Internet safety nowadays is a significant problem due to the necessity to use a global network for work, shopping, fun, and other activities. Therefore, a lot of private information is on our computers and smartphones, which must stay private. The easiest way to find a device on the Internet is to track the IP (Internet Protocol) address that has everyone surfing the global network. The IP address is like a posting address, always unique in all networks.
The IP address is a set of numbers from the range 0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255; it is not a random range but based on mathematical algorithms. IP addresses can be different types: private, public, dynamic, static, shared, or dedicated. You can always check your IP address in Google, just by printing the request “what is my IP address.” Additionally, you will see what information about you with elementary programs is available. It is the point to start thinking about hiding the IP address.
Cybercriminals can obtain IP addresses using different websites, applications, programs, and social networks. As a result, the IP address can be used in many ways to harm your assets and even freedom. So, let’s discuss in detail all reasons why you should hide your real IP and simple methods to protect yourself.
7 Reasons for hiding real IP address
- Protection of actual postal address. The IP address is a key to your physical geolocation up to the address of your house. If you post beautiful pictures of your rich house, you can wait for unwilling guests at night.
- Advertisement. IP addresses and all user’s activity are recorded by search engines, and further, this data is provided for targeted advertising. Not all search results are good for appearance as pop-up advertising on your office computer, or you might search for a surprise gift for your family member. Not only search engines collect your data, but also some websites can run their business by selling the subscriber’s data to third parties. The user should understand that all surveys, links, and email promotions are aimed to create your marketing profile.
- Secret type of work. There are some professions where hiding information regarding the user is essential; such people want to be anonymous. Also, it might be required to access some forbidden websites, and the user does not want to be found after all. Governments are tracking Internet activity in some countries, and you can be prosecuted for leaving comments on some political resources.
- To get access to web resources from other geographical locations. The IP address is linked to geolocation, and to get access to some streaming services, it is required to find a way to change and hide your actual IP address. In some countries like China, some websites are not working, so it is vital to find a way to hide real IP addresses.
- Bypass firewall restrictions. Public places and corporations can make restrictions based on IP addresses. For sure bypassing firewalls is not easy, but not always possible.
- Tracking of ISP providers. ISP (Internet Service Provider) is tracking your browsing history as well and, of course, has your real IP address. For sure, not all ISPs do such unfair business, but who knows.
- Privacy. Like any other user’s information, an IP address is something that you can keep to yourself. There is no obligation for Internet users to provide real IP addresses, so if you want to take everything under your control and have your own beliefs and views, hide it. You have a right to turn full incognito more.
Methods to protect real IP address
After having such realistic reasons, the next question is how easy it is to protect yourself from this constant IP tracking. Primarily this question should be raised using Wi-Fi in public places or during traveling when ISP is unknown.
Even though you might not use your computer to access your bank account or insert your passport details plus a significant number of passwords, all this information can be stored in your browser history and cookies. So, not only your IP address will be tracked, but cybercriminals can harm you in other profound ways.
- VPN (Virtual Private Network). The VPN redirects the user’s traffic via its servers and provides new IP addresses. All traffic goes through secure channels, and you can choose the location of the VPN server to change your IP address geolocation. There are additional features of protection from phishing, malware, viruses, and other attacks in some VPNs.
- Antidetect browser. There are many types of these browsers available on the market, providing the option of masking IP addresses with other methods of hiding the user’s digital fingerprint. GoLogin is one of the best. The user can create an unlimited number of profiles for himself or the team; all of them will have a unique IP address, absolutely different from the real one. The browsers can be customized to every reason of hiding identity, and this solution is one of the best on the market.
- Proxy server. Proxy servers are intermediate servers located between the user and the required website resource. Proxy servers know your real IP address, but the website will know only the proxy IP address. It is clear that the proxy server is a weak point in this chain, and it should be a trustable one.
As said above, there are many reasons for the user’s accurate information, including IP address, so current IT solutions are proposing many methods. Masking and hiding an IP address is a straightforward legal way to protect yourself. But this is not the only way and should not be the only thing you care about using the Internet.
Always be careful opening new links, new websites, read all pop-up windows and terms and conditions attentively. Do not forget to install a good antivirus program on your device and create unique passwords on your accounts. Do not make the Internet work against you.
Working as a cyber security solutions architect, Alisa focuses on application and network security. Before joining us she held a cyber security researcher positions within a variety of cyber security start-ups. She also experience in different industry domains like finance, healthcare and consumer products.