Understanding The Nature Of Proxy Servers In The Big Data Age

Big data has opened up a can of worms when it comes to online privacy. A poll cited by Broadband Now shows that 95% of Americans are concerned about their online privacy, but only 50% are taking action to safeguard it. This has opened up discussions about the benefits of online proxies.

Concerns about online privacy have peaked this week. A bipartisan bill by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Linsey Graham would require online platforms to make messages unencrypted.

This new bill has raised alarms by privacy advocates. Fortunately, there are other ways to protect your privacy online. One of them is to use a proxy server.

How do proxies work? Are they really useful for protecting your privacy in the big data age?

Overview of Proxy Servers in a World Governed by Big Data

There are a lot of resources on big data proxies, but we will try to give you a succinct overview. You can read more at stormproxies.com, where you will be able to learn more about proxy servers and how it works. After that, you can utilize a number of residential proxiesfor your use. The actual nuts and bolts of the internet are not something most people stop to consider when they are trying to protect their privacy. The problem with their lack of knowledge is that they are putting their virtual privacy at risk. Digital privacy is more vulnerable than ever, as big data is becoming more scalable every year. This means that people are highly vulnerable to internet identity theft and data breaches. This is a tradeoff they must content with as they try to take advantage of great online deals, news updates, and nice photos online.

So, what happens when you are browsing the internet? It is possible that at your office, you are utilizing a proxy server on a virtual private network or you could be among the many tech-savvy people who utilize a proxy server of some sort all the time. This can help keep your data safe.

How does a proxy server operate?

Every computer that is connected to the internet requires an internet protocol (IP). Every IP address is unique. Think of an IP address as the street address of your computer. Just the way the post office knows how to deliver mail to your specific street, the internet is also intelligent enough to deliver the correct data to the correct computer using the IP address.

With a proxy server, it means that you have a computer on the internet with an IP address which you are aware of. When you send a request on the web, your request goes through the proxy server first. It is the proxy server that makes your web request on your behalf, collects the responses from the server on the web, and forwards to you the web page data to allow you to see the page on your browser.

When the web requests are forwarded by the proxy server, it can change the data which you send and at the same time, get you whatever information that you expect to see. Your IP address can be changed by the proxy server to ensure that the webserver cannot easily trace your location. It can encrypt your data, so that, as it is in transit, your data is unreadable. With a proxy server, you can block access to certain web pages using an IP address.

Why use a proxy server?

There are several reasons why individuals, as well as organizations, use proxy servers which include:

  • To control internet usage of children and employees: Parents and organizations do set up proxy servers to be able to monitor and control how their kids or employees utilize the internet. These use sophisticated big data algorithms to learn which types of content are inappropriate for these groups. Most organizations don’t want their employees to access certain websites while on the company network and thus, could configure the proxy server so that access is denied. It is also possible for the organization or parent to monitor and log all the web requests, so that, even if they don’t block access to this content, they will know how much time you spend cyberloafing.
  • Improved speeds and bandwidth saving: With a good proxy server, the organization can be in a better position to maximize the overall performance of the network. Proxy servers tend to cache data so that, when you want to look at a certain website that you used before, a copy can easily be retrieved from the cache. In the process, it saves bandwidth for the company and at the same time, improves the performance of the network.
  • Privacy benefits: Organizations and individuals alike tend to use proxy servers when browsing the internet privately. They even work in the big data era. The proxy servers might change the IP address and other information for identification which the web request has. What it means is that the destination server will not be able to know who requested in the first place. This helps in making your browsing habits and personal information to be private.
  • Security is improved considerably: With proxy servers, you will get security benefits on top of the private benefits. You will be able to configure your proxy servers to encrypt your requests on the web from prying eyes from reading your transactions. It is also possible to prevent malware which is well known from accessing through the proxy server.

Combining the proxy server with a virtual private network will help your organization so that, individuals will access the internet through the proxy. A VPN is a connection that is direct on the network of the company to provide remote or external users. When you use a VPN, the organization can be able to verify and control that their users have access to the resources such as internal data and emails that they need, while at the same time providing a connection that is secure for the user to protect the data of the company.

  • Get access to content that is blocked: With a proxy server, you will be able to circumvent restriction on content which is normally imposed by governments or companies.

Internet Proxies Are Great for Promoting Privacy in the Big Data Age

There are a number of benefits of big data. Unfortunately, it also comes at a cost. We have to work harder than ever to protect your privacy as more data is collected. The good news is that Internet proxies can be very helpful.

Ryan Kade
Ryan Kade is the editor overseeing contributed content at Smartdata Collective and contributes weekly column.