Are you aware of the fact that pretty much every step you take on the Internet is monitored or logged by a 3rd party or otherwise? Major websites such as Facebook, search engines, marketers and private companies track your online activities. They gather personal information and sell it to other companies who in turn might share it with the government. The monitoring of popular websites and social networks is growing. Internet surveillance programs are widespread today and you should always assume that you’re being monitored at work, school or even at home. The government (and other agencies) want to maintain control, recognize threats, and prevent criminal activity. They do not monitor all traffic on the Internet but key words typed in search engines such as Google raise flags that cause them to start monitoring your IP address or user account. At that point, they monitor virtually everything you do on the Internet. Even though we would like to believe the Internet is a private place, it is not. Protecting your privacy is more important today than it ever was in the past. Despite this, a lot of people just do not know how to effectively protect themselves while browsing the Internet.
An IP address (or Internet Protocol Address) is an unique address that your personal computer, tablet, or smartphone uses to identify itself and communicate with other devices on the Internet. It is your identity while online. An IP address is like a computer fingerprint. Internet monitoring is the act of capturing data as it travels across the Internet. The reason others can see what you’re doing online is because your activity is passing through the network unencrypted. When you browse the Internet your computer, tablet or smartphone communicates with servers, revealing your IP address. To prevent that, you need to hide your IP address. One easy way to accomplish that is using a proxy site. Many people associate hiding an IP address with hacking or other illegal activities but the truth is there are good reasons why you may want to hide your IP address.
You can use proxy sites to:
- hide your IP address so that you can browse the Internet anonymous, mostly for security reasons
- bypass security restrictions and filters; you can use proxy sites to open blocked websites
- circumvent regional restrictions; you can access region-restricted content (i.e. Hulu and Netflix)
- stop your surfing habits being tracked by 3rd parties
- bypass online censorship
The best proxy sites offer strong internet privacy and anonymization for doing all kinds of things online. A proxy site is a server that acts as an intermediary between the user’s computer and the Internet. It allows client computers to make indirect network connections to other network services. Hackers make heavy use of proxy servers to obscure their actual locations. They can even chain proxy servers together to increase the difficulty of being tracked. A lot of people use them simply for safety. People from all over the world use proxy sites to search and buy products and communicate with others with restricted Internet access, such as what exists in some foreign countries. Proxy sites have become an important tool to counter the growing threat of Internet surveillance, but not all proxy sites are as anonymous as you might hope. We are working on a convenient overview page as well as dedicated review pages for all proxy sites, with the option for users to rate them. These will be added in the future. Proxy rankings are based on popularity and browsing behavior of our users. If you wish to add a proxy to the list, you may submit a recommendation here.
Another useful tool to protect your privacy is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). With a VPN you can hide your real IP address so your browsing can no longer be linked to your Internet Service Provider. A VPN re-routes your web traffic, acting as a “middle man” for your Internet connection. It encrypts your web traffic, masks your IP address and prevents you from being detected online. Anonymizing services such as VPN and web proxies are legitimate services for privacy- and security-conscious internet users.