I'm fairly sure that 99% of most people who spend their lives in search of these proxy servers have no idea what they actually do. The latest batch of fresh proxies delivered by the thousands of inane web pages are doing a huge disservice to the security and safety of surfers on the internet.
Ok so why fresh Proxies
Last time I checked a server won't go off, Squid (a popular proxy software) doesn't go stale. The reason people search, ask and plead for a fresh anonymous proxy list is because the old ones are completely unusable or more likely have completely disappeared. To understand you need to realise that the administrators of the vast majority of these proxies have very little idea they are hosting a free proxy service.
After all why would they pay the bandwidth charges for tens of thousands of kiddies who want to bypass their school blocks on facebook and Bebo. I suspect they have better things to spend their money on and it is hardly an inspiring gesture to protect free speech and liberty. Nope usually the free proxies you see are the ones where someone's simply made a mistake, a configuration mistake, a firewall mistake and their server has been left wide open for the world to use.
Feel sorry for them - maybe ? We all make mistakes but the internet is a very unforgiving place - thousands instantly swarm on a mistake like this and start routing all their browsing through this inadvertent anonymous proxy as soon as it appears.
But even more worrying - just take a look at this little graphic -
This how you access the internet using Identity Cloaker however if you just use an anonymous proxy you found on the internet, you can remove the encryption from the graphic and what you are actually left with is a user funnelling ALL your data and information through a server they have no idea who controls, all you know is it appeared on a hundred anonymous proxy server lists across the planet.
FACT : Many Anonymous Proxies are Controlled by Hackers
In fact a vast number, of course it makes sense, hack into a badly configured or unpatched server, turn it into an open proxy server and pretty soon you'll have thousands of people sending all their data through it, all their unencrypted data - set the proxy in caching mode or simply log all the data that comes through and you'll soon be harvesting all sorts of personal data with very little effort.
It's utter madness to use these servers unless you trust the person running them, would you trust a gang of Chinese Identity thieves with all your data, passwords and account names ? The only benefit that a fresh anonymous proxy has is that it will be slightly quicker to browse through whilst your data is insecure.
The simple fact is that most fresh anonymous proxies are completely rotten the minute they hit the internet, beware and take care.