Free Proxies, Honeypotting and the Data Leaks That Come With Them

Free Proxies, Honeypotting and the Data Leaks That Come With Them
Photo by Tim Mossholder / Unsplash

While the aim is to hide identities and protect us, free proxies come with a certain amount of risk. Free proxies sometimes end up doing the exact opposite of what we set them up to do. Proxies mask the original IP address so that web servers do not know the exact location of our computers.

Free or open proxies are the most popular because, well, they are free, but we do not recommend using a free proxy. It won’t bring you the peace of mind and the security and safety you are looking for in the first place. You will still have to work hard to protect yourself against data leaks with free software and won’t be able to relax assuming that all your data is safe.

Instead, opt for an affordable residential proxy solution. With the whole world going mobile, a residential proxy is a good option to consider. But how can a proxy protect you from threats? What threats should you be aware of?

1- Honeypotting

Honeypotting is the setting up of decoy servers in a computer network to confuse attackers and hackers. Those trapped in a honeypot can actually scrape fake company data without you even knowing it because you will be in a honeypot. These honeypots have been set up to look exactly like a real website, in order to lure users with malicious intent. Hackers and cyber criminals might think they are gathering useful information, but in the end, it would just be useless data. And while they think they’re profiting, their actions are being closely tracked by the company’s online security team.

2- Data Leaks

The costs that come from personal or company data falling into the wrong hands on the internet vary. It is safe to say nobody wants their sensitive information floating around on the World Wide Web. All data processed through a proxy will always be visible to its host.

When we use free proxies, the data is visible to a third-party host as well, and they can collect all our information, making it much less secure and can lead to data leaks. For companies, data leaks can be devastating. Research done in 2018 and 2019 found that the average company loss from a data breach was a whopping $3.92 million. Data leaks can cause companies to lose many existing and potential clients who feel unsafe.

3- Speed and Connection Challenges

We rely on good, affordable proxies to search for limited edition sales, good travel deals, and local goods. Even without becoming a regular user, your data becomes exposed. Using a virtual machine setup that resets the system after each use can help. A reliable residential proxy provider with customized settings is always a better option than a free one.

Prices of goods and services sometimes differ because of location. Also, some products and services are not available due to geolocation. Accessing and paying for these products through free proxies exposes your personal information.

Conclusion

A proxy is an absolute must for any business that deals with data. It is one of the most important security measures to put in place. The safety and anonymity provided by good residential proxies are irreplaceable. Users are better off finding a trustworthy residential proxy provider than relying on free options.

A little research on web engines like Google will do the trick. There is a cost to using a good proxy, but this is much less than the potential damage a free proxy can cause. A free proxy can make your activities unsafe and inefficient. It can also backfire and cause irreparable damage to your company or even your life.