When you surf the web, it's possible
for people to collect information about you even when you don't want
to advertise who you are. This is true even if your system contains
no virus or malware software.
Basically, information is intercepted and used by others to
your Internet activities
Specifically, information that is easily available online includes
your IP address,
your country (and sometimes location
based on IP address),
what computer system you are on,
what browser you use,
your browser history, and
It gets worse. People
can get your computer's name and even find out your name if your
machine supports programs like finger or identd. Also, cookies can
track your habits as you move from machine to machine.
Questions to Ask
How do you stop this from happening?
First of all, it is possible to surf the web anonymously and
thereby stop leaving a trail for others to find. Note that this is
not fool-proof, but it makes it much harder for people to know who
you are. There are products called anonymous proxy servers that help
The anonymous proxy server replaces your Internet address for its
own. This has the effect of hiding your IP address and making it
much harder for people to track you.
How to get an anonymous proxy server?
There are many vendors who sell anonymous proxy servers. There are also
free proxy servers available. Two such products are ShadowSurf and
Guardster. Guardster (http://www.guardster.com/) offers various
services for anonymous and secure access to the web, some paid as
well as a free service.
ShadowSurf (http://www.shadowsurf.com/) ShadowSurf provides anonymous
surfing at their site for free. Go to it and you will find a box to
enter a URL that you want no one to track.
There are many others, but these are two that are frequently used.
Does an anonymous proxy server make you 100% safe?
Still, you are much better off if you use such technology.
What other things should you be concerned about when trying to keep
private information private?
Three other items come to mind when trying to keep your information
private. First, you can use an encrypted connection to hide
your surfing. This is beyond the scope of involvement for us
ordinary web surfers, so this article does not go into detail on it.
But if you are curious, search the web and you will find a lot of
information on this subject.
Secondly, delete cookies after each session.
Third, you can configure your browser to remove
information retrieval limitations and possible diminished browser
functionality, so you need to think about the cost/benefit of this
course of action.
Anonymous proxy servers look like a reasonable approach if you
fell strongly about anonymous surfing on the Internet.
.. Richard Rossbauer
me on Twitter