malware infection, slow speed, limited bandwidth, inconsistent performance, etc. Paid proxies have better features and quality but also come with a price tag and must be registered or subscribed to.
According to EarthWeb’s rating, the top proxy services have a 99.9% success rate. In addition, only 39% of shared proxies are elite and do not leave any evidence for your target to know that you are hiding behind a proxy, according to a ProxyScrape blog post.
Maintaining Anonymity with Anonymous Proxies: Best Practices
Using anonymous proxies is not enough to ensure our online privacy and security. We also need to follow some best practices, such as:
- Using multiple proxies: It is not advisable for us to use a single proxy for all our internet activity. It would help to use various proxies for different tasks, like downloading, streaming, and browsing. Additionally, we should regularly change our proxies to prevent websites and services from tracking or tracing us.
- Using other privacy tools: Other privacy-enhancing tools like firewalls, antivirus software, browser extensions, and anti-detect browsers against fingerprinting should be used in addition to our anonymous proxies. These tools can block ads, cookies, trackers, scripts, pop-ups, and other things that could jeopardize our security or privacy. They can also assist us in deleting cookies, cache, browsing history, and other data that might be linked to our online activity.
- Being careful with what we share and do online: Any sensitive or private information, including our name, address, phone number, email address, password, bank account, credit card number, etc., should never be shared or disclosed online. We should also abstain from illicit or unethical online behavior, including fraud, harassment, hacking, and piracy. Even when we utilize anonymous proxies, these actions could have negative moral or legal ramifications for us.