11-25-2006, 11:44 PM #1Aspiring Evangelist
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
Anonymous Surfing -- Is it really anonymous?
I've been wondering, how well do these IP spoofing software programs work? Specifically, I have downloaded and tested a program from www.hide-my-ip.com. I believe it auto-configures your browser to use a list of their proxy servers.
It seems to me that this type of software would work for someone who wants to remain anonymous when surfing particular web sites such as forums they have been banned on, etc. But, I am curious as to how well this software really works.
When using such a software, is it possible that someone can still track you? Is there any such thing as true anonymity while surfing the web with this type of proxy software?
11-26-2006, 02:37 AM #2Retired Moderator
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
It works only to the extent that it will protect your identity. Unless somebody can obtain the log files from the proxy server you'd be "safe". Many larger boards have caught on to the existence of these types of sites and will notice when a poster's IP shifts all over the world every time they write something on the site.If you have to operate your company behind the scenes or under a fake name, maybe it's time to leave the industry and start something fresh.
11-26-2006, 11:30 AM #3Aspiring Evangelist
Originally Posted by Mike V
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
The whole idea of anonymity is an important one. As we see our governments begin to watch their citizens more closely, it begs the question.... why are they doing it? What purpose does it serve? Are we losing our privacy? Personally, I trust my fellow citizens more than I trust ANY government. Thus, I hope that it will be possible to keep our privacy online in the years to come with tools such as these "hide my ip" software programs.
11-27-2006, 08:23 AM #4WHT Addict
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
One of the better systems for privacy would be Tor. Have a read of how the system works. Likely one of the best methods at the moment. Visit: http://tor.eff.org/overview.html.en - It is also free. The program works differently from other programs in that it does not rely on one proxy server, it uses a network of virtual tunnels.
Here is a quote from their site:
Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. It also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Tor provides the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.
Individuals use Tor to keep websites from tracking them and their family members, or to connect to news sites, instant messaging services, or the like when these are blocked by their local Internet providers. Tor's hidden services let users publish web sites and other services without needing to reveal the location of the site. Individuals also use Tor for socially sensitive communication: chat rooms and web forums for rape and abuse survivors, or people with illnesses.
Journalists use Tor to communicate more safely with whistleblowers and dissidents. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use Tor to allow their workers to connect to their home website while they're in a foreign country, without notifying everybody nearby that they're working with that organization.
Groups such as Indymedia recommend Tor for safeguarding their members' online privacy and security. Activist groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) are supporting Tor's development as a mechanism for maintaining civil liberties online. Corporations use Tor as a safe way to conduct competitive analysis, and to protect sensitive procurement patterns from eavesdroppers. They also use it to replace traditional VPNs, which reveal the exact amount and timing of communication. Which locations have employees working late? Which locations have employees consulting job-hunting websites? Which research divisions are communicating with the company's patent lawyers?
A branch of the U.S. Navy uses Tor for open source intelligence gathering, and one of its teams used Tor while deployed in the Middle East recently. Law enforcement uses Tor for visiting or surveilling web sites without leaving government IP addresses in their web logs, and for security during sting operations.
The variety of people who use Tor is actually part of what makes it so secure. Tor hides you among the other users on the network, so the more populous and diverse the user base for Tor is, the more your anonymity will be protected.