Why it’s PARAMOUNT that you hide your IP
An IP (Internet Protocol) is a combination of numbers and full stops unique to each device accessing the Internet. The IP can be used to identify you and your online activities, and as with any personal information online, it can be put to ill uses in your expense. Luckily, there is a tool that helps you check your IP address and find out how much you are unknowingly exposing.
What is an IP?
While IP addresses are assigned at random each time you surf the web, your location can still be identified with the new set of seemingly random numbers each time. The IP reveals a lot about you such as your location down to the very zip code, and the networks through which you’re connected, such as who your ISP is and whether you are using a proxy or VPN. It is thus easy for people on the Internet such as advertisers to target you for their benefits. This is because the IP address assigned to your device can be combined with information from the sites you visit, cookies, browsing history, web trackers, metadata and many others to further profile you online. As a matter of fact, geolocation identifies you whether you are using a WiFi, LAN or mobile network.
Advertisers are geo-targeting your IP
Digital-savvy advertisers no longer throw ads at users the same way that a billboard does to pedestrians. Modern online advertising is highly personalized to maximize the likelihood of a user actively interacting with an ad. To do so, various aspects about user must be known beforehand. Among them is the location, which is harnessed from IP vendors that sells such information to advertisers, whereby they provide accurate location of an IP, other useful IP intelligence such as their connection speed and repackaged user data and analysis.
How effective are customized ads?
It has been established that geotagging ads increases the rate of interaction with the user up to 300%. For example, online retail stores such as Amazon target ads to customers with products that are needed and highly popular in specific locations. This increases the conversion rate while reducing marketing dollars with a concentrated effort. With such a heavy vested interest, you can imagine how aggressively IP vendors, analytics firms and advertisers are scouring over your data secretly behind your back.
If ads are the worst you got out of IP geo-profiling, you got the long end of the stick. In worse cases, you might fall prey to fraudsters and criminals that have a hold of your profile. If a user knows where you live, what you look for on the internet, when you surf the web and other details, you might be targeted in bank frauds, impersonation, spamming, cyberbullying and even blackmailing. The good news is that you can reclaim your online privacy when you find out what your IP says about you and learn how to hide it effectively with a VPN.