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All internet addicts and users are striving to make surfing not only safe but also anonymous. That’s why residential proxies exist and can help protect your privacy while browsing. We can define a proxy as an “intermediary” between your computer and other websites. These proxies are provided by ISP, and their primary role is to protect your online anonymity and privacy by masking your actual IP address and, therefore, your location.
You can simply connect to a proxy server and require services, such as a document, connection, website, or other resources that are available on another computer. The primary purpose of a proxy is to bypass filters, such as geo-blocks or blockades placed on specific pages.
Why use residential proxies?
When you want to access sites that are only available in certain countries, you can use a residential proxy to help you there. Every time we access the internet, we disclose information about our physical location, information about browser settings, and cookies. Although numerous devices are online for a brief period, their IP addresses can quickly identify the exact location.
By using a residential proxy, you can hide your IP addresses or use a “fake” one so you can access certain sites that are not available to users in your country or are blocked due to censorship.
For example, even if you are based in the USA, by using a residential proxy and choosing an IP address in Japan, you’ll be able to access Japanese websites like you are physically there. That way, you will be able to browse restricted or blocked sites.
Free proxies usually don’t use HTTPS protocols
Let’s face it, we all love to use digital tools for free. However, we must also keep in mind that, although it says it’s free, in some way we are certainly paying. Maybe not with money, but in this case, we pay with a flow of information that may not be adequately protected.
When we access various sites, we expect that the data sent between our computer and the sites are protected. Using an HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) protocol means that your website traffic is encrypted and secured from abuse.
It’s often the case that free proxy servers do not allow encryption of private data, which means that communication isn’t secure and that someone can easily see and misuse the data that you leave online. That’s why finding a reliable proxy provider is more importance for safe surfing.
The proxy server is usually set up within an internet browser and you don’t have to download additional servers. That makes the proxy easy to set up and use. It doesn’t take up space in memory, so your hard disk isn’t prewashed. However, your internet speed is compromised because the proxy server is adding another step to every action.
A proxy is slower than other software because it’s just one computer that has to manage multiple connections. It’s also limited by the speed of your data traffic and the speed of traffic on the proxy server. As for geolocation, you may access one website from one region and other sites from another. Constantly changing regions slows down your surfing and causes frustration.
Dangers and risks of using free residential proxies
When it comes to security and privacy, a residential proxy gives you only basic protection. All your web data is first sent to the proxy server, and from there, it’s sent to the desired web pages.
The page only sees the proxy server’s address, so your IP address and location remain protected. In that sense, it’s protected from external factors, but proxy server owners can access your data and can easily have a record of all your online activities.
It’s also an excellent opportunity for hackers to monitor your web traffic. They can also steal your confidential information such as bank account, passwords, or personal data that you leave when logging in or registering.
Cookies are text files that contain authentication data like login/password, ID data, phone number, mailbox address, user settings, etc. If you use free proxies that don’t use an encrypted data protection system, you can be targeted by hackers who can steal your data and use it for payments, unauthorized purchases, and other scams.
That’s why it’s crucial to use verified and trustworthy proxy servers, such as the one here https://oxylabs.io/products/residential-proxy-pool. In addition to this, you must also pay attention to the protection of cookies from hacking. Here are some ways to do it:
- Use an encrypted connection;
- Don’t click on suspicious links, pictures, or tempting offers;
- Use only reliable web resources;
- Don’t use the “Save password” browser function. Stored registration data sometimes increases the risk of theft;
- Remove saved cookies and clear your browser’s cache;
- Update your browser and antivirus software regularly.
Before you rush to take advantage of any free online tools, consider why they are free and the consequences for you as a user. There is a risk of viruses, steals, and malware at every turn, and we must dedicate ourselves to finding the best and safest solutions to prevent online scams.