You know there are a lot of hackers out there that might try to get information about you, such as your name, address, phone number, social security number, credit card numbers, and other facts. You would like more protection against hackers. Did you know it is possible to surf the Web anonymously? There are a lot of sites out there that will help you do just that.
On the other hand, you might even wonder why worry about surfing the Web? Why surf anonymously? According to one website that helps Internet users surf anonymously, www.the-cloak.com, the leading Internet advertising agency, www.doubleclick.com, which frequently uses pop-up ads on various Internet sites, as you may have even seen, plans to build a database of customer profiles. (Make certain to type the hyphen after the word the, or else you will go to a different website.)The profiles will include each user’s name, address, retail, catalog and online purchase histories, and demographic data. Until recently the company’s policy was not to use the cookies that Internet users utilize when they surf the Web to correlate information from the 100,000 cookies it uses with specific users. The company will now use the cookies to determine surfing habits of various users and display relevant advertisements to those users. Do you want someone knowing your Internet surfing habits? Do you want to see advertisements designed for you?
Things may be even worse in Europe as far as Internet users maintaining privacy. The European Union might force Internet providers and telecoms to build data taps into their Net servers to allow government security agents to siphon off e-mails, monitor Web surfing, and check newsgroup memberships.
While things are worse in other countries, such as a teenager being jailed in Turkey for making comments critical of police in an online forum, the Russian state police monitoring all data sent over a Russian bandwidth, you might have reason to be concerned in the United States. One reason is that according to a survey by the American Management Association, forty-five percent of large firms monitor employees’ use of e-mail, phone calls, and computer files.
There are various companies that allow you to surf the Web anonymously. The Cloak works by sitting between your computer and various sites you may visit. It can be used to encrypt or code all communication from your Web browser so that know one knows where you are surfing or who you are.
Without using some kind of encryption, you are connected directly to the computers on the websites you visit. For example, if your Internet provider at home or employer, where you are surfing the Web has a proxy server, it can log every access you make, every site you visit, and every picture you download.
If you use some kind of encryption software or program, however, that will not be the case. You will be surfing the web in a way that is truly anonymous-although as even the company, the Cloak, points out, nothing is 100% sure.
You will not need any special software either to use the Cloak, only your browser. The company uses the standard Secure Socket Layer encryption that is found on most browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, or Firefox.
The company’s website gives information about using its program to surf the Web anonymously and when to not use it in some cases for some sites, if you so desire. It also lists some sites on which it will not work on, and states if you have a Macintosh computer and use a Macintosh Explorer, you may have lots of troubles. In that case, you might want to download a different browser.
You might wonder what information about you the Cloak keeps. On the company’s site, it claims to purge all information from its usage logs every few days. The company claims it keeps the information that long only to be certain users are not using the service for something such as sending spam. It also says it will turn over information about users to government authorities, if required to by law.
The program to surf the Web anonymously using the Cloak is free, but you are instructed to read a disclaimer.
Other websites which allow anonymous Web surfing, or point you to other sites which do include www.proxify.com, and www.anonymitychecker.com . You can find others by doing an Internet search. In some cases you will be required to install software. In some cases you will not. You will not need to if you use www.proxify.com or www.thecloak.com.
Using the Internet can allow people to have all types of information about you that you would not want them to. It is possible to surf the Web anonymously.