Going online has become second nature for the modern man. We wake up, turn on wifi and instantly gain access to the world load of information. Everything you should and should not know gets delivered within seconds. With the unimaginable convenience of information being one click away, comes a certain amount of risk and insecurity. Once, we as people were only known to those who meet us- friends, family, neighbors, colleagues. Now, our whole identity is visible to the whole world.
History has demonstrated that any tool can be turned into an enemy if it is not used wisely. It is the same with the Internet. The world connected into a wide web is certainly a great contribution to the menkind, so instead of fearing it, we should learn how to protect our online identity and use the Internet to the maximum of its capacities.
The proxy server is one of the tools that helps secure your data and improve the browsing experience. It has found many applications- it can be used anywhere from your surfing to large corporations’ complex computer systems.
So what is the proxy server?
By definition, the proxy server acts as a getaway between the user and the web. It is an intermediary server that acts as a barrier between you, as an Internet user, and the Internet itself. Imagine it as a membrane that filters and aids communication of the cell with the outside world. It helps protect the cell from any harm.
Sounds cool. But how does the proxy server do this?
The internet knows you through your IP address. It is your name, surname, and address- like an ID card. The proxy server acts as a separate computer with its address. So, when you browse, you do not access webpages directly, but through the proxy server instead.
Consequently, your IP address is changed, so the the information Internet seeks is hidden. Your location cannot be identified. Moreover, your data is protected as proxy encrypts it- writes it in a way it can’t be understood on the flip side of the Internet. Without original IP, your files, passwords, apps, etc. cannot be accessed by unwanted intruders.
However, this service does not only protect your data. It can also act as a firewall for marvel and other online contagions. Additionally, you can use it to block certain sites, so that you or other users cannot access them.
What do I get if I opt for this service?
An increased online security
Many people hesitate to buy online because they worry about their credit information being stolen. However, that’s not the only concern. When we enter websites, they collect certain information about us like where are we from, what do we like, what content we want to see. For us, this seems harmless, and websites gain a lot of feedback from this service. They get to meet their visitors and use it to figure out how to attract potential customers. That is why this information is sold nowadays. Marketing companies live on this data. The ads that are shown to you are not just a random choice- they are based on your previous search.
Have you ever wanted to surprise your boyfriend/ girlfriend/ spouse without them knowing, but your worry they would find out through your phone? Well, a service such as proxy could help you go online without leaving any traces of your presence. You can shop online, watch any content you choose without worrying about this information being shown to anyone. For instance, you can surf for something you don’t want your kids to know about and still let them use the device afterward without concern.
Businesses contribute from the introduction of similar services on a variety of levels. The bigger the company, the more of the data it posses. Sometimes, they dispose of confidential information. Therefore, proxy servers provide additional levels of network security. Research by varonis.com shows that companies nowadays demonstrate poor cybersecurity practices.
On the example of the financial industry, they demonstrate the risk cybersecurity issues impose on the business. ’’The average cost of a data breach4 is among the highest of any industry, at 5.85 million USD’’, they say.
By introducing it, you can also improve the internet flow. Service would balance network circulation securing constant speed and connection.
As an employer, if you are worried about your team going online recreationally during working hours, whether you are concerned about productivity or information security, or the reputation of your business, you can control it with this installation. We can develop debates on this issue. However, this is just another feature of the service which you can use in case you need it.
Nonetheless, using proxy services boosts the online experience even if you use it only recreationally. In times of lockdown and overuse of the Internet, crashes and delays are not unknown to anyone. The proxy makes sure to control the cache, which stands for temporary memory or storage. Your devices, when connected to the web, store copies of all the information that flows through it. It can accumulate and thus affect your browsing speed. Proxy speeds up your queries by limiting the cache.
In the end, it is not that a single tool can solve all the issues. However, our purpose was to introduce one of the available options and get you to think about the security of your online presence. Preventing your cyber-self is not at all paranoid and should be a nice practice. Just as we install computer anti-virus systems, as we vaccinate ourselves, we should take a look into browsing protection.