Security professionals, penetration testers – and growth SEO hackers all need to cloak and obfuscate their real location for a wide variety of reasons.
Sure, there are a plethora of approaches you can take to hide and cloak your identity, from using VPNs, Tor, and just simple proxy redirections, and this post takes a look at a Chrome extension that I’ve been using for many years and one that does a great job and being able to quickly switch over to a different location.
What Does Switchy Omega Do?
This tool allows you to quickly and simply manage and switch between numerous proxies.
The reason why I like this Chrome extension so much is that it is genuinely very simple and easy to change your proxy settings.
Back in the day, you’d have to trawl through Chrome’s advanced settings – this tool does it all for you.
You need your proxy IP, Port, Username, and Password. That’s it.
To create a “profile” simply hit the extension, give it a name, add the necessary details – and test it.
How I Use Switchy Omega
I use Switchy Omega to switch in and out of profiles that I have for accounts.
For example, when I use Phantombuster to scrape social media platforms I’ll use the extension to log into accounts and allow the IP and cookie to be associated with the user on the accounts.
Perhaps explained a bit more simply: remember that when you use a 3rd Party data scraping tool like Phantombuster, you really need to use a tool like Switchy Omega.
Because if you don’t use this tool then the social media platform that you are using will pretty easily be able to work out that your IP and proxy and NOT in the same place.
If you do not use an IP or proxy then Phantombuster, for example, will access the social media platform from an IP address, for example, in France, and will then execute its’ scraping.
However, the IP that you logged into the social media platform to plant the cookie will not be in France but will be in your actual location – therefore meaning that you are in two places at the same time.
Clearly, this is a red flag for social media account scraping and your cookie will be revoked and the scraping will come to an end.
Pro Tip When Using Switchy Omega
If you want to become an absolute pro at creating identities for scraping and growth hacking then I’d also suggest that when you switchy proxy that you validate it using a service like IP Chicken.
If you place IP Chicken as a bookmark then when you’ve loaded the Switchy Omega profile then you can quickly validate that it has been successfully implemented.
Also! Here’s another tip: if you want to take it to the next level then use a tool like User-Agent Switcher which is also available as a Chrome extension.
Or, you could play around with a browser like:
- Ghost Browser
- Sphere Browser
I’ve not played around with Ghost but they do seem to allow you to have four different identities in their free plan.
I have played around with Sphere and it’s great, simple to set up.
You need consistency.
Having a tool like Switchy Omega eases the ability to switch in and out of accounts that are associated with geographical regions.
That’s the key.
If you do need to trick access credentials for accounts you have to become that person and not alert or trigger any anti-scraping processes.
I’m not a privacy expert – the reason I use tools like this is for Growth-Hacking/SEO related purposes; so I’m not doing this for some penetration test but rather just to gain (and I guess “trick”) access to social media platforms so that I may use them to my commercial benefit such as for Open Source Intelligence scraping.
Of course, “horses for courses”, I’d always deploy different strategies for different purposes and situations.
For example, if I was (let’s say) going to scrape Instagram I’d use a tool like Osintgram that doesn’t require a tool like this.
However, if you are taking this stuff to the next level then I’d always recommend some form of obfuscation and consistent signal-sending to social media platforms.