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Why and How To Surf the Web Anonymously

If you ask someone why you should surf the web anonymously, you might get scoffed at. Some might even laugh at you, thinking that the question is rhetorical. It is a well established fact that as resourceful the World Wide Web might be, it is still filled with extremely dangerous malicious software and tools planted by hackers from around the world. All it takes is one wrong step on your part and your computer will get infected with one or more of the malicious softwares.

Anonymous

Surf the Web Anonymously

It is not just the online security that is at a risk. We are being constantly tagged and tracked, not only by malicious software but also online advertisers and marketing professionals. Although some might claim that these actions don’t come under the bracket of invasion of online privacy, experts beg to differ. None of the internet users, or netizens as they are popularly called, like their online behavior and activity to be logged and stored in any of the online or offline databases. Even if you stop cookies/tracking online, there are other ways in which your online activities can be tracked. This is why surfing the web anonymously becomes so important.

Not All Techniques Are Foolproof

While there are a number of techniques available to cover your tracks online, not all of them are effective. Take the example of the ‘do not track’ option on your browsers. The advertisers and marketing companies openly proclaimed that they are going to ignore the ‘do not track’ option on your browser status bar and continue to track your online activities. This proclamation had raised a lot of concern over the online privacy rights of internet users. Similarly, the private browsing (Firefox) or Incognito mode (Google Chrome) or any other private browsing facility offered by contemporary browsers are insignificant most of the times.

Proxy Servers

Proxy servers are one of the few foolproof ways of covering your tracks online effectively. The techniques that they use to cover your tracks online are simple, yet effective. When you log into a proxy server, you are effectively using the proxy server’s IP address. This address is scrambled and it cannot be traced back. Even if it is traced, the destination is a public server. There are two types of proxies: Web Proxies and paid proxy servers.

With paid proxy servers, you pay a certain subscription fee to the proxy service provider. After subscribing to the service, you log into the proxy server using the authorization codes that you chose while registering for the service. After that, you use the address bar on the proxy server to visit the websites of your choice.

The free proxy service is also similar to the paid proxy service. Only difference is that you do not have to log into the proxy server. You just visit the web proxy site and use the address bar provided there to browse the World Wide Web.

Proxies have a number of drawbacks such as reduced security, lack of encryption and limited access speeds. To overcome these, you can use virtual private networks or VPNs.

Virtual Private Networks

VPNs are also similar to proxy servers. You have to register with the service provider and the service employs proxy servers to hide your tracks online. But the major difference with VPNs is that they encrypt the data that flows out of your IP. This is where the security increases exponentially. Higher the encryption standard better will be the security offered. With dual security of IP scrambling and data encryption, VPNs till date remains the most secure and foolproof way of protecting yourself online.

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