Just like in the physical world, the digital world has safety issues that necessitate security measures to be taken. In the digital world, a person’s IP or internet protocol address is akin to their house address in the physical world, as this is where their location can be determined.
Without an IP address, it means that you can’t function in the digital world since it is through this that you send and receive data over the internet.
Nowadays, there are strategies developed to hide one’s IP address, but why is it important to do so? Below are some reasons why you should hide and protect your IP address:
1. Keep Marketers Off Your Track
You may be wondering why you see a specific ad on your social media sites or on websites you visit. Though you haven’t been to the site of this specific product lately, a particular advertiser has gotten hold or was given an idea of your browsing activity.
They match the ads shown to you based on the sites you visit as this increases the likelihood that you’ll click on the ad and purchase what’s being sold.
While it’s a pretty good strategy on the advertiser’s side, it may not be favorable to you. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to show others the products you purchase, you wouldn’t appreciate this advertiser’s move. Protecting your IP address can prevent this from happening.
2. To Anonymously Access Sensitive Data
For instance, you’re in a profession wherein you need to tail other people but you can’t let them know either for legal or safety purposes. Hiding your IP address can help you do your job as this means that they can’t trace a specific log back to you.
Keeping your IP address protected is tantamount to hiding who you really are and making sure that you won’t be harmed in any way as you perform basic activities required by your profession.
3. Do Away With Geographical Restrictions
Some websites may have restrictions over which locations or countries can access their content. Similarly, some countries also ban certain websites to be accessed by their citizens for political or other purposes.
If, for instance, your job involves a lot of extensive research, this can become very inconvenient as you may not have access to some sites that contain the information you need.
To remedy this, you can use a Virtual Private Network or VPN to mask your real IP address and use one that is provided by the VPN’s server. This way, the website will think that you are coming from its country of origin, thereby granting you access to its content.
4. Prevent Unauthorized Data Mining
While constant connectivity can be convenient to most people, it still has its accompanying risks. If a cyber-criminal is after you and has your IP address, they may be able to access your computer remotely and dig through your data.
Of course, you don’t want this to happen. If you change your IP address often or hide it, then the criminal won’t be able to maintain the connection to your computer, thus not being able to mine your data and use it for illegal activities.
5. Security While Connected on Public WiFi
Getting connected is now a necessity. If you’re somewhere other than home, you might still need to access the internet, so you connect to public networks, especially if work necessitates you to do so. Since you’re not using a private or home connection, chances are other people who are also using that connection may find your IP address and have access to your device and data.
Naturally, you wouldn’t want anyone but yourself to see your own browsing data so it’s only sensible to mask your IP address. If you use a VPN to do this, the data you’re sending to and fro your actual IP address is also encrypted along the journey. If the receiving end would try to trace you, only the IP address that the VPN provider gave you will be tracked. This is then another layer of security for you.
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There are many compelling reasons why a person would need to hide the IP address they’re using. Learning how to do this may be a bit difficult and, for some, time-consuming.
But with the risks that can be avoided, it surely is worth the time. Start learning how to hide your IP now to keep yourself safe as you surf the web. There are many resources online that can help you with how to do it.