Andy Green's Blog

A web-workers world…

Should I Use a Web Proxy to Use MySpace?

We all know that using MySpace is a lot of fun and it can help you learn more about people, more quickly than you ever think that you can, but the truth is there are situations where you simply will not be allowed to access it. For cases like this, you will find that a web proxy can help you out. All it takes is a little bit of web know-how and some basic understanding of how web proxies work to help you out. Of course, then you come to the question of whether or you should do it at all!

A web proxy, at the most basic level, is a mechanism by which you can trick a lot of the security that gets put on computers into thinking that you are not going to the site that you are going to. One way that a web proxy might work is that you may go to a fairly innocuous site that is not banned by the security that your network browsing is under. Then you will type in the address of MySpace or the site that you will want to go to, and as a result, you will be able to go to the banned site while you seem to be browsing on the more innocent site.

Web proxies can get fairly complex and they can also be quite subtle. In some cases, you will find that an add on can be found that will simply run all of your browsing through a proxy! When you are looking for solutions to getting the right kind of web browsing set up, though, there are questions you should ask yourself.

In the first place, why are you using a proxy? If you have a pesky younger brother or sister who is inclined to snoop, it might be a good idea. On the other hand, if you are at work and your workplace strictly prohibits social networking sites while you are on company time, you need to be aware of the consequences of your actions! Take some time to think about why you want to use a web proxy and what the results of it might be.

When you are thinking about using a web proxy to access MySpace, you will find that there are plenty of reasons why you should stop and consider what your options are going to be. When do you want to use it, where do you want to use it, and why? Remember that not all web proxies are created equal, and in some cases, there may be securities put on your computer that will report such activities. Take some time and really weigh the costs and the benefits!

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December 5, 2008 Posted by | Social Networking | , , , | Leave a comment

Why Do People Use Web Proxies?

For most people, web proxies are unknown and usually unexplored territory, however they can be very useful in certain circumstances. Essentially, web proxies are proxy servers which allow you to by-pass filters and blocks which may prevent you from visiting certain websites. Many schools and workplaces have such strong filters in place that people who use their computers cannot even access their hotmail account, let alone social networking sites like MySpace or FaceBook. Furthermore, most people are unaware that governments can block their citizens from visiting certain websites. China, for example, has significant blocks on what its citizens can view over the internet. We should also not assume that Western Countries don’t have blocks of their own.

A sign that a website is being blocked to your IP address is that the page just will not load. You can override such obstructions by taking advantage of a proxy server. Proxy servers work by simply typing in the web address you want to visit into the search box on their web page. You will then visit the website via the proxy’s IP address, rather than your own. Chances are, you will now be able to get through to the site.

If you wish to use a web proxy all the time, rather than just in certain circumstances, you can configure your computer to access the internet via a particular web proxy. This can give you added security if you are concerned that your internet habits could be monitored to use against you in some way. Unfortunately, if the web proxy you choose has been set up by criminals to monitor passwords and to obtain personal financial information you can be in real trouble. It is therefore essential that you take time to research safe and reputable proxy servers.

Students at schools and universities can be hamstrung by overly tight controls on searches because software protections can cause some terms to be excluded if they have an alternate, negative meaning. Bypassing the security system and accessing a search engine via a proxy server can provide a far broader range of search results to assist with school assignments.

Of course, we would be naïve to think that school students would only want to bypass their school’s computer security for study purposes. Most probably want to talk to their friends on their favorite social networking sites, check their emails or play computer games. These desires will also drive workers to use proxy servers at work.

There other significant benefits of using a web proxy. Your IP address is hidden which means you cannot be tracked on the internet by marketing companies, spy software, or criminals looking to steal your personal information.

It is important, however, to understand that you can still be traced via a proxy server, so while you may choose for convenience to bypass controls to view certain websites, make sure that you are not acting illegally. There are real benefits to proxy servers in controlled environments as they can give you the freedom to move as you wish around the internet. However, understand the laws of your country and international laws and act responsibly with proxy servers. They are not a way to cheat law enforcement authorities as log records of proxy servers can be obtained.

September 18, 2008 Posted by | Online Security | , | Leave a comment