Security / Tech

How do proxies work?

Web privacy is a contentious matter, sometimes relegated to the background in the area of web safety.

Do you know that every single time your computer or internet-enabled device logs in online, any person at the other end of your web searches can view your Internet Protocol (IP) address? An IP address is a unique web identifier that can share personal information such as your physical location or your internet service provider. So maybe it’s time to look into proxies?

Web privacy is a contentious matter, sometimes relegated to the background in the area of web safety. Most internet users would instead focus on hacking and phishing prevention via the use of firewalls and expensive antivirus subscriptions. While all these processes are essential for data security, your vulnerability to malware and phishing attacks today begins with the overt exposure of personal information online.

Protect your data from cyber threats

Data shows that hacking attempts constitute 52% of all breaches reported. In comparison, social engineering or phishing makes up 33% of all internet insecurity challenges. Malware attacks only make up 27% of reported cybercrimes. Data breaches expose sensitive individual or business information, leaving you exposed to reputation abuse and identity theft. The average cost of such breaches now stands at $3.92 million

It is also very interesting to note that 94% of all malware and ransomware attackers use email addresses to deliver their harmful packages. Indeed data shows that 48% of all the emails that your employees receive have malicious attachments. If critical personal details such as an email address or social media behavior are kept private, phishing, spam attacks, and social engineering cybercrimes could be kept under control.

Proxy servers can hide your network’s IP address to enhance user anonymity online. Unfortunately, many business owners have not heard of proxy servers. Read more below, and we’ll answer to you the main question “How do proxies work?”

How proxies work

A large percentage of malware and phishing attacks are caused by human error. Phishing emails are a crucial access tool utilized by cybercriminals to bypass a business’s security perimeter. Social media platforms give cybercriminals access to a treasure of trove of personal data that can successfully target and identify the employees most susceptible to attacks.

A proxy server can act as a gateway between your computer network and the internet. Your employees’ browser will connect to the web via the proxy. All information searched and received by their browsers online will have to go through the proxy server first. This means that your computer’s IP addresses will remain hidden.

Any malicious tracker online will only view the proxy server’s unique identifier increasing the online privacy levels of your employees. The direct translation of a proxy is ‘substitute’.

VPN proxies
The proxy can also block access to blacklisted websites that may place your business data security or reputation in jeopardy.

Other benefits of proxy servers

Now that you have the answer to the question “how do proxies work?” below are important benefits of proxy servers.

They can act as a firewall

Firewalls are security systems that stand as barriers between computer networks and the internet. These systems are configured to block all unauthorized access to the network. Consequently, they will filter hacking and malware attempts and block them.

Since proxy servers intercept all web communication between a browser and the internet, they can efficiently filter out all dangerous traffic heading towards a web browser.

They can also filter content

Proxy servers can regulate web browser traffic and block content coming in from unauthorized websites. You can also utilize your proxy to block disallowed outgoing traffic. Such actions can prevent access to certain websites, such as social media platforms, while at work.

The proxy can also block access to blacklisted websites that may place your business data security or reputation in jeopardy.

They give access to geo-restricted content

Some websites block user access to content based on geographical location. You can use proxies with an acceptable IP address or geo-location to outsmart the blocking mechanisms and access the desired content.

They cache web pages

Proxy servers can temporarily cache frequently accessed sites making their access faster and easier in the future. The cached sites will load faster-reducing latency.

They enhance internet security

Besides acting as firewalls, proxy work as the public-facing side of your computer network. All other network users remain veiled behind the proxy server’s IP address. Hackers trying to access some devices on the network will have enough difficulty trying to locate it.

Types of proxies

There are two main types of proxy servers: the residential and data center proxy. Datacenter proxies are easily available and are distributed by third-party cloud-hosted providers. They are cheap and can provide sufficient anonymity online. These do not have valid IP addresses, so they will not work well for activities such as web scraping.

For data security purposes, avoid public or shared data center proxies. Internet service providers, on the other hand, sell residential proxies. They are not easy to access and are expensive as well. They nevertheless have a genuine IP address and are perfect for web scraping, as they are less easily detectable. There are many proxy providers out there. Only use proxies from recognized providers to ensure that your business’s data is protected when online.

What do you think of using a proxy? What do you think of computer security? What do you do to stay safe online? Can you share some tips with us? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.

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