31/08/2013
Common Dangers of Public Proxy Servers

Many people at one point will search on the internet for tips and tricks on how to surf the web securely or unblock websites. Nowadays, an ginormous amount of people are recommending ‘open proxy servers’, ‘free VPNs’, and ‘free proxy servers’. Things like this may function, and be free in the beginning. However in the end, these types of deals end up costing you a bunch of cash. This can happen in many more ways than ever imagined.

A large virtual pipe must have a connection to your computer for a proxy server or a VPN to deliver unblocked and unmonitored internet traffic. In a reasonable segment of time, it needs to route a lot of bandwidth of information to thousands of people worldwide. This is where the problem with free secure internet comes up; bandwidth can cost tons of money for larger businesses and servers. In other words, you need a large amount of money to deliver lots of bandwidth, while still allowing fast access. All of this, including keeping up with global security issues, cost of servers and labor, needed maintenance; in the end you have yourself an expensive operation. A question that comes up is, “why do these people give away valuable security solutions for nothing?” and the only plausible answer is; it is not free. You still have to and are paying, but not directly.

Plenty of low bandwidth proxy servers are created by people in their home. They all share a common goal to stuff your internet session with personal advertisements, which can generate money for them. Most of the time, the advertisements have a very small payout per click. The catch is, they are offering almost no bandwidth and all connections are virtually slow, making costs minimal. The ads themselves always are listed as the top priority, so they take up the most traffic and load first. The common though is that while you are waiting, clicking on some ads will be natural. Larger public proxy servers get blocked by firewalls, which results in smaller revenue for the server owner. Whenever this occurs, the proxy server operator would just buy a couple new domains, rename the servers and spam with the internet with ‘fresh proxies’. This cycle repeats itself until the profits are satisfactory.

Some of the larger companies are doing essentially the same tactic. This way, they can eavesdrop on customers and find current ideas to build upon. These companies promise a free VPN or proxy service, then they continue to scan your data to produce effective advertisement per demographic. All of these schemes are run using cutting edge technology, and a very thought out process. Besides the direct advertising, the goal is to copy your every movement to follow current trends, and things people are into. All of this information is worth the equivalent of gold to them, and even a bit more.

Other approaches are taken by people interested in solely stealing data. They will offer a seemingly free, high bandwidth private internet browsing solution. There is one catch, however. All credentials entered to any website are recorded. In fact, you might be better off tying several thousand dollars to a balloon and letting go, than to enter your bank account details on a shared proxy server. Sometimes, even viruses are spread through non-anonymous proxy servers, infecting thousands of computers connected. If you are not careful, you could lose a whole bunch if you make the mistake of using an open proxy server.

The bottom line is, the use of a ‘free’ proxy server will almost completely guarantee your identity be stolen, and your computer taken over. In the end, you will end up spending more money than you would have ever needed to, so it is best to stick with a VPN provider with high reputation, such as Faceless.Me, even if it is a paid service.