In 2022, the ever-growing demand for internet privacy and humane technology contribute to the growth of an already massive market of tools for online anonymity. A massive supply and usage of proxy servers show how important these tools are for the modern browsing experience. With a good provider, anyone can hide their main IP address, change the approximate location, and enjoy an anonymized version of the internet.
Free proxy servers are all over the internet, but do not be fooled! Public proxies are often created by cybercriminals that want to steal your data! The beloved, well-advertised privacy benefits come from legitimate proxy providers, bound by law to never distribute or misuse private information. Some internet users may be hesitant to pay for the unfamiliar service and fall into the trap of free proxies. Even if you decide to accept the risks and use public servers, the internet connection will be slow and inconsistent.
The market is full of great providers that have their strengths and weaknesses. Some choose to find the best servers for individuals that want more privacy without suffering worsened performance metrics, while others specialize in large deals for businesses that need many addresses from all around the world. But why do large companies need proxy servers in the first place? What are they trying to hide?
In this article, we will talk about 5 ways proxy servers are beneficial for businesses and their marketing. Smaller companies always look for cheap residential proxies to assist their business tasks. Datacenter addresses are cheaper and faster but fall short in providing sufficient protection. Different business tasks in the digital world may often require many addresses, and cheap residential proxies can fulfill most requirements. While the pricing only improves performance metrics. But now, let's focus on the most common use cases for proxy servers in the business world.
Track competitors without interruptions
To outperform their competitors, modern businesses have to constantly monitor the differences between themselves and rival companies. In the last few decades, the digitalization of intellectual resources, shops, and advertisements let us track information about other businesses without real-life research and physical interactions. To determine the state of competition in the market, business representatives visit their websites, track their following on social media platforms, and monitor their visibility on search engines.
The readily available public information offers enough knowledge to compare companies and determine their rankings on the market. To get the most out of this data businesses need to monitor their rivals all the time, capitalize on their weaknesses and quickly prepare an answer for their changes.
Constant, manual collection of public data takes too much time. Thankfully we have web scrapers — automated robots that extract and organize information from targeted web servers. Without the need for other employees, scrapers automate the collection of data and perform these tasks much faster.
Automated bots and their activity often looks unnatural from the point of recipient servers. Bots that visit the website may send too many connection requests. If the page uses rate limiting, it can filter out scrapers from real users and ban them.
Getting an IP address blacklisted, especially if it is an address of a company, can be dangerous. Finally, this is where proxy servers come in. With the help of a good provider, you can get residential proxy addresses and use them to mask your IP. Even better, you can set up a rotating proxy to cycle between and mix different identities while collecting information from a website. If the IP gets banned, your main address will remain untouched.
Influencers on social media pages often have audiences that love to interact with the presented content and its creator. Individuals that manage to capture the attention of thousands of users may want to transition their hobby into a source of income. Most influencers start earning money through marketing deals with other companies.
Businesses looking for partners scrape social media platforms to find the best matches that could promote their products. However, these networks and their websites have tons of users, which makes them very sensitive to bots. Residential proxies save the day, as their IPs come from real internet service providers, which makes them harder to track.
Fake social media accounts
Continuing the topic of social media, companies need popular pages on the biggest social media network for greater client outreach. However, once the page is created another layer of marketing is required to encourage its growth. Businesses often use proxy servers to create fake, but believable accounts that pretend to be interested in their page. While social media pages, the ones with single-digit followers are practically invisible. Proxies help companies create tens if not hundreds of fake accounts to enter the realm of relevancy and visibility.
Improvement of website security
As we already discussed, rapid connections to competitor websites can slow down their website. But what if that happens to your company? Funnily enough, proxy servers can be a solution to this problem. To avoid an unmanageable load of web servers businesses set up reverse proxies that control and buffer the incoming traffic.
Some successful businesses love to maintain close control over their employees to minimize the waste of company time. Proxy servers can help control the internet in the workplace and eliminate distracting or inappropriate pages. The network redirected through a proxy server also helps to control access to it. A reasonable amount of control minimizes time wasting, while restricted access to some websites reduces the potential risk to the company and its brand.
Online Threat Alerts Security Tips
Pay the safest way
Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.
Guard your personal information
In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.
Be careful of the information you share
Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with
Know who you’re dealing with
Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.
Check your accounts
Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.
Don’t believe promises of easy money
If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.
Do not open email from people you don’t know
If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.
Think before you click
If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.
Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond
If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.
Be careful with links and new website addresses
Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.
Secure your personal information
Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.
Stay informed on the latest cyber threats
Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.
Use Strong Passwords
Strong passwords are critical to online security.
Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs
Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.
Update the operating systems on your electronic devices
Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.
What if You Got Scammed?
Stop Contact With The Scammer
Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.
Secure Your Finances
- Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
- Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:
Check Your Computer
If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.
Change Your Account Passwords
Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.
Report The Scam
Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.
Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:
- Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
- Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
- Identitytheft.gov: If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at www.identitytheft.gov. This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.
How To Recognize a Phishing Scam
Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.
Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:
Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might
- say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
- claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
- say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
- include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
- want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
- say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
- offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real
About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)
Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.
By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.
With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.
Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.
Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).