When browsing the Internet, on many occasions we need to use a Proxy . They are very useful to enter pages or platforms that may be geographically blocked. Basically what it allows is to modify the location in which we are. Now, we can find both free and paid options. However, alternatives that are free can pose a significant security issue. We are going to talk about it in this article, where we will explain how and in what way it can affect us.
Why is it dangerous to use a free proxy
Normally you will be able to find both free and paid applications for almost everything. This also includes using both paid and free Proxy servers. But of course, when we talk about programs that are going to serve to improve protection or encrypt browsing, it is very important not to make mistakes. If we opt for a free proxy, we may have problems that affect privacy and security when browsing.
They can infect with malware
When using a free proxy, keep in mind that the company that manages it is going to get something in return . This usually translates to banner ads. Now, this is not always a sure thing. Hackers could take advantage of those ads to sneak malware. They can promote illegitimate file downloads.
Therefore, a clear danger when using this type of free service is that we accidentally download malicious software . We may not realize it while browsing and end up on sites that have been created simply to scam us. These files can be from simply a text document or an image.
Steal your personal data
Another risk of using insecure Proxy servers, surely the most frequent, is that your information and personal data end up in the wrong hands. When using a proxy, a cookie is generated with our login data. This serves so that we do not have to re-enter the data every time we connect. A way to save time and comfort.
The problem appears when some intruder manages to steal that cookie. This would allow him to impersonate us. It could steal information such as which websites we visit through that Proxy. It would definitely put our privacy at risk if we use a free server that can be exploited.
Manipulate the pages you visit
When we use a free proxy server it can become insecure. This means that a hacker could potentially gain access to that server and access the cached pages . This would allow you to modify the rules with which the server sends us the information, as well as even manage to manipulate the pages that you send us and lead us to other false ones.
Therefore, we could be receiving a false web page, maliciously configured, with the aim of stealing our information. We could be facing a Phishing attack. For example, when entering the bank’s website we could be accessing a fake website, which pretends to be the legitimate one, and steal the password.
Another risk of using a free Proxy is that our IP address is used by someone else . This is something common when using servers of this type without paying money for something more of our own. Something similar happens with VPNs, which could also pose a security threat.
In the case of proxy servers that may share our IP, it could cause other users to carry out illegal acts from our address. Indirectly, we could be affected by this problem.
Websites are not encrypted
You should also keep in mind that your connection may not be secure when you use free proxy servers. They generally do not encrypt the connection. They do not use HTTPS . Without a doubt, this is a problem to take into account, since your personal data and the information you send through the Internet could be compromised.
This is not something that will always happen, but this problem is more likely to appear when we use free services of this type. This is when we could have greater security and privacy risks and you should rethink if it is really worth opting for these free alternatives.
Your personal data has a great value on the network. That is something you should keep in mind. Information about what sites you visit, what social networks you use, what you search for… All this can be used by a third party for profit, to sell it to a marketing company, for example, and get into trouble.
After all, when you use a free Proxy you should be aware that they can make a profit somewhere. It may be that the way to profit is precisely through your personal data, from everything you do on the Internet.
A free proxy can work very badly
But beyond the security and privacy issues we’ve seen, using free proxy servers can also bring significant performance issues. It is logical to think that this is so, since at the end of the day we are using a limited service, for which we are not going to pay money.
The speed that we are going to achieve by using a free Proxy is going to be very limited. Perhaps it is so slow that we could not use certain services, such as watching streaming videos or using the cloud. We could have many limitations, since this type of server will not work in the same way as other paid ones.
The quality of service is also not going to be good. There may be outages, it may stop working, you may have to search many servers until one works, etc. You will not achieve the same quality that you would if you used a similar service but paid a fee. In that case you would have more guarantees that it will work correctly.
In addition, you will have to be aware that you may have to switch applications . It may be that one you use stops working and you have to opt for a different one. This can become a problem if you suddenly find that you need to use a server to browse the Internet and you have to waste time.
In short, if you are going to use a proxy server to browse the Internet, you should be aware that using a free one can be a problem. It does not mean that they always are and that they will always work badly or be dangerous, but it is more likely that something negative will happen with a free one than when you pay for it. It will be a similar case to when you use a VPN, which should not be free.