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You wouldn’t leave your wallet open or personal documents in plain view for anyone to see and there are some very valid reasons why you should apply the same mindset when it comes to surfing the web.
It is not just about protecting your personal data either, as searching out the best VPN for Netflix, for example, could give you access to shows that you might not be able to see if you reveal your IP address.
Here is a look at some good reasons why you might decide that hiding your IP is a smart move.
Don’t like being tracked?
It may not have occurred to you before, but almost everything you do online leaves a digital footprint and that means your activity can be tracked, allowing anyone who has interested a window into your world to see what you view and what you buy.
All of this tracking is possible thanks to your IP address, which acts as a unique identification reference for your laptop or computer.
Social media sites like Facebook and the search engine Google like to be able to track your browsing history and they can sell this valuable data to advertisers who then try to sell you a product related to searches you have made or things you have talked about.
If you don’t like giving these people a window into your mind you can put a stop to this intrusion by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which allows you to hide your IP address.
Exposing your personal data to a higher level of risk
It is almost impossible to avoid doing most things online these days and your internet service provider (ISP) has some unique insights into your activities, with very few restrictions imposed on them.
Although your ISP will mostly behave responsibly in protecting your private data and won’t divulge unique information such as date of birth details, they are often keen to profit from selling off your browsing history to companies who want to target you for marketing purposes.
The easiest way to avoid that scenario is to connect to a VPN so that your ISP can only see you are connected to their network but can’t get the same data that they could have done before.
Enjoy access to streaming services wherever you are
When you log in to a streaming service like Netflix they use your IP address to determine where in the world you are so that they limit the content available to you based on geographical borders and international copyright laws.
When you access services like Netflix via a VPN they will unlock these content restrictions because they will not be able to tell that you are in another country.
An extra layer of protection against hackers
The problem with revealing your IP address is that it makes you instantly more vulnerable to hackers who want to try and steal your information and compromise your computer.
Identify theft is a major issue and very damaging and distressing if you are a victim. Using a VPN will prevent hackers from following your online actions, allowing you to stay safer.
Safer to use public Wi-Fi
If you do have to connect to the internet using a public Wi-Fo hotspot it would be much safer if you connected to a VPN so that your personal data and searches are not targeted by hackers looking for their next victim.
Hiding your IP address is a good strategy to adopt when you consider what can happen if you don’t take steps to protect your privacy and browsing history.