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October 22, 2020

Changing Your IP Address to Protect Your Online Privacy

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It’s time for a hard truth. In today’s digital age, privacy, security, and freedom are always at risk. Governments, advertisers, internet service providers (ISPs), and more are notorious for tracing internet users’ online activities, thanks to something called an IP address. You can think of your IP address like your home address. Just as your home address is how mail is sent to you, your IP address is how web searches are sent to your device. By tracing your IP address, anyone can learn information about you, including your name, age, gender, hobbies, and even your geographical location. Not only is this disconcerting, but it is downright dangerous for people’s security—which causes many to wonder how they can reduce their digital footprint. 

One way to get around this invasion of privacy is by changing your IP address. This powerful bit of identification serves as each user’s unique kind of digital fingerprint as they browse the internet. By changing it for each internet session, no one can trace your internet activity back to you. Here’s what you should know:

  • What is my IP address?
  • Why should I change it?
  • How do I change it?

What is My IP Address? 

The “IP” in “IP address” stands for “internet protocol.” Essentially, your IP address is a way for your internet activity to be traced back to your device, by establishing a two-way communication channel with the websites you visit. Your IP address connects to the worldwide grid that is the internet, and vice versa. Without this bit of technology, using the internet would be almost impossible. Unfortunately, IP addresses make people vulnerable to the threat of tracking online. 

To find your exact IP address, simply search “what is my IP” in your search engine of choice or try a website like WhatIsMyIPAddress or WhatIsMyIP.

Why Should I Change My IP Address?

Here are some common reasons why you may consider hiding or changing your IP address:

  • Data Privacy: Data privacy concerns are on the rise these days. While some threats are malicious, others simply monitor your movement online and use your information for targeted advertising. Although more an exception than a norm, government bodies sometimes use IP addresses to warrant a legal raid and investigation of people’s homes based on their records and personal information. Changing your IP address will allow you to browse virtually undetected, keeping you safe from prying eyes.
  • Preserve Your Anonymity: Hidden IP addresses prevent your location from being traced. All of your online activity will technically be anonymous because none of it can be tied back to you! This prevents advertisers from using your purchase information to sell you things, and it hides you from the government’s eyes where allowable. 
  • Unblock Restricted Websites: Many websites lock their content to users outside of a specific geographic location. That’s why someone in Canada might not be able to watch American Netflix shows, for example. By changing your IP address to the country where the content is coming from, you can get past geographical restrictions and access content from around the world as you please. 

Changing Your IP Address: Use a VPN

Installing and using a virtual private network (VPN) allows anyone to change their IP address and gain secure internet access. This protects you from anybody looking to take a peek at your personal information by tracing your IP address. Although there are many free VPN providers available today, we recommend paying for one (even if it isn’t ours). A paid VPN will almost always have a couple of extra safety features crucial to actually keeping you safe.

Conclusion

Using a VPN to change your IP address is just one part of keeping yourself safe while browsing the web. Following best practices, such as using unique passwords, two-factor authentication, and clearing your cache are other habits that you should adopt! These small steps can protect you from dire consequences, such as email hacking, identity theft, and even credit card fraud. Installing a VPN is just one great move; the rest is up to you!

Are you looking to download a VPN service to protect your presence online? HotBot VPN is a Seychelles-based company working with international teams to provide users around the globe with the best VPN services possible. To learn more about how to maintain your online privacy, security, and freedom, visit our website today!

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