It is common for people to worry about their privacy. The companies around us like to compile as much data on us as they can and this is too much for some people. What advertising company really needs to know that you have just spent 1 hour on-line looking at digital cameras?
This is where anonymous surfing comes in. It allows you to browse websites privately and anonymously. There are 2 different types of privacy:
Appearing anonymous to a website you are browsing
Appearing anonymous to people who can watch your internet connection
Why surf anonymously?
People do not surf anonymously just to stop advertising companies from finding out information about them. They can also use anonymity as a way to keep their private life away from their employers, the government or annoying family members.
An interesting case from anonymity is when there is a chance of political persecution. In Iran, anonymous surfing is used to avoid being executed in street executions.
How anonymous surfing works
Anonymous surfing works by utilising a proxy server between the website and the user. This means the web browser communicates through the proxy server to the website.
The website only knows the details about the proxy server and does not know any details about your connection with the proxy server. As the proxy server knows about your connection, it is wise to select a proxy server you willing to trust.
There are 3 ways that a proxy server can be used to surf anonymously:
- Anonymously surfing with a website service
- Website services providing anonymity allow you to enter any URL of a page you wish to surf and it retrieves the web page for you.
- Client applications providing anonymity
- Some software can be downloaded that will manage the details of your anonymous surfing.
- Anonymous proxy services
- You can point your browser at these services and they will provide anonymity for all your web surfing.
Anonymous proxy requirements and features
The first thing a good proxy server will do is create a SSL or TLS connection to you. With this, it is harder for a third party to observe what you are doing on the internet and monitor your usage.
While browsing the net you can use a few protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS and FTP. Make sure that your proxy supports all the required protocols that you use.
As you are using an anonymous proxy to protect your anonymity, you do not want anyone to be recording where you are going. Make sure that the proxy you are using does not keep logs and does not record any of your details.