Today, we are going techy. Let’s discuss IP address and I bet you’ll be blown away at the end of this article.
Every device is allotted an IP address when it hooks up to the internet. The “IP” part of IP address stands for “Internet Protocol.” The “address” is a special number that gets linked to all your online activity. It’s enough for you to scream your head off when you realise your devices are vulnerable because your IP address is exposed to other websites. Let’s break it down little by little.
When you insert google.com into your address bar, this is how Google’s homepage magically appears on your screen. Google receives this message, they reply with another message which tells your computer to show Google.com on your screen. All these happen in less than a second as your IP address is automatically included in every message you send to them. Through your IP address, websites like Google will always know where to send their reply.
So your IP address is used to identify the location on the internet where a website or service can reach you.
The bad news about this is that your IP address gives away your computing location, at home or on the road. Governments have tracked people down by their IP address via the person’s Internet Service Provider.
Online businesses can monitor activity coming from IP addresses. Online companies and networks can prohibit someone’s access to a website based on where the user is located. Any guess as to how they get to know where the user is? Of course…the user’s IP address!
Hackers can also sneak into networks and sometimes take over devices through its IP address.
These drawbacks prove that the Internet is not as safe or private as you imagine it to be.
But you can have so much more going for you if you are able to conceal your IP address.
Hang on! Let’s find out why people would even want your IP address in the first place.
An online business may want to know your IP address because they wish to find out where you are located.
Fraudsters may want your IP address because they may want to hide behind an IP address.
They actually have a pretty good reason.
If, for instance, an online retail customer with a “New York, NY” mailing address buys goods worth thousands of dollars from a company. When the company tries to figure out the customer’s location through the IP address only to find out that the customer’s location is really Russia or China! Perplexing, isn’t it?
Advertisers, companies and service websites will save your IP addresses if you’re visiting their site or if you click on ads on their website. These are the information they can find out about you:
The country or state you’re in; the city you’re in…within a few miles (sometimes city blocks). They can also create a profile of your interests or online behaviours.
By knowing your IP address, an online Forum could “block” access to their chat room.
By knowing your IP address, an online subscription service could block you from accessing their content, because a sporting/special event is otherwise blacked out in your area.
It’s not that people can “use” your IP address, it’s more that by knowing it they can track you, target you or block you.
Did you know that with a subpoena and your IP address, law enforcement can ask your Internet provider for details about your name and home address and gain permission to hack into your emails? Shocking isn’t it?
So be very aware that your IP address can easily be grabbed anytime you’re online. Shiver not little paduwan, you can make sure that the IP address they capture isn’t traceable back to you by 99% of the time. The secret is through the use of a VPN. VPN means virtual private network. This software levels the playing field. For android users, you can download it as an app from Playstore.
Going online using a VPN account, you, to a certain level, tilt the scales in your favor. A VPN account can instantly and continuously provide more privacy. Check out the reasons you must secure yourself with a VPN.
1. Your connections cannot be traced to your computer or device. After visiting websites, your ISP doesn’t know where you’ve been. That, on its own, is more security.
VPN connections are certainly an internet user’s best friend. The network is hack proof and all of your Internet activity is encrypted (coded) and unreadable in transit.
2. You gain more website access. No more blocks or censorship. They can’t stop you from getting to websites based on an IP address.
3. You become mysteriously anonymous. Your true IP address is hidden! You’re unidentifiable online because you’re constantly using a different IP address, never your own. You now appear as if you’re in a different part of the world from where you really are.
4. The best part is that everything else about your Internet experience stays virtually the same.
So you can use a VPN which is an affordable, fee-based online service networking that can mask your actual IP address and routes you through different networks with a different IP address. The experience is left for you to try.