There is an ever-increasing amount of fraudulent activity, manipulation of information and identity theft happening behind the scenes whenever you look for information on the Internet. Individual’s rights to privacy are also rapidly decreasing as employers monitor IM (instant messaging) conversations, e-mail activity, and web surfing habits.
HTTP proxies are able to be used by companies and individuals who wish to hide their real-life identity by allowing for a temporary change of IP (Internet Protocol) address. A specific IP address is assigned to any device that attempts to logon to the Internet. An IP address is not just a stream of numbers – rather it is a way of identifying your location, and your ISP (Internet Service Provider)… And if that information got into the wrong hands, there wouldn’t be very nice consequences (I suppose you could consider an IP address as a vehicle registration place).
Many users turn around and rely on HTTP proxies to give them some privacy. However, what they are not aware of is that if an HTTP proxy’s left open for the world to see, they will likely be a lot better off not using one at all. This is generally due to bad management, or spiteful intent.
Web-based proxies generally offer a lot more protection, despite the fact that they are slightly less efficient. The cons include errors in the displayed content, usage limitations, and the possibility that it may crash while you are browsing. There are a lot of different types of web-based proxies (PHProxy, CGIProxy, and Glype to name a few) suited for different needs. You will need to experiment and see what works best for you.