We use the Internet all the time. Every day consists of watching news, watching videos, streaming music, playing online slots, searching for information, ordering online and paying for it. Every online activity leaves a trace and information about us. Attackers can find out anything they want through the use of stolen user identities. It’s from such problems that online anonymity protects against.
Let’s find out what it really means and how to achieve it using a proxy server.
What Is Online Anonymity and How Does It Protect Us?
Often we ourselves generously share information about ourselves – in social networks, online games, forums. This is also declassification, but at least the boundaries are clear, and the decision to de-anonymize is up to everyone.
But personal information can be stolen to take advantage of. The scope of such data loss can’t be controlled, and the actions from the use cause harm. We start getting calls from scammers who know too much unnecessary information, websites tuck tickets at prices different from what the neighbor sees. Cards leak money, spam is sent through email, and fake reviews are left on the account.
At best, search engine ads will obsessively sell something that was searched for a couple of times last week. This is sometimes handy, but still frustrating.
Some of these problems are solved by making little effort to organize your anonymity. Then the sites you visit won’t know too much about you, and malware won’t steal personal information.
How to Become Invisible Online, and What Proxy Has to Do With It
You can think of many ways to partially hide your identity on the Internet, especially if you don’t limit your imagination. For example, traveling around the city with a laptop to connect through different providers. Don’t go to social networks, don’t visit unfamiliar unverified sites, and don’t ask the search engine for anything just in case.
And there are various services available to protect personal information and maintain anonymity. But this work is best done by proxies.
These are intermediary servers that create a buffer between a user and the Internet. Malicious programs and intruders will break into such a server, intrusive advertising will be directed to it, and everything else we want to avoid.
A proxy will give sites its IP instead of ours, which gives complete anonymity. But that’s not the only task it performs. You can use proxies to:
- Create many accounts to promote, advertise or work with cryptocurrencies.
- Collect and analyze (parse) large amounts of data, avoiding blocking.
- Cache information from servers, which can seriously speed up your work.
- Filter incoming traffic, cutting off unnecessary content.
- Protect against viruses and technical means of collecting personal information.
- Control the actual amount of information downloaded from the network.
A bonus for those who like to play online without revealing their identity is a stable connection at high speed.
What Proxies to Choose for Greater Anonymity
Proxies may have a different geography, depending on the location of the server. It’s by the protocol used that one should choose an anonymous proxy.
IPv4 is an old reliable format which has been working all over the network for 40 years. It has disadvantages, of course, but everything on the Internet works with it. So IPv4 proxies are about stability and versatility.
IPv6, which replaced it, has higher speed, more powerful encryption methods. It copes better with protection and anonymization. But due to technical difficulties of the protocol change, the new version isn’t so widespread and not all sites support it. IPv6 proxy is a good choice, but requires checking the resources you are going to use.
How to Use a Proxy
To start using proxies, set up built-in tools or third-party programs. Let’s start by setting up a proxy in the standard tools on Windows. To do this:
- Open Start, then select Settings, then Network and Internet, then Proxy.
- Find the “Manual Proxy Setting” sub-item and turn on the “Use proxy manually” option.
- Enter the IP address and port of the proxy server in the “Address” and “Port” fields.
If you have a Mac, then:
- From the menu, open System Preferences, and then go to the Network tab.
- Select your connection and then click the “Advanced” button.
- Under the “Proxies” tab, select the type of proxy you want (usually HTTP, HTTPS, or SOCKS proxies).
- Enter the IP address and port of the proxy.
On Android, under the Wi-Fi tab, select connection, then go to “Advanced Settings”, find “Proxy Server”, go to manual setup mode, and enter the IP address and port. When connecting over Wi-Fi, all apps will use a proxy server.
In iOS, it’s about the same: go to the Wi-Fi settings, select the connection, click on “Proxy settings,” then select “Manual” and enter the IP address and port of the proxy server.
Now let’s move on to setting up individual browsers. Let’s list only the two most used ones – Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. To activate the proxy in Google Chrome, open the settings, click on the menu “Advanced” at the bottom of the page, and then find the item “Open proxy server settings for computer”. Then follow the instructions for Windows.
To enable a proxy in Mozilla Firefox, go to settings, then to the “Advanced” tab. Then open the “Network” tab and click the “Configure” button. In the window that opens, click on “Connection Settings”, then select “Manual Proxy Service Configuration” and enter the IP address and port of the proxy.
You can also set up proxies for some apps, for example, torrents or messengers. You can also enjoy the Internet just like you would without a proxy. The only difference is the higher anonymity and protection against some network attacks. Free proxies may show lower speeds, but this can be fixed by selecting shared proxies with limited access or private proxies.
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