The Good and the Bad of HTTP Proxy Surfing

Published: 31st March 2009
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An HTTP proxy is a type of proxy server known as an open proxy. Proxy servers generally allow users of a computer network to both store and forward information and services on the Internet. This reduces the load on the network's bandwidth and allows a method of control to be set on network activity. With an open proxy, anyone may use this type of forwarding service and gain anonymity online.

Countering the Odds and Using the Advantages of HTTP Proxy Servers

HTTP proxy servers allow users to hide their identity while making use of online services available. Identity theft, information manipulation, fraud, and the like are ever increasing in today's connected world. Many businesses and home users have been quite successful at staving assaults made by malicious software and other online threats.

With all these threats, any individual's right to privacy is now more assaulted than ever. It is interesting that even this basic right is brought under the examining lens of the very company one works in. It is no secret that employers may monitor their employees' browsing activities, emails, and instant messenger communication. This is often done with the thought that the law will typically favor the employer and not the employee.

HTTP proxy servers are used to hide or disguise a user's identity through hiding their IP address. Every computer (or any other device that can go online for that matter) that connects to the Internet will be assigned a unique number. That number enables both identification and data communication while it is online.

Ill-meaning and spurious individuals track a user's activities using that user's unique IP address. A lot of critical information, including a user's browsing habits, can be tracked using this information. In effect, these people can steal your identity and use it to further their own ends.

Many users have turned to HTTP proxy servers to provide anonymity and identity protection. These proxy servers conceal your IP address from the service you access. This basically means an increased protection from fraud and identity theft. Another thing that you can do with these proxy servers is to circumvent Internet censorship. To locate these servers one only has to look up proxy lists that provide them online.

Disadvantages and Dangers of HTTP Proxy Surfing

For all the anonymity and identity protection you're getting from using these proxy servers, there is also a certain danger to their use. These servers are not always secure and it may turn out to be a threat to your own privacy as well. Some of these servers are left open either through negligence or malicious intent.

Users would have to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages of HTTP proxy surfing. You might end up exposing yourself to the very online dangers you were trying to avoid.Peter Garant has written many articles about Internet Proxies for a recently launched website about Proxies. Visit The Good and the Bad of HTTP Proxy Surfing.

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