What Is A Proxy?
What is a Proxy?
Have you ever overheard students in the hall say, “I found a proxy to get past the internet blocker!”? Well, maybe they don't yell it. But, what do they mean? A proxy is to act on behalf of something or someone else. When students use it, they mean going to a third party site to browse the internet with the goal of hiding the destination.
Usually, a student will try to browse a site they shouldn't, because they have nothing better to do, right? Well, to bypass school protections, they use proxies (or VPNs). Let's say they go to proxy.site.com to browse Facebook. They are using proxy.site.com's servers to browse Facebook. A neat trick to bypass DNS based web filters.
So you might be thinking all proxies are bad, but that's not always true. Because a proxy server sits between you (the client) and the internet server, it can be a means of protection. A trusted proxy can inspect, manipulate, or drop the site from even loading. A web filter using proxies, for example, is a great way of protecting client information. They can also inspect content, so even if a student tries to use a web proxy, the destination is still filtered.
Should you consider a free proxy server? Jeff Petters in an article on Varonis said, “using one of the many free proxy server services can be quite risky". They aren’t as invested in their software compared to ones you pay for. Jeff also says, “If you ever find a completely “free“ proxy server, tread very carefully. Some of those are just looking to steal your credit card numbers”. In a world where our technology is ever-evolving, this theory has the potential to be true. So should you use a proxy server? Yes! But not a free one.
Cipafilter is a web filter and firewall appliance. We use proprietary proxy technology to inspect, filter, and report on internet usage. One component to the Cipafilter is its ability to find new proxy servers and block them. Our Distributed Detection Platform recognizes users attempting to use a proxy to bypass the filter. In return, it blocks the proxy site. Simple and straightforward.
You can read more on VPN’s here.