It is scary to hear about large data breaches, especially when you think about how much time you spend online. Furthermore, big tech is constantly finding ways to exploit your data for profit. The risk of your personal details, financial information, or even browsing history leaking is off the charts despite privacy laws.
As a result, you have probably opted for proxies to protect your online security and privacy. The easiest choice is to try out free proxies to do the job for you. However, it helps to know how they work.
Inner Workings of Free Proxies
Proxies mask your true identity online by routing traffic using a different IP address through a different server. This way, your online activities are anonymous. Therefore, they work as intermediaries between the user and website servers. They sieve internet traffic, protecting the user from hackers.
Moreover, proxy providers allow you to select IP addresses of various countries, bypassing geo-restrictions. Nevertheless, proxies raise trust concerns about whether someone else can intercept them and access your data. Can someone spend resources to create proxies only to offer them for free? Let’s explore some free proxy vulnerabilities.
Most Don’t Use HTTPS Connections
Personal information theft and growing mass surveillance threaten your online privacy and security. Consequently, adding an extra layer of encryption to your browsing activities is crucial. HTTPS connection uses SSL/TLS encryption to provide additional protection to your web traffic.
Nearly all free proxies fail to provide an HTTPS connection. This means that a malicious party can easily intercept your connection and monitor your online activities. They can easily steal your sensitive data or use your traffic for illegal attacks online.
Your Cookies Might Be at Risk
Each website you visit creates a cookie file that stores your browsing history. This file also contains your credentials, so you do not have to repeat the login process when visiting the site. However, when you use a proxy server, the owners can easily intercept and steal the cookies.
If you are not paying for proxies, the owners might sell your data to third parties or impersonate your online activities. If you visit sensitive websites, they could cause significant damage using your cookies.
Free Proxies Can Easily Monitor Your Connection
It was common practice for hackers to set up proxies to monitor your online activities and steal your crucial data. The same can easily be theorized as one of the reasons why most free proxies avoid HTTPS encryption. Otherwise, they could employ extra encryption tools.
Therefore, when using free proxies, you are relying on the kindness of owners behind free proxies not to use your sensitive data. There are no ways to tell whether they are monitoring and gathering your data for malicious activities.
Unlike paid proxies, free proxies lack funding to develop better features that improve their service. Therefore, you encounter much slower and inconsistent service in addition to risking your online privacy and security.
As such, the risk-to-reward ratio is not worth it. Free proxy providers don’t have customer service, and if there is any, it is terribly unreliable. This fact upholds the need to check proxy reviews before settling for a particular provider.
Gambling your data on uncertain trust using free proxies puts you at risk of attack by malicious players. Nothing stops anyone from intercepting the servers from infecting you with computer viruses. However, with paid IPRoyal residential and data center proxies, you will not have to worry about malicious attacks.
Free proxy vendors rely on advertisement revenue to keep their lights on. Therefore, most of the content they present to you is filled with ads and redirect links they hope you click. Unfortunately, some hackers use malvertising to prey on you. The owners of the proxies sometimes do not even realize their services are hosting malicious malware.
A popular ideology states that if you are not paying for the product, you are the product. Free services are not actually free. Instead, you are paying for them with your data. In the age of big data analytics, companies and individuals are quick to collect your info and sell it to third parties for profit.
Risking your online presence using free proxies can be an expensive endeavor. The reasons above prove how these services can jeopardize your sensitive data, putting you at risk of security and privacy breaches.