When you are connecting in the Internet you receive an IP Address. This is a unique identifier that belongs only to you in the Internet and use it for your identification.
IP Address include information like the Location , Region , City if you search it. Usually include a general location of your ISP and not direct of your Address.
However ISP can see lot of your activity base on your IP Address and can be sell it in an advertisement company without your consent.
The good news is that you can hide your IP Address with simple methods to protect your online Privacy .
What is IP Address
IP Address is a number which represent a unique identifier that tells in the website or service who you are online and where you are located.
You get the IP Address from your ISP when purchase the Internet Connection package.
How to stop tracking your IP Address
You can use different methods to stop tracking your IP Address and improve the security of your online privacy.
#1 – Use VPN
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a software that can protect your privacy. Actually can do the following
- Hide your IP Address
- Hide your location
- Block browser search history in others
Every time that connect in the Internet and start to visit websites , social media or anything else you leave digital footprints in the type of cookies, browsing history.
These data can use it by ISP, Government, third part ad companies or sell it in third person without your approval.
When you are using VPN your IP is hide and all the traffic is encrypted. Nobody can see your IP Address or any other info either your ISP.
#2 – Use Tor
Tor (The Orion Route) is an open source free software that enable anonymous communication in the Internet.
Onion routing is implemented by encryption in application layer of the communication protocol nested like the layers of the onion.
When you are enter in Tor then your traffic encrypted and sending through three random servers or relays. If the destination that send the traffic decide to reply then will be send from three different random servers or relays and not from the same path.
Take a look at the image to understand how the Tor works.
Your traffic is encrypted by Tor and prevent someone to monitoring your traffic, watching what websites you visit, know you IP Address or location.
To enter in Tor must be use the Tor browser which is free.
Before decide to use Tor you must know some of the following disadvantages and weakness
- Tor is slow.
- You can protect you when you are using only the Tor browser. Any other application install in your PC can ‘t be protected by Tor.
- Tor is a red flag for the Governments because it used for illegal actions like cyber attacks, sell drugs ,guns, fraud and more. You can find an interesting table in Wikipedia with the statistics of the actions used by Tor.
- Last and more technical is that the traffic between the last server and your PC it’s not encrypted (see in Image). This give a chance to monitoring and track your traffic.
#3 – Use a Proxy Server
Proxy Server is another one solution that can keep you anonymously in the Internet.
A Proxy server is an intermediate between your PC and the Internet. When you use a proxy server the traffic first arrive in the Proxy to check and apply any rule and then forward your traffic in the Internet.
The same happened when traffic comes from outside first arrive in the Proxy server to apply any rule that match and then forward the traffic in your PC.
Find out a diagram from Whatismyaddress.com
Proxy server can give anonymously and add an extra layer of protection (because can be configure to block sites that are known for maicious sites) but has some weakness too.
Before use a Proxy Server you must know that:
- The traffic most of the times it’s not encrypted. Proxy Servers use and SSL Certificate to encrypt data passing through the servers but today it’s not enough.
- Proxy Server cache the data of the traffic to improve the performance. if the server compromised all your online activity(websites, passwords, card numbers and any other info that gave) will be in third hands.
Proxy server is best suitable when you want a quick and temporary solution for your online privacy.
You can read more details for the Proxy Servers, how it works and the disadvantages in Wikipedia
#4 – Use a Private Search engine
Private Search engines it’s an alternative Google search engines without collecting your search activity or any other personal info.
Google , Bing , Yahoo collect your web activity and can be sell it in third part ad companies by law. This is the reason that you receive personalize ads base on your search.
Private search engines can keep you anonymous in the Internet without track any activity or sell your search history in a third part ad companies.
As any other online service has the advantages and the disadvantages .
Some of the disadvantages are:
- Some of the private search engines still collected some of your search history but not selling to others.
- Can’t quarantine the same quality of your results as Google search.
- It keeps you anonymous from your Internet searching. Can’t keep your anonymously for any other application in your PC that maybe send personal info outside.
#5 – Disable Cookies and Location from the Internet Browser
Most of the Internet Browsers has enable the following options by default:
You can disable these feature to stop tracking your Location and the Cookies.
But what is cookies and how can be vulnerable for your online privacy?
I don’t want to write down lot of technical details. I will try to explain as simple can be.
Cookies are small files with small piece of data which include personal information like your sessions in the web sites, username and passwords of a sites that has login and other info.
These info exchanged between your pc and the webserver that host the website that you have visit to identify your identity.
Cookies are used for better internet experience and to serve you the most suitable ads base on your searches.
As you can understand these data can be vulnerable because include a lot of personal information.
You can disable from your Internet Browsers as a temporary solution for your only privacy
For example for Google Chrome you can disable Cookies from
Settings –Privacy and Security– Cookies and other site data to block the Cookies.
and the Location from
Settings –Privacy and Security –Site Settings — Location
This option can’t be fully protect your online privacy but still can prevent to track some personal info like your Location, your web search history, what links you have click and other info.
Why should you hide your IP Address
You don’t want anyone to know specific activities in your real life. Like which is your Bank Account Number, your ID Card, how spend your time,your Location and lot of other private information’s
Why in the Internet should know everyone what you are doing? which sites are visit? which are your habits or your physical location?
Also don’t forget that in the Internet when you will create a new information never deleted. The most important is that everyone can sell any data that has collected
For all these above reasons you want to have the control of your privacy in your Internet.
Users aren’t care for the online privacy but today is very important. Nobody wants a stranger to keep your personal information and use it without your approval.
Today it’s very easy without need tohas advance knowledge of the Computers to protect your online privacy with different methods base on your requirements and it’s not expensive.
We can try all to protect online privacy and do the Internet more secure.