One of the biggest problems of the internet nowadays is security. Viruses, spyware, spam, trojan horses, malware, adware and of course hacking are the main problems. The more information largest part of all internet users are unaware of most of these things and will never know their passwords and credit card info might become visible for others. Nothing can give you 100% security, but applying a few easy things will improve online security greatly. Here are some things everyone should do:

Install a virus scanner and firewall

A good virus scanner and firewall are an obligation these days. Do not trust the firewall of your ISP, modem and especially not Microsoft’s firewall. Virus scanners are never already installed on a modem or something, so you have to install one yourself. There are countless virus scanners and firewalls available, but the best ones are McAfee, Norton, AVG and ZoneAlarm. The last two have a great advantage over the first two because they are totally free. I recommend using AVG’s virus scanner and ZoneAlarm’s firewall.

Use a proxy

A proxy server is a server that is meant to hide someone’s IP. Your IP (Internet Protocol) is a number that is unique for every computer and it is static so you cannot change it when you messed things up. If a hacker finds out your IP he or she can get all your info if you are unlucky. This means that it is very important to hide this number. A proxy works like this: normally when you click on a link or a button, the browser sends the info to the web server. With a proxy the info will be sent to the proxy server first, and then to the web server. If the web server retrieves your IP, it will retrieve the IP check more of the proxy server, not yours. This also works from the web server to your computer. A counterpart of these proxies is that the owner of the proxy server can see all data (including passwords and credit card info for example), so install a proxy of someone you trust.

How to set up a Proxy

It is easy to set up a proxy, but follow the following steps very accurate, because a little fault can resolve into an unsafe proxy, or an error.

Step one: finding a good, anonymous proxy

The first thing you need to do is to find a good proxy. There are free and paid proxies scattered all over the net. Paid proxies are better most of the time (more anonymity), but there are good free ones also. Search for the best and most anonymous proxy that’s out there. To help you a little, here is a list of free proxies. This list is updated every day. Transparent proxies are unsafe, don’t use them. The best proxies are the ones with high anonymity. Choose one that you like.

Step two: install the proxy

After you found your proxy, write the IP and the port of the proxy on a piece of paper. The process of installing a proxy varies from browser to browser, so I will explain the installation process for Internet Explorer only. After you have opened Internet Explorer, go to Internet Options and then click on the Connections tab. Select the LAN Settings button if you have a LAN or DSL connection, or if you have a dial-up connection, choose your connection and click the Settings button. From there, enable use a proxy server and type the proxy IP and port in the address and port fields. Click OK twice and you’re done.

Step three: monitor the proxy

This step is often visit more information forgotten by a lot of people. Proxies, especially free ones, tend to disappear, quit working or become transparent. Of course you don’t want this to happen, so check your proxy every now and then (I recommend to check at least every month) to be sure you will stay anonymous.