Know why to hide your IP address and it's Benefits – layman’s terms

As a non-IT person, most of us do not need detailed technical information about things. Sometimes all we are looking for is just plain English explanation in layman's terms. Here I will explain how your privacy is at stake and why you should be concerned about your IP address. It also explains the benefits of hiding your IP.
You can also check the video below if you wish to listen to it.

What on earth is IP Address?

It is your virtual address on the internet. In the previous article, IP address is explained and also why to protect it for privacy. I have tried to explain it as possible in layman’s terms. You can also check the video below if you wish to listen to it.

Why should you be concerned?

The main reason of concern is the personal information an IP address assigned by your internet service provider can reveal about you. 
Advertisers & websites uses information such as your region & Internet service provider location to know your location and send targeted specific advertisements. 
Government agencies or cyber attackers can create records of your online activity including personal data for Internet surveillance and traffic analysis. 

If required by law, an ISP can reveal your phone number, email id & house address linked to your IP address.

Why should I bother if I got nothing to hide!

When you are online to browse, shop, chat or email, your IP address and browser cookies which stores login info, shopping preferences, location etc. is shared with server. 
This along with your search and browsing data can be tracked by cyber attackers and agencies that may record and misuse your online identity.
Sometimes you have socially sensitive communication like political opinion, health details, membership details or being a whistleblower for a social cause, it is apt not to leave digital footprint to protect your identity.

Benefits of Hiding your IP

You might have seen the same ads follow your around on multiple websites. It’s because you are being tracked. Hiding IP keeps your browsing private. and yes, clear cookies after each browsing session for added security.
Imagine checking a competitor website or commenting on their products and by using analytics they trace back to your company location! Masking your IP can avoid this!
Hiding IP helps you to anonymously visit websites without leaving digital footprints. Protects your search history!
Masking your IP address makes it almost impossible for snoopers to know your location on the globe! It makes it difficult for Your ISP or agencies to log your digital footprint for intelligence.

Some websites block access to IP’s from certain continent. Some workplaces restrict access to certain websites using IP address. Masking your IP can bypass these censorship's.

Protect your device & data from vulnerabilities while connecting to an unsecured public WIFI hotspots. For example, in a cafe or at the airport.

Okay, how can I hide my IP! 

There are many ways to hide your IP. The most common are Virtual Private Network (VPN), proxy server, dedicated browsers etc. Will explain these in next article.
Stay tuned!

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