If you've never used a web proxy and have no idea why you
need one, this section is for you. In order to understand
the importance of proxies in protecting your family's
privacy and security, it is helpful to start by pointing out
how much information you're revealing or risking if you do
not use a proxy when you surf the web or visit web
So let's start this discussion with a little check or
test. Click on this link to use our
proxy checker . You will see a page of data indicating
what information is available to any web site you visit. For
now, just scroll down the results page and look at the entry
for REMOTE_ADDR. If you are not accessing that site from
behind a proxy, what you are seeing is your own Internet
Protocol (IP) address.
As we discussed in the overview
of email protocols that Cotse.Net supports, your IP is
the Internet equivalent of your postal street address. By
using any number of freely available tools on the Internet,
people may be able to track your IP to see what area you're
in. And if your IP remains unchanging for a while, then they
know exactly where *your* computer is on the Internet and
can try to access it remotely.
Using a proxy helps you hide your true IP from web sites
you visit. Instead of the web site seeing/logging your IP,
all it gets is the IP of the proxy you are using (in
or some other code to run local in your browser, that could effectively remove the shield the
Web proxies may also protect you by stripping out ads,
To find out what a particular proxy actually can do for
you, you need to read its descriptions and limits.
To illustrate the privacy value of a proxy, consider the
following scenario that represents the
unproxied connection. Let's assume that in
this example, you have connected to a web site (web site A),
after which you visit a second web site (Web Site B).
Although it may seem as if you are making direct
connections, remember that you are actually connecting to
these sites (which themselves sit on remote web servers) via
your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
In the unproxied state scenario above:
- Your ISP can see that you connected to Web Site A and
that you then went on to Web Site B.
- Web Site A can see your IP, what OS (operating
system) you are using, what site you were on before you
came there, what pages you visited on their site, and
where you went after you left their site.
- Web Site B can see your IP, what OS you are using,
that you came from Web Site A, what pages you visited on
Site B, and where you went when you left there.
If you use a plain http web proxy, however, the situation
changes. With a plain http proxy:
- Your ISP can see that you connected to the proxy and
that you then went to Web Site A and Web Site B
- Web Site A can no longer see your IP. They see the
proxy's IP, which protects much of your privacy.
- Web Site B can also no longer see your IP and sees
only the proxy's IP.
As you can see, the proxy has added some protection for
you, but you can see that your ISP still has the ability to
monitor or track your activities on the Web. To prevent them
from seeing where you're going, you need to add in another
layer of security or to somehow encrypt your communication
so that it cannot be intercepted. One way to accomplish this
is by adding Stunnel
to your setup. Stunnel essentially provides you with SSL
(Secure Sockets Layer) functionality for your non-SSL
connections such as http.
By adding Stunnel to your browser configuration, your ISP
can tell that there's activity/traffic from your IP, but
they can't see where you're going.
CAUTION: Java runs on YOUR local machine. Java can break
your anonymity. With the Cotse.Net proxy, java trying to
connect back to you will cause another authentication (proxy
login) prompt. Deny it if anonymity is important to you
(click cancel until it stops prompting).
If anonymity is very important, disable java in your
browser. There is no way to guarantee anonymity if you let
applications run on your local machine from the web. You run
them at your own risk.
At Cotse.Net, we provide two different methods of using
our anonymous proxies. One is via a web interface. Log into
our site, type a url into the proxy, click go, and surf
away. The proxy strips your personal information and shields
you from the sites you visit. They cannot tell who you are,
so you are protected from them. In addition the web
interface can be accessed via high encryption. This protects
you from your ISP or anyone along the way snooping on what
you surf. We also offer a cookie manager and the ability to
encode urls to protect them in your browser history.
The next method of anonymous proxy we offer is one that
you can configure in your browser and go. You don't have to
use our web site to surf, anywhere you surf is automatically
protected by us. Our proxy removes advertisements, popups
and pop unders, kick throughs (ads that automatically
redirect you if you move your mouse over them), web based
Internet address and hides the software you use. All
effortlessly because it was configured once in your browser.
As with all services this is available via high encryption
to protect you from others snooping.