Using public proxies generally involves browsing to a public proxy website to request access to another site, usually blocked or prohibited by organizational policy. When accessing sites in this fashion, firewalls, filtering devices and monitoring solutions are only aware that an employee, or student, has accessed the public proxy site, and not the actual end target site.
Misusing public proxies, to evade corporate firewalls and defeating organizational efforts to monitor inappropriate Internet usage, enables employees to hide their unproductive and sometimes even illegal Internet behavior. In addition, public proxies can create other problems since many promote spyware and malware activity.
In an attempt to prevent the use of public proxies, it is common practice to subscribe to, or collect, regularly updated lists of public proxy sites. Many of these lists are freely available on the Internet (see examples at the bottom of the page).
We recommend the following procedures, using WebSpy’s solutions, to improve management and control of public proxies use
CREATE PUBLIC PROXIES PROFILE
- In your Summaries section, run an analysis, then go to Sites / Site Name
- Right click on any site known to be a public proxy site and chose `Include in profile’
- Either create a new profile called `Public Proxies’ or add to your existing `Public Proxies’ profile
- If you suspect a site to be a public proxy, simply right click and choose `Browse’ to investigate further
UPDATING PUBLIC PROXIES PROFILE
- Locate and copy a public proxy list published online
- In your Profile section, open your `Public Proxy’ profile and paste the list
- Even though a little bit time consuming, maintaining a list of the most common public proxies will increase your chances of easily locating novice public proxy culprits
INVESTIGATING INDIVIDUAL USERS
- In your Summaries section, run an analysis, then click on `Users’
- Right click on your selected user, then choose Drilldown | Sites / Site Name
- Many public proxies use IP addresses (as opposed to site names) to avoid easy detection, so a spike in IP address visits could be an indication that an employee or student may be using a public proxy
- Right click any IP address and choose `Browse’ to investigate further
(Please ensure that comprehensive Acceptable Usage Policies, prohibiting the use of public proxies, and breach consequences are explicitly communicated to employees)
There are numerous websites publishing updated public proxy lists online that can easily be located through search engines. Below are just a few examples:
Don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.