As you go about your daily routine of searching the Internet for the information you need to do your job or do well in school or to just entertain yourself, information about you can be had by others even if you do not advertise who you are. Think how easy it probably is to find the IP address of the computer you're using. Once someone knows the IP address, they can pinpoint the location within the country. The browser you are using is probably just as easy along with your browser history. Computer cookies left behind as your surf can track your habits as you move from site to site.
What questions should we be asking ourselves?
1) How do people get this basic information about you?
Just the fact that they can identify your IP address gives them some valuable information. The browser along with browser history can reveal a lot about you, also. Don't forget the cookies a web site can leave behind. You may also voluntarily offer some information about yourself if you filled out a form of some kind on a person's site.
2) How do you stop this information theft from happening?
There is a way to surf the web anonymously and that prevents leaving a trail for other to find. While the anonymous technique isn't 100% fool proof, it is very effective. The product that allows you to surf anonymously is called a proxy server. This product replaces your Internet address for its own. In effect, your IP address is hidden and that makes it much harder to track you.
3) How do I find an anonymous server?
As you can imagine there are plenty of vendors who sell them. A search on the Web will reveal lots of them. There are two that offer this service for free. There may be others, but these seem to be popular choices. They are ShadowSurf (www.shadowsurf.com/) and Guardster (www.guardster.com/) Go visit them and get a feel for how it works. It is fairly easy and does not take much time.
4) Does using an anonymous proxy server make it 100% impossible to be tracked?
No, but think about not using any and you'll see that this protection is better than none at all.
5) What else can I do to keep my information private?
Asking these questions will make your information more secure and harder to track. The information thieves want easy prey so make it hard for them and they'll move on to easier pickings.