People around the world hide their IP address every day. From a security perspective, the most effective way to hide and IP address is by utilizing a VPN service. A VPN service allows users to surf the Internet showing only the VPN server’s IP address instead of their own. It also encrypts data as it is passed between the user and VPN server.
1. Unprotected IP Addresses Increase the Risk of Being Repeatedly Hacked
Once a hacker gets access to a device, they use the IP address to communicate with it. Even if the user cleans their device and eliminates all of the malware and spyware, knowing the IP address gives the hacker the ability to attempt to contact the device directly to re-infect it.
2. IP Addresses Provide Valuable Information to Identify Thieves
IP addresses are used by identity thieves to organize the data they gather. This allows them to discern who the information belongs to. By using a VPN service, all of the information will appear to come from the VPN server rather than the user’s device. This prevents them from tying information gathered to a specific person.
3. Search Engines and Marketing Companies Rely on IP Addresses to Track Users
Search engines and marketing companies use IP addresses to track people in a similar fashion as identity thieves. By following someone’s online activities, third parties can develop a detailed user profile based upon the person’s interests. They also use browser cookies to track users. In addition to protecting their IP addresses, users should regularly clear their cookies or only allow cookies from trusted websites.
4. IP Addresses Are Used to Geo-Restrict Access to Websites
Another benefit of using a VPN to hide a user’s IP address is that they can bypass geo-restrictions. There are a growing number of websites which are only made available in certain countries. By using a VPN service with a server in one of those countries, the user will be able to access those websites because they appear to be in a country which is not restricted.
5. IP Addresses Can Be Used to Target Spam and Phishing Campaigns
If an identity thief has most of the information they need about someone, but still need a few more details, they can use the person’s IP address to target spam and phishing campaigns. By deploying targeted campaigns, identity thieves can utilize information they already know about someone to gain their trust and extract additional sensitive information.
6. Data Sniffers Track Vulnerable IP Addresses
A final benefit of hiding an IP address with a VPN service is the prevention of data sniffers from tracking a particular user. Data sniffers rely on finding access to an unencrypted data stream in order to gather information as it is being passed between the user’s device and the websites they access. If they find a data stream to be valuable, they will keep track of the IP address so that they can find it in the future. Not only does the VPN help hide the IP address of the device but it also creates an encrypted stream of data so that data sniffers cannot access it.
Hiding the IP address of the device is inherently valuable because it provides protection against being tracked online by identity thieves, search engines, marketing companies, and data sniffers. Utilizing a VPN service is particularly beneficial because, instead of seeing the IP address of the device, third parties will see the address of the VPN server. Additionally, the data stream between the user’s device and the VPN server are encrypted, which provides an additional layer of protection.
Andy Eastin informs his readers how to operate in foreign countries just as they would at home. Using the German VPN he is able to access his favorite sites from abroad. His writings educate on matters of technology and security.