Archive for digital economies

Why Proxies are Driving the Digital Economy

Traditional commerce works slightly different online for some very important reasons.  One of the most significant differences is the fact that in real life we can be identified in lots of different ways including obviously visually.  A tramp walking into an Aston Martin showroom is not likely to get a test drive, despite what various inspirational Memes try and teach us.  Also anyone walking into a bank wearing a helmet and a firearm is going to have a different experience than the most of us.  Obviously extreme examples but commerce is often a lot to do with building relationships, conversing and simply old fashioned sales talk.

In the digital world even these simple visual clues are not available, in fact they simply don’t exist.  However you may be surprised to hear that there are actually many other significant clues which a digital enquiry gives often completely unknown to the individual involved.

The most important single digital clue is that of your IP address. This is the unique network identifier that every device connected to the internet has.  It might look just like a series of numbers but it actually is at the very heart of our digital identity.  That number is the online version of our home address and can tell any website an awful lot about us.

Here’s a very simple example, imagine you’ve placed an advert on eBay to sell your old laptop and you get a request to buy the very same day from a guy called Roger who lives in Essex.  All sounds great so far, but what if I told you that Roger’s IP address is registered in Lagos, Nigeria how does this make you feel about the transaction?  You’re likely to be extremely wary, after all why is someone from Nigeria interested in a 5 year old Alienware Laptop located in South Eastern England.  You’d likely not fall for the slightly odd payment request which actually turns out to be a financial scam.  The web site is able to warn you about this transaction and suggest that there’s something suspicious about it.

The very core of this transaction relies on trusting the identity of the purchaser who is obviously lying about his true location and intentions.  Yet imagine if the individual had used something called a proxy server which routes his connection through a UK based IP address.   Suddenly this becomes a much more professional scam which could easily fool both the web site and potentially you.

The IP address is vitally important to understand something about the visitor to a web site or a partner in a transaction.  It’s why sites like eBay will list the location of any seller so people can judge whether they wish to buy.  This information is gathered from where the account is registered determined initially from their IP address.  So anything which can hide or change this network address is potentially very powerful online and here you see why proxies are so powerful.

The ability to control your digital identity is extremely important to many people online and not all of them are cyber criminals!  The ability to access, trade or simply research online using a variety of digital identities spread across many countries has thousands of legitimate uses too. Nowadays there are lots of places where you can actually buy rotating proxies which can switch your identity to anywhere across the world automatically or on demand.

So an entrepreneur in Europe who finds themselves blocked from selling their digital services online via US Craiglist advertising boards has a solution.  All they need is a selection proxies with US IP addresses registered in the correct locations to open up the US market.  Our entrepreneur doesn’t need to even visit the US never mind open up retails outlets, just buy a simple proxy subscription will open up the US market for them.