College Blog Archive: Internet Privacy & Anonymous Web Surfing

The following information is from my College Archive of assigned weekly Blogs.
This blog comes from my Web Application Security class.

Web Application Security Topic 11 – Privacy
Original Post Date:  Saturday, 31 March 2012

Incognito. Stealth Mode. These terms sound secure and provide the assumption that I am surfing the internet and NO ONE can see me! Or, can they?

This week’s blog focuses on Privacy and surfing the web anonymously, if there is such a thing. Let’s begin by looking at the Chrome feature of going “incognito”. The thought of browsing the internet in “stealth” mode can be a little misleading, so let’s look at exactly what goes on behind the scenes during your browsing session.

According to the Google Support Chrome website, web pages that you visit and files that you download are not recorded in the browsing history. Once you close the Incognito window, all cookies are deleted. Simply put, “incognito” keeps Google Chrome from storing information about the websites you visit. However, you will still be able to find downloads, bookmarks or other PC changes you made during your stealth mode browsing. In addition, the websites you visited may still have records of your activity and Google Web History may still record your web searches if you are logged into your Google account.

One of the “free” ways to surf the web with a little more privacy may be as simple as changing security configurations on your browser. Other methods may include setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or using proxy servings. However some of these methods may leave you vulnerable to other types of attacks.

Next, let’s look at Anonymizer Universal is available for home or business use for the cost of $79.99. It claims to protect you by providing secure Wi-Fi connections, data theft protection, and anonymous web surfing every time you go online. Anonymizer Universal works by combining VPN (Virtual Private Network) encryption with unique rotating, shared IP addresses.

Is Anonymizer Universal and similar products worth the money they charge? I believe so… If you want to conceal your IP address and protect your identity and location online. However, the U.S. Government and higher level crackers will always be able to trace your actions back to your IP address along with your internet history at any time, so nothing is truly 100% anonymous.


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