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Surfing the Web Anonymously

Posted by cotojo on March 29, 2007


Surfing the Web Anonymously – Questions to Ask

When you surf the web it is possible to learn information about you even when you don’t want to advertise who you are. This is true even if your system contains no virus or malware software. Specifically information that is easily available online includes your IP address, your country (and often more location information based on IP address), what computer system you are on, what browser you use, your browser history, and other information. It gets worse. People can get your computer’s name and even find out your name if your machine supports programs like finger or identd. Also, cookies can track your habits as you move from machine to machine.

How do people get this basic information about you?
When you visit another web site, information about you can be retrieved. Basically, information is intercepted and used by others to track your Internet activities.

How do you stop this from happening?
First of all, it is possible to surf the web anonymously and thereby stop leaving a trail for others to find. Note that this is not fool-proof, but it makes it much harder for people to know who you are. There are products called anonymous proxy servers that help protect you. The anonymous proxy server replaces your Internet address for its own. This has the effect of hiding your IP address and making it much harder for people to track you.

How do I get an anonymous proxy server?
There are many vendors who sell anonymous proxy servers. There are also free proxy servers available to you.

Three such products are YouProxy, ShadowSurf and Guardster.

Guardster offers various services for anonymous and secure access to the web, some paid as well as a free service.

YouProxy allows you to browse the internet securely. You can unblock popular social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, YouTube, Friendster and many other sites. Feel free to browse 24/7 and don’t forget to tell your friends!

ShadowSurf ShadowSurf provides anonymous surfing at their site for free. Go to it and you will find a box to enter a URL that you want no one to track. There are many others, but here are three that are frequently used.

Another interesting product, given the recent news about the Google search engine filtering its findings for the Chinese government, is Anonymizer. This company, among others, recently (Feb 1st, 2006) pressed that it “is developing a new anti-censorship solution that will enable Chinese citizens to safely access the entire Internet filter free” (http://www.anonymyzer.com/consumer/media/press_releases/02012006.html).

With AnonyMouse you can unblock popular social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, YouTube, Orkut, Friendster and many other sites. It’s a free web based proxy server which hides your IP and allows you to surf in complete anonymity without installing anything on your PC.

Does an anonymous proxy server make you 100% safe?
No. Still, you are much better off if you use such technology.
What other things should I be concerned about when trying to keep my private information private?

Three other items come to mind when trying to keep your information private.

First, you can use an encrypted connection to hide your surfing.

This article does not go into detail on this, but search the web and you will find a lot of information on this.

Secondly, delete cookies after each session.

Third, you can configure your browser to remove JavaScript, Java, and active content. This actually leads to limitations, so you need to think about the cost/benefit of this course of action.

Anything else?

Wishing you happy and safe surfing!

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14 Responses to “Surfing the Web Anonymously”

  1. cotojo said

    Joni – Thanks for the info….I’ll give it a run over the next few days, if it’s good I’ll add it in 🙂

    All the best and Happy New Year,
    Colin

  2. joni said

    try this mr cotojo http://bisnisproxy.com 😀

  3. cotojo said

    Sandy – There are many good proxy servers which allow users to surf anonymously and the list could go on forever 🙂

    There are also many which are not so good so I opted to post some of the better ones 🙂

    Colin

  4. Thanks for this, too. I have used anonymouse and found it to be effective.

  5. cotojo said

    Hendratok – Thank you for the comment and link. I will add it into post 🙂

    Colin

  6. hendratok said

    try this one http://neofirefox.org

  7. cotojo said

    Tio – Thank you. I’m away for a few days but when back will add your blog to blogroll.

    Colin

  8. Tio said

    Thanks Cotojo. Equally I liked your post which I discovered tag surfing. Keep up the good work!

  9. cotojo said

    Tio – Many thanks for the article link and comment. Public awareness is very important.

    Colin

  10. Tio said

    Great post. Informative. Public awareness is the most important thing. See How To Avoid Being Tracked When Using Search Engines like google?

  11. cotojo said

    mymauivacation – Thank you for dropping by and commenting. There are many proxy servers and they also appear to be on the increase.

    I will check out the links you have provided and add then to post if applicable.

    Many thanks for your input.
    Have a good weekend.

  12. mymauivacation said

    you can also use other proxies like

    1hide.com
    1prox.com
    allowproxy.
    boldproxy.com

  13. cotojo said

    Thanks for your comment elang, I have looked at YouProxy.org and now included it in with the others.
    Regards
    cotojo

  14. elang said

    please try my web proxy http://youproxy.org

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