Your IP address is one of the key indicators of your location and device while you’re using the internet. Through your IP, data harvesters, hackers, and other individuals can get access to your personal information.
There are different levels to the threat that open IP addresses pose. We’re going to take a look at how to hide your IP address today, but first, explore a number of the risks that you take when you don’t.
Hopefully, the ideas below will give you the inspiration to find a VPN and keep your information safe. Let’s explore some of the things that can happen when your IP is unprotected.
1. Merchant Profiles
One aspect of data mining is the creation of a profile based on the activity on your IP address. Merchants can purchase the information that was collected from your IP and use that information to infer what you might like when you visit a website.
Seeing as a lot of information is collected and used in these profiles, these companies have a significant amount of personal insight into who you are. Many people find that this sort of activity is an invasion of privacy.
While you might get more accurate shopping suggestions, there’s still an unfaced corporation with a detailed profile of you.
2. Geographical Restrictions
Many websites offer content restrictions to people in different areas. For example, streaming websites don’t show all of their content to people in The United States.
You’re only getting a fraction of the potential options when you have a United States IP address. Hiding or changing your IP address to one that’s outside of the United States can allow you to access a whole lot more than you would otherwise be able to.
The same goes for other websites with different purposes. When you work with the best VPN options, you can pick and choose your IP location to access specific content.
3. Hacking Protections
It’s a lot harder for people to hack you if your IP address is bouncing around all of the time. Hackers will use your IP address to track your behavior and gain insight into ways that they might intrude on your data.
A singular IP address is like a sitting duck in these instances. You give the hacker access to a reliable information point that they can use to gain insight into your situation.
4. Network Protections
Do you ever feel a little insecure browsing the web on public wifi networks? Well, you should.
Public networks are hotbeds for individuals to tap in and steal information from all connected devices. It seems like something that would only happen in a spy movie, but information gets harvested from public networks all of the time.
Public wifi tends not to have too many restrictions on the way you can use the service, so hackers can have a heyday when they log in. A restricted IP address makes it difficult for them to target you in these situations.
When someone taps into the public wifi and tries to steal information, they’re looking for something easy. Breaking through a hidden VPN wouldn’t be worth their time.
5. Escape Limitations on Certain Networks
If you spend a lot of time somewhere that restricts your access to certain sites, a hidden IP address can allow you to get out of those restrictions.
Maybe your job doesn’t let you watch YouTube at work, but you like to watch a few videos while you take your break. You can manage to watch those videos if you’re hiding your IP address. Just don’t let the boss see you!
6. Data Mining
Aside from merchant profiles, data mining does a number of other invasive things that we are subjected to. Different sites like search engines and other popular networks gather information from us and sell it, going who-knows-where and being used to market to us.
That information is collected and reviewed in relation to your particular IP address in most cases. You might also be monitored based on your login information or profiles on different sites, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Hide your IP address with a VPN and prevent that from happening to you.
7. Authoritative Rule
There are a number of modern governments that restrict their populations from accessing the full breadth of the internet. Whatever reasons they have for doing this, know that there are ways to get around those restrictions.
In particular, you can set your IP address up to look like it’s coming from a different country and bypass those restrictions.
8. Stop Ad Tracking
Advertisements are like little spies, gathering all of the information they can about you. They even go as far as to mark how long you spend looking at a particular advertisement and use that insight to determine your interest in similar subjects.
They do this without you ever having a clue, as most of the interactions with ads that we have are so quick that they operate on a subconscious level. Learn how to hide your IP address and prevent that invasion from occurring.
9. Account Information
Think about the number of accounts and logins that you have scattered around the internet. How many of those contain sensitive information?
If someone can break through to your devices through your IP address, odds are they could gather almost all of that information. That would put you in a very risky situation.
Your finances, personal information, and family information would all be jeopardized.
10. Blackmail and Personal Insights
Unusual as it is, hackers will sometimes blackmail people based on the information they gather from their devices. Even if it’s an embarrassing photo, there’s a lot of information we have on our devices that might be used against us.
It’s scary to think that someone could break through the device protections and steal that information, but it can be done.
11. Identity Theft
Another common occurrence is identity theft. This happens a lot more often than you’d think, and a lot of individuals don’t even know their identities have been stolen until they’re in financial ruin.
Thieves start slow, gathering what they can before they make the deep cut and break your credit score, bank accounts, and more. Your IP is a gate for those thieves, and they’ll break in if they can.
12. Personal Autonomy
One aspect of data harvesting and targeted marketing is the fact that it appeals to our base nature. Algorithms and artificial intelligence, in many cases, are smarter and more powerful than our willpower.
That’s why they’re so effective. They examine the minutia of our activity online and present us with the opportunity to buy things that they know we’ll want.
That takes no stock of whether or not we need the product in question. There’s no consideration of how well we’re doing financially or whether or not the product is healthy for us.
That said, the system is smart and knows when to strike so that we’ll make the purchase. That’s a direct loss of personal freedom and autonomy.
13. Unforeseen Surveilance
As much as the public knows about data harvesting, algorithms, and target marketing, we don’t know everything. We tend to find out about these issues long after they’ve started.
That means that there’s probably technology that you’re unaware of gathering information on your personal life, interest, habits, and personality. Those tactics will come to light eventually, but there will be new technology in place by that time.
Unless laws change, this trend will continue. One of the best ways to avoid that system is by using a VPN.
14. Psychological Shifting
We’ve all heard about the way that social media sites, search engines, and other online agents have the potential to shift our perspectives. In many cases, we get new information based on our desire to search for particular things.
That said, there’s an art of subtle manipulation involved in the algorithms that these sites use. The difficult thing is that the algorithms might not have been made to change our minds, but our ideas are tweaked as a result of the way these sites work.
We’re fed information that people like us engage with, and that group of information becomes less and less nuanced as we feed the algorithm more information. Things become uniform, and the content coming our way drives us toward more uniform opinions.
15. Eliminate Footprints
Each time you visit a site with your current IP address, you leave a little digital trail. There’s evidence that you were in one place or another.
Hackers can’t look at your IP address and hack your identity, but they can follow the breadcrumbs you leave online to get the information they need. When you have a VPN, your IP is shifting all of the time, making it so that each breadcrumb you leave is in a totally different location.
16. Data Throttling
Internet or service providers use data throttling as you approach your specified amount of usage for a particular month. Your IP address is the thing that gives them that information.
When you use a VPN, that information can’t be collected and you won’t get throttled. That isn’t to say that you’ll get unlimited data, but you’ll have full access to the internet while you still have data to use.
17. Business Network Advantage
VPNs on business networks allow you and your staff to engage with the internet in a more substantial way than you’d be able to with singular IPs. Your network provider might throttle your access if it sees numerous devices working on the same network all of the time.
The VPN allows your devices to operate without network supervision, so you won’t be hindered if you start to scale up your operation.
18. Business Protections
There are few areas riskier than the workplace when it comes to data harvesting. One clever hacker could get information from a low-level device and track that information all the way to the devices of the executives.
When your staff uses VPNs, there’s a very small chance that anything like that could happen. If you don’t, you never know if your business will get hacked and robbed, requiring a great deal of time and effort to recover.
19. Additional Security Measures
Depending on the VPN service that you choose, you’ll have access to deeper security measures. Some providers will allow you to shift your IP numerous times during a session or give you protection while you’re not using your devices.
These things are very useful when you’ve got precious information on your hands.
20. VPNs are Easy to Use
It might seem like a VPN is some kind of complex thing that only tech experts can install. This is not true at all. In fact, running a VPN is just as easy as downloading and running any other program on your computer.
You’re just required to enter a little information, follow a prompt, and give the settings that you’d like to have for your system. You don’t have to know how the program works for it to start working for you.
VPN services tend to require a small fee. That could be a one-time fee or a monthly subscription depending on the level of service that you’re looking for.
So long as you can install a piece of software on your computer, you have the knowledge it takes to download a VPN. Once it’s there, you’re far more secured than you were before.
There aren’t too many good reasons not to have a VPN unless you’re alright with large corporations harvesting and using your data to sell products to you. For some people, improved marketing is actually a nice thing.
Many of us don’t like to look at random advertisements that have no relation to us and that’s fine, too. It’s just important to know that you have the option of privacy if you want it.
Want to Learn How to Hide Your IP Address?
Knowing how to hide your IP address could be the thing that prevents you from being hacked. It’s not as complicated as it seems, and we’re here to help you with more information to get started.
Explore our site for more ideas on how to hide your IP and dive deeper into the question, “does a VPN hide your IP?”