An IP address is a common term used by people who know a bit about their devices and the online world. However, most of us see it at the bottom of our browsers but don’t pay much attention to it. That’s the first mistake you can make.
The second mistake is knowing what it does, but not doing anything about it. You might think it doesn’t matter to you or it’s too difficult to do something about it. However, we’re here to tell you more about IP addresses and how a simple proxy and website unblocker like those offered by Smartproxy can be an effective solution.
What’s an IP address?
An IP address is a series of unique numbers assigned to network devices. IP, standing for Internet Protocol, gives a numerical address to your device so that the network and internet can identify it and facilitate communication.
A device’s internet protocol address isn’t static, but changes as the conditions around it do. For example, if you turn off your Wi-Fi and use mobile data instead you’ll have a different address. Going grocery shopping or on vacation? Again, you’ll have a different address.
This numerical address is almost like an electronic return address, which means the internet, websites, and others who know where to look, can find your IP when you use the internet. Your IP address can also provide them with some information about you.
What Does It Tell Others?
This numerical address can tell others your location. It also provides a link that hackers can follow to breach your device and learn more about you. As your IP is linked to your device when you use it, it provides a backdoor to hackers. However, it can also give information about you to parties with no malicious intent.
Targeted marketing is when companies use the information they gathered about you to send ads on specific products and services. When you search for something, say the newest sneakers releases, website cookies and software log your IP address as one looking into sneakers.
As such, when you visit Instagram, your news page, or other social media, you might find ads for those sneakers displayed. Targeted marketing might not be malicious, but it can be unpleasant. Consider hiding your IP if you’re uncomfortable with random strangers knowing your information.
When discussing hiding your IP, we mean using a proxy server, or other tool, to conceal it. A proxy is an intermediary server that reroutes your online requests and traffic. As such, you can browse online without directly interacting with websites, meaning they can’t see your device’s IP. Instead, the server assigns you a random one and hides your data behind it.
Reasons to Hide This Address
Various proxy types and website unblocker options exist, and they all do the same thing at their base. Help you browse anonymously online and stay secure. Below, we consider some of the reasons there are to hide your IP.
With no IP available for hackers to track, you enjoy increased security. An IP address is like a digital footprint; it leaves clues about what you looked at and where to locate the device. Following these clues, hackers can either attempt phishing emails and scams to relieve you of your money or hack your device. If your device is vulnerable, valuable information like your SSN and payment details are at risk.
Using a random IP assigned to you also means browsing anonymously online. Instead of using anonymous browsers like Tor Browser, you can simply turn on your proxy and enjoy the same privileges. With increased privacy, you don’t need to worry about data breaches or anyone selling your information, as some unreliable websites or tracking cookie software providers might.
Prevents Targeted Marketing
To better tailor marketing to people, companies use targeted marketing services. These services check what products and services interest you and then spam you with advertisements. However, regardless if you want the product, it still means strangers know your hobbies and likes, which feels like an invasion of your privacy.
Bypass Online Blocks
You’ll often encounter blocks online, from geo-restrictions to social media blocks. With a concealed IP address, you can either change your device’s IP address to access content to a specific geolocation or use it to change your IP and avoid social media blocks and IP bans. This helps you access and manage multiple social media accounts from one device. You can also collect market-specific information using the IPs set to various geolocations.
Websites record your IP numbers, and when you return, it remembers your previous preferences. This is thanks to website cookies, which can track various aspects of your actions on a website. However, hiding your IP can prevent cookies from being downloaded to your device or browser as the proxy reroutes them.
Stay Safe Online with Proxies
Hiding your IP address keeps you safer in various ways. It’s easy to do, especially using a proxy or website unblocker. Besides keeping you safe, it also provides other benefits, meaning you can enjoy a better online experience while remaining protected. Concealing your device’s IP address is essential for businesses and individuals, as hackers can access all your information on a whim in most cases.