An IP address is a numerical label assigned to each Internet-enabled device by the ISP (Internet Service Provider) that can point to a user’s approximate physical location.
Since everyone’s online activity is typically associated with the user’s IP address, it is important to know that it might lead to compromised privacy. A user’s Internet searches, the websites that they visit are all tied back to their IP address. What’s worrying is that an ISP (Internet Service Provider) could be asked to provide an exact physical location of a person by cross-referencing their customer records with their digital footprint.
One of the best ways to hide an IP address is to use a VPN – such as NordVPN, which encrypts all data between a user’s computer and a VPN server into a secure tunnel. NordVPN doesn’t keep any customer logs, offers secure encryption protocols and advanced security solutions like DoubleVPN.
A VPN hides a user’s IP address, disguising the real location, thus giving a great layer of protection from unwanted security threats and surveillance. To put it simply, VPNs allow you to change your IP address by connecting you to the internet through one of their servers.
We have collected 10 reasons of why Internet users should be hiding their IPs.
- Tobrowse websites without disclosing identity. When a user hides their IP by using encryption, their Internet browsing activity becomes invisible to the ISP.
- To access streaming from any location. It’s sometimes impossible to access favorite shows when on vacation in another country, simply because they are geo-blocked and access is denied. Hiding an IP through a VPN allows a user to connect to the desired country’s server and to enjoy the entertainment as if streaming from home. For example, users from Danish users can stream their programs while traveling in South America by connecting to a Danish server through a VPN.
- To stay safe from snoopers looking to access information. There might be many snoopers lurking around – including advertisers and, more dangerously, hackers. When a user hides their IP address, hackers can no more cross-reference that person’s data and track down their location or reveal other personal information.
- To protect oneself when using a Wi-Fi hotspot. Public Wi-Fi networks are primarily unsecured and open to everyone. Using a VPN service allows one to encrypt the Internet traffic while logging into an unprotected network, where hackers could be lurking, waiting to steal personal identities or financial information.
- To access websites that are not available to the geographic location of the IP address. For example, Facebook is blocked in Vietnam; LinkedIn is blocked in Russia; many YouTube videos are not available in Germany. Hiding an IP address and anonymously connecting to another country through a VPN allows to access content not available in that particular physical location.
- Access blocked networks. Sometimes, institutions such as libraries might place restrictions on viewing certain sites, including social media sites or even news aggregator sites like reddit. In some cases, these restrictions might prevent students from doing research or interrupt workflow. Masking your IP could help access those sites.
- To bypass government surveillance and Internet censorship. Most governments around the world are increasingly tightening surveillance laws. For example, UK’s Investigatory Powers Act mandates Internet user data retention and permits bulk hacking of thousands of computers. If all the collected data falls into the wrong hands, such as those of hackers and fraudsters, it can cause serious data breaches and theft. Opening a door for government to access web browsing data and metadata makes everyone’s online activity vulnerable.
- 8. To hide Internet activity from ISP.In some countries Internet Service Providers are obligated to track and hold on to data that users generate online. Also, in a number of cases, Internet providers have been known to track, collect and even sell customer data to third parties or use it for their own promotional purposes. Hiding the IP address will keep one’s information private and inaccessible.
- To keep private searches private. Several search engines track and store data on user’s online activity. Avoid having your search history tied to your IP address . Make sure to clear cookies after every browsing session even while using a VPN service.
- To enjoy Internet freedom.When World Wide Webwas created in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, its purpose was for the web technology to be available to everyone, always. Creativity, innovation, education, communication and exchange of ideas are inseparable from the freedom the Internet offers, and everyone should be able to enjoy it without any restrictions. Hiding the IP address would give increased privacy and right to expression online.
Hiding an IP address is the key to staying secure and private online, and is easily achieved through using a VPN.
For more information about staying safe online, visit NordVPN.com.