Twitter has been restricted in Nigeria by the Nigerian government, which made Twitter users in Nigeria start seeking alternative ways to circumvent the restriction. People started using VPNs and Proxies to bypass this restriction in other to access Twitter while using Nigerian ISP Networks. I started seeing people giving out free proxies, which got my attention and I decided to write this blog to educate people on the advantages and disadvantages of using free proxies. While free proxy servers and VPNs are useful for getting around the restriction, they also have security challenges attached to them.
To explain why you should not use free proxy servers, it is necessary to first explain what proxy servers are and why people use them.
What is a proxy server:
When people want to conceal their location, they use proxy servers. When you connect to a website, your IP address can be used to determine which nation you are from. If you’re trying to access a website that has region limitations and your country isn’t allowed to view it, the website will prevent you from accessing it.
The solution is to utilize an IP address from a non-blocked country. The most effective approach to do so is to use a computer or server in a whitelisted nation. You’ll be able to get around the restriction and visit the website this way. Proxy servers can help with this.
If a Nigerian user wants to access Twitter or any website that is restricted in Nigeria, the Nigerian user can find a proxy server that is located in a country that has access to Twitter or the restricted website (Let’s say USA proxy) and access Twitter using the USA proxy which will disguise the users’ location as USA instead of Nigeria thereby bypassing the restriction.
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why you should avoid using free proxy servers.
Possible risk of using free proxy servers:
It’s possible that a proxy site was created expressly to harm you. Someone advised you to use proxy, and behind the proxy could be fake webpages that look like Twitter, your preferred email provider or bank, this fake page is created with the intention to harvest your login data. When you enter your credentials, the page displays a random error message, such as “server could not be reached,” which was cleverly constructed by the proxy owner. The malicious hacker will now have your confidential data.
2.Your personal data is at risk:
Most of the proxy servers don’t allow HTTPS connections. This is a huge security problem and something that everyone should consider when using a free proxy server.
Because HTTPS isn’t used, your connection to the server isn’t secure. Someone monitoring the connection could easily see the data you’re sending as it passes through the network. Your login details, email account, bank, and credit card information could all be compromised. Proxy services are therefore a bad alternative for anything requiring privacy, such as inputting your login credentials into a website. Don’t perform any transactions on proxy servers.
3. Proxy Server Can Contain Spyware or Virus:
Many proxy websites bombard you with pop-up ads and attempt to infect your machine with harmful software. These apps are designed to track your browsing habits and even personal data.
4. Poor Service:
Free proxies are frequently slow, overburdened, unreliable, and incapable of displaying a wide range of content. When too many people use a proxy server at the same time, the server becomes overburdened and everyone’s performance suffers. This is especially true of public proxy servers that are available for free. When the proxy’s own Internet connection has low bandwidth, another type of slowdown occurs.
5. You get banned in some websites:
Some proxy servers’ IP addresses are blacklisted on some websites. As a result, using this proxy, you will be unable to access those websites or probably lose your account while trying to access those sites with proxy (e.g Binance and some financial sites).
You’ll probably find that putting your privacy on the line and taking a chance on a free proxy server is not worth it.
If you must use a proxy server, Make use of well-known (paid) proxies. Unknown proxies may have been created specifically to steal your personal information.