Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Newsletter
Zones
Access Control
LeftNav
Alarms
LeftNav
Biometrics
LeftNav
Detection
LeftNav
Deutsche Zone (German Zone)
LeftNav
Education, Training and Professional Services
LeftNav
Government Programmes
LeftNav
Guarding, Equipment and Enforcement
LeftNav
Industrial Computing Security
LeftNav
IT Security
LeftNav
Physical Security
LeftNav
Surveillance
LeftNav
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
 
Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Can anonymous surfing prevent identity theft?

23 June, 2008
Personal VPN tunnelling products such as Tor and CyberGhost provide a means for individual users to surf the internet anonymously but doesn't provide the answer to preventing identity theft
The latest release of CyberGhost has been announced this week which is available from various sources as free trial downloads or commercially for a little under 60 pounds. The product works by creating an encrypted connection via a VPN server thus hiding the IP address of the user. Web sites which the user visits will then see only the IP address of the VPN server rather than that of the user.

Claims that this anonymity provides the user with privacy protection and keeping their private information from other people's eyes is fine from the user's point of view but could lead to other problems, particularly in terms of surfing control in the work environment or educational establishments. Having the ability to anonymise also provides the ability to freely surf illegal content or web sites which you would prefer your employee, ward or family member not to visit. As such, personal tunnelling products could be viewed as alternatives to anonymous proxies which are widely regarded as undesirable in terms of internet content control. To prevent the use of such individual software for organisations is relatively straightforward since blocking the download and installation of client software would deny access to the product.

On the other side of the coin, such personal anonymisers could be justified in terms of their privacy protection capabilities. In this respect, I sought the advice of internet security and anonymising expert Eamonn Doyle of Bloxx, who told me that the major threat to privacy comes from users supplying personal data to web sites using online forms or through internet shopping which is information that has nothing to do with IP addresses therefore such products couldn't prevent this kind of data loss.

He went on to say that users who are concerned about data loss should look at wider issues relating to hardware theft and encryption rather than focussing on one single aspect of protection such as IP address.

Concerning the use of anonymous proxies, Eamonn reinforces the message that it is important for organisations to use effective filtering mechanisms such as Bloxx Tru-View to block access to unknown secure sites to prevent data leakage and the loss of sensitive information through this method.
Bookmark and Share