Technology

The Dangers of Using a Free Proxy, and Why You Should Avoid Them

There is no absolute anonymity and security on the Internet. As soon as you connect to the network you will communicate with other mods, and the exchange of information cannot be anonymized entirely. For example, proxy services are among the most popular ways to hide your IP address.

You can do it to stay somewhat anonymous online or to access geographically specific services like streaming services. Some providers have different services for various countries or regions. With the help of proxies, you can unlock all content in some cases. For example, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has an incredible library of games, but Microsoft service is unavailable in all countries.

Should I Use A Free Proxy?

In most cases, the free proxy is not a great idea, and it might bring more troubles than benefits. However, if you need only limited options from your proxy, you can check the free proxy list. Here you can find information about relevant proxy service providers that are free or have a freemium model with limited functionalities under a free license.

The Dangers Of Free Proxy

The main draw to free proxy is in its name, it is free. But, if you use common sense, nothing is really free. Free social networks make incredible sums on your behavior and private pieces of information. Most free proxy sites are public, and anyone can access them. They have short life cycles because prominent websites and services quickly put them on blocklists, rendering them useless.

If instability and sometimes extremely slow service is not enough to avoid free proxies, malicious software and aggressive ad campaigns might.

Some proxy servers use honeypot tactics in reverse. Usually, a honeypot is set up to catch or deceive malicious bots and malware. So honeypot looks like a genuine website, and cybercriminals can think they are getting helpful information, and instead, the security system tracks them and examines their behavior.

Using honey potting in reverse is one of the dangerous tactics you could encounter on free proxies, where you will reveal your identity and sensitive information to malicious service providers.

Honeypotting is not the only malicious scenario you can experience when using free proxy servers. Some proxies won’t allow you to use HTTPS protocols and guide your web request further with only HTTP. What does that mean? Such proxy providers have malicious intent. Free proxies can spoof your traffic and find out sensitive personal information by downgrading security. If you detect proxy servers that only allow HTTP, you should avoid them at all costs.

Ads Inferno

Make sure you install a reliable ad blocker before considering using a free proxy server. Suppose you ever tried to connect to those public services. In that case, you might have noticed incredible amounts of ads and banners, pop-up pages, and other intrusive advertisements that reek of malware.

But free proxies don’t stop there. Some researchers noticed that almost a fifth of all proxy servers is trying to modify static HTML pages to inject ads.

It turns out that using a free proxy server can lead to the exact dangers you tried to avoid with using a proxy service. Their service is unstable, often plagued with malicious code, and can lead to severe data breaches. Not only you won’t stay anonymous, but third parties can also find much more from you than just an IP address.

Viable Alternatives

The proxy server takes your web requests, hides your IP address, and sends them to the destination. It also guides the website’s response back to you. It’s not perfect protection, but it can raise the level of privacy and help slow down malicious attacks. Since free proxy servers, in most cases, don’t have reliable services, it would be best to consider paid proxy servers that have a reliable service.

Alternatively, a VPN service is similar and can offer encrypted traffic through its tunnel. Popular VPN services also give you access to geographically locked services, and once again, you should rely on paid providers. Unfortunately, however, some popular services learned how to block even quality VPN providers.

If your business needs a Proxy server to expand marketing reach or broaden its market presence, a quality paid proxy is necessary.

Bottom Line

On the other hand, if you need limited proxy service, you might try using free or freemium proxy servers, but make sure you use the free proxy checker to see the performance and reliability of the intended services. 

Don’t use proxy servers that don’t allow HTTPS, avoid services oversaturated with ads and banners, and make sure you recognize the potential dangers of using a free proxy. If you appreciate data protection, avoid untested free proxies. Data leaks, honey potting, aggressive ads, and malware are the main dangers of free proxy servers.

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