Data leakage reports from various business and online platforms are often met with a lot of outrage by online users. As an illustration, when Facebook records of 540 million of its users were exposed by third-party apps on Amazon cloud services, there was a massive uproar.
The data breach exposed over 146 gigabytes of personal information such as names, IDs, reactions, and comments to posts from Facebook users. The platform has also been investigated for selling its users’ data to Cambridge Analytica, for political analytics purposes.
Strangely, the same users who are so quick to castigate the platform over mismanagement of personal data, are the same people that share their private information on the platform without a second thought. Sharing your private information on an online platform that has privacy challenges and expecting responsibility on their part is ironic.
Data privacy is your responsibility
It is also irresponsible to share personal data on web platforms that utilize their user’s data to generate revenue. Every internet user needs to take up the challenge of personal data security. You are responsible for your privacy. Consequently, you must draw the line and decide on just how much information you should put up in public online spaces.
Data protection is not the sole responsibility of a social media platform, website, or business. Online privacy is rather a two-way street. The business holding your data should handle it as per the law. You, on the other hand, should empower yourself with online privacy tools and information.
There are many ways that you can enhance privacy online. Most of them require the use of tools that hide your IP address information.
Why you should hide IP address data
Every internet-enabled gadget has an internet protocol address, also known as IP address. The IP address is a unique identifier that channels data to other networked computers or devices. Modern Internet of Things devices uses the TCP/IP protocol of communication on networks.
The TCP/IP protocol uses IP addresses to communicate a computer’s address. The identifier can also convey information such as your internet service provider. There are many reasons why hiding an IP address is critical to online privacy and anonymity.
Stops you from getting annoying ads
Prevents IP address tracking by annoying ads that trace your digital breadcrumbs. Advertisers and websites use cookie profiling to track your online actions. They then use the data collected to create a profile detailing your browsing behavior.
When you go online searching for a particular item, they will send their bots to advertise information about your searches on your browser. This action spooks most internet users.
Prevents unnecessary monitoring
There are governments and online entities that surveil the activity of their citizens or persons of interest. As an illustration, the UK Investigatory Powers Act allows en masse surveillance of its citizens. The UK government can legally monitor its citizen’s internet usage and keep records of websites visited for a year.
They can also monitor the apps used on phones and their call metadata. Additionally, communications service providers such as internet service providers are also expected to keep customer data and hand it over to the government when required to. Hiding your IP address can hide your digital movements from prying eyes.
Decreases identity theft
Online anonymity can decrease identity theft. The vice is on the rise and is the most common outcome of a data breach. In the US, over 33% of online users have come face to face with identity theft. Cybercriminals use spyware, malware, and phishing tools to break open online accounts and to steal personal data from devices.
Identity theft can lead to a loss of savings and money in accounts and other assets. The vice can also cause a lot of emotional distress. Hiding your IP address when online can significantly cut down the risks of identity theft.
How proxies can hide your IP address
Proxies, also known as proxy servers, can significantly cover up an IP address of a gadget when online. The proxy server is designed to act as a gateway between the web browser and the internet. They intercept all forms of communication between your computer and the online world.
Any website receiving your queries or sending any information back will only view the proxy server’s address. Since proxies hide IP address data, any entity tracking or monitoring your activity will be at a loss, since they cannot trace your identity.
All an identity thief tracking your online activity to access your personal information will view is the proxy’s IP address.
There are other benefits of hiding IP addresses. Since proxy servers veil your IP address, you can use them to access geo-restricted content. Internet users use high-quality proxies to access geo-blocked content from content providers such as Netflix or Hulu. If you are a fan of limited-edition sneakers, you can also use proxies to purchase some from various countries around the world. Residential proxies are used in web scraping activities.