Why free proxy servers are dangerous

If you search for information about unblocking sites and how to maintain your privacy while navigating the Internet, you will almost always find a lot of people talking about free or open proxy servers. This might seem to be a good idea at first glance. But in the end, it could cost you more than you can ever imagine.

For a proxy server to provide safe or unblocked traffic, it must have a connection to a large Internet backbone. It needs bandwidth in order to send your information back and forth to you. This wouldn’t be a big problem if there was only one user. The problem with bandwidth is that it costs money.

Therefore large quantities of bandwidth cost much money. Add the costs of maintenance, operation and security and you get the picture; more money.
So ask yourself, why would anyone spend so much money on creating a FREE proxy server service? The only logical answer is that it's not free. They have a plan to pull a profit from their investment. Most, if not all of those plans, are highly unimaginative and highly ineffective for their "customers".

Some of these companies fill your proxy server session with advertisements, which you click on in order to generate income for them. The idea being that people will click those advertisements while waiting for connections to the websites they are going to visit. But no matter how many ads get clicked, your connection will always be slower than the ad-channel, since the advertisements (income) obviously take priority over your data, and they rationalize that the longer you look at an ad, the more likely you are to click it.

Another issue is that open proxy servers are often operated by hackers, Internet "con-artists", and people with similar intentions. All they really want to do is collect personal information from you, which they will easily accomplish if you use their proxy server carelessly. If you've used free proxy servers in the past, you might have wondered why those proxy servers were often and suddenly shut down. This is very often due to the fact that the operator accounts were created by individuals using stolen credit card information. When they are discovered, these proxies are quickly closed by the providers.

Hackers commit many illegal acts, including credit card fraud. They simply wait for you to use your financial information (including CC info, bank, passwords, etc.) while you are connected to their proxy server, and that's that. Make no mistake, the server operators/admins can, and very likely will, read all your traffic and use it in any way they want to.

The bottom line is: If you use a free proxy server, you are running the risk of being an identity theft victim, and your computer could even be used to commit crimes without your knowledge.