Businesses, schools, and some families use their security tools to block access to undesirable web sites. They do this for various reasons: businesses, to increase productivity by not allowing employees to surf the net for “recreational” purposes; schools, to keep students from nefarious sites they may seek to enter; and families to protect their children from being exposed to undesirable content on bad websites. However, anyone wanting to circumvent the security block and access any site on the web can use free web proxy programs to do so. Most high school and college students have used a web proxy or know how to use one. Many employees know how to use them too, but my experience is that there is less of a tendency to use them than for the students.
However, using web proxies has just become a lot more dangerous, especially for students. At least one web site offering a web proxy service is a fake and is loaded with malware, links to cell phone subscription scams and other bad things. That site is myfatherisonline.com. It’s really geared to students, including some misspelling in the sales pitch, offerings of games, private use of the Internet, an IQ test that will cost US$9.99 per month, a $250 Amazon gift card for free, and a magic lamp that can grant wishes. Hey…kids fall for this stuff!
Here’s what you can do to protect your student:
- Tell him or her that some sites are blocked for a very good reason…to protect them from breaking the law, or worse, being a victim; and that they should stop using web proxy services.
- If they insist on using proxies, tell them to stay away from the site discussed here.
Check out the GFI Labs Blog article A new lure: proxy service for avoiding school and parental controls for more information.
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Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it safe, productive and enjoyable.