Surfing the web leaves you exposed to many of the
Internets harshest elements. You leave behind tracks of
sites you've visited, cookies are written to your computer,
unencrypted email can be intercepted and read without your
knowledge. Basically, most of the information you receive and
transmit over the Internet can be routinely monitored, logged,
analyzed and stored by third parties.
Here are some ways to protect yourself and your
privacy when surfing the Internet and sending email:
HushMail.com - Encrypting your private email
As more people start using the Internet to conduct
their daily business, nearly everyone now needs to consider the
issue of online privacy and whether to use an encryption solution
to secure their electronic communications. Sending an unencrypted
e-mail is like posting a letter without an envelope.
In addition to the basic human right to privacy,
email users must consider the importance of keeping business
communications secure from rival organizations and should only
send data in an encrypted format. The same concerns apply to the
transmission of medical records, sensitive legal, military or
personal information. Every time you send email, you trust your
messages and privacy to nameless and faceless individuals or
organizations that frequently have no guidelines and no concerns
for your privacy or security.
HushMail keeps your online communications private and secure. Not
even a HushMail employee with access to our servers can read your
encrypted email, since each message is uniquely encoded before it
leaves your computer. A HushMail account lets you communicate in
total security with any other Hush member anywhere in the world.
Anonymity on the Internet
Anonymous Web Surfing
Anonymizer.com makes a decent program called
Anonymizer Private Surfing 2.0 that lets you surf at work
without being monitored by your boss, shop online with extra
security, download pictures, movies and music in complete privacy,
keep your personal information away from spammers and importantly,
stay invisible to the Web sites you visit and online advertisers.
You can also give the free online version a try which slows down
your web surfing a bit but gives you a sense of how it works.
The important thing is shielding your IP address, amongst many
other important security features.
Here is an
anonymous browsing site that lists all known anonymous web
surfing services. Some services have now become fee while others
have a "free" version. Experiment to see what works best for
A proxy server acts as a buffer between your
computer and the Internet you are accessing (e.g. Web sites or FTP
archives). The data you request hits the proxy first, and only
then it transmits the data to you.
What is an anonymous proxy server?
Any web site can track your movements through its web pages and
monitor what you are looking at by your IP address, a unique ID
assigned to each computer on the Internet.
It is thought that governments and
organizations publish dummy websites on controversial topics for
the purpose of monitoring interested parties. Also, this
information, in combination with your e-mail address, can be used
to increase the number of targeted advertisements fired at you by
Using only your IP address and the information
about your operating system, a Web site can automatically exploit
security holes in your system using some not-very-complex,
ready-made, and free hacking programs. Some of such programs may
just hang your machine, making you reboot it, but other, more
powerful ones, can get access to the content of your hard drive or
RAM. An anonymous proxy prevents this by hiding your IP address so
that no one can access your computer via the network.
In most cases, however, proxies do inform the
target server about the address of the computer that made the
request, transmitting your IP-address in different forms.
Anonymous proxy servers don't transfer the information about the
IP-address of the client, and thus effectively hide the
information about you and your surfing interests. Besides that,
some proxy servers can also hide the very fact that you are
surfing through a proxy server! Anonymous proxies can be used for
all kinds of Web-services, such as Web-Mail (MSN Hot Mail, Yahoo
mail), web-chat rooms, FTP archives, etc. TOP
Can a proxy make me anonymous to HotMail,
Yahoo! Mail, etc, so that I can send anonymous e-mail?
Yes. As long as you are connected to the HotMail server through an
anonymous proxy server, your IP address is hidden, and all e-mail
that you send with the web-forms on the HotMail server has no
track of your true location. It is so for all web-based e-mail
services, like mail.com, as well as for web-based chat boards like
Yahoo! Chat. There is a possible trap, however: many of such
services use a secure connection when you send e-mail or when you
logon to your account. Therefore it is very important to make sure
that your proxy supports HTTPS and configure your browser to use
the proxy for the Secure protocol in addition to the ordinary
HTTP. A4Proxy, a web anonymizer developed specifically for
managing large lists of proxy servers, can check them for HTTPS
To learn how to set-up a proxy server in your web
browser, check out this
for detailed instructions.