Dangers of Using Proxy Servers

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					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.
Andrew Green is part of the team behind A-Z Proxies, an attempt to list
from A to Z all web proxies. Andy has been actively working in the web
proxy field since 2005 and has built up a wealth of knowledge on the
subject.


				
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posted:10/14/2010
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