The field of 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, with Senators Dianne Feinstein and Lindsey Graham presenting a bipartisan bill that would require online platforms to make messages unencrypted.
How do proxies work? Are they really useful for protecting your privacy in the big data age? Let’s take a look.
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 they work. After that, you’ll be able to utilize a number of residential proxies for your use. Most people don’t know about the inner workings of the Internet, putting their digital privacy at risk.
As big data scales and grows across multiple platforms, the concept of digital privacy weakens. In other words, more and more people are becoming vulnerable to identity theft and data breaches. This is a tradeoff they must be content with as they try to take advantage of what the Internet has to offer: great online deals, news updates, and quality photos.
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.
How Does a Proxy Server Operate?
Every computer that is connected to the Internet requires an internet protocol (IP) address. Every IP address is unique, working somewhat like your street address, marking your device with its own, unique address so as to be able to recognize the device. Without an IP address, your device won’t receive data, effectively losing connection to the Internet.
With a proxy server, it means that you have a computer on the internet with a hidden IP address. When you send a request on the web, your request goes through the proxy server first. All data is transferred through the proxy server, using the server’s information over your device’s.
When web requests are forwarded by the proxy server, it can change the data which you send and, at the same time, display whatever data you need to see (a website, program, etc.). 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 your data becomes unreadable. With a proxy server, you can also block access to certain web pages using an IP address.
Why Use a Proxy Server?
There are several reasons why both individuals and businesses use proxy servers, including:
- The ability to control internet usage of children and employees: Parents and organizations set up proxy servers so that they’re able to monitor and control how their kids or employees utilize the internet. These proxy servers use sophisticated big data algorithms to learn which types of content are inappropriate for the specified group(s). 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 to these sites. It is also possible for the organization or parent to monitor and log all web requests, so that, even if they don’t block access to this content, they will know how much time the targeted group spends on restricted content.
- Improved speeds and bandwidth saving: With a good proxy server, organizations can 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. This process saves bandwidth for the company and improves the overall performance of the network.
- Privacy benefits: Organizations and individuals alike use proxy servers to securely browse the Internet. Since proxy servers hide your IP address and other information for identification, websites and domains are unable to identify you or your device. This grants you privacy on the Internet—a luxury these days.
- Improved security: Proxy servers not only give you privacy on the Internet, but security as well. Most proxy servers allow you to encrypt your data on the Internet, keeping it safe from prying eyes. Proxies can also protect your device from network-spread viruses and malware.
- 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.
Combining a proxy server with a virtual private network (VPN) will help your organization so that individuals will access the internet through the proxy and have their data encrypted with the VPN.
A VPN works similarly to proxies, but VPNs practice more active encryption than proxies. When using a VPN, businesses can verify that their users have access to certain resources, such as internal data and emails that they need, while at the same time providing a secure connection so data doesn’t leak.
Internet Proxies are Great for Promoting Privacy in the Big Data Age
There are many benefits to big data and its results. Unfortunately, it also comes at a cost—a cost to privacy and security. As big data grows, you have to work harder than ever to protect your privacy. The good news, however. is that Internet proxies can be very helpful for your privacy.