Internet Privacy Is Hard to Come By…Unless You Use a VPN.
With a VPN, You Can Get As Much Internet Privacy and Security As You Want. Here’s Why.
In case you don’t know it already, there is no such think as internet privacy. Why? Because there’s always someone who knows what you’re up to on when you’re online. That’s the main reason why everyone might want to start using a VPN—and soon.
A person or an organization could (without you knowing it) see what websites you visit, deny you access to their website, create a profile of you based on your activity, find out where you live and even hack into your network. They can do it when your home and it can also happen when you’re at an airport, a hotel or coffeehouse.
How? They’re able to do it because they see and know your IP address.
That is where a VPN (Virtual Private Network) comes into play. It hides your IP address and from there it works like magic:
Why won’t outsiders let you alone?
Wondering why anyone would track your online activities is a question worth exploring, and we do that in this article. However, the pressing question you should also be asking is “how do they do it?”
Let’s talk a little more about your IP address.
An IP address is unique digital address that identifies (and is linked to) a device connected to the internet. Every time you’re online, your computer broadcasts an IP address, which can be seen by any website or other device you connect with.
Your IP address, which is assigned to you by the network you’re on, is public. Think of it as sending a package to someone at their mailing address and including your return address. It’s along the same lines, only digitally.
Want to see? Your IP address is visible right here on our website homepage.
Here’s where it gets interesting—by examining your IP address, someone of the other end of the online connection whether an email, a website, retailer (Amazon, etc.) or a retail store can get information on your connection, because it’s public information.
If you’re at home, that’s likely the IP address connected and assigned to you by your internet service provider (ISP). That’s how the outside world knows when you’re online. When you visit a website, or email someone or play online games from home, your IP address is active and knowable to the websites you’re visiting.
Here are the ways people on the internet can get your IP address.
There’s no need to be paranoid about internet privacy, but it’s good to be aware.
First, let’s get back to people tracking or monitoring you online. While that’s true to an extent (and we’ll soon explain why), that doesn’t mean that…
- You’re being watched and monitored by your enemies (if you have any).
- Hackers have infiltrated your network and are watching your activities.
- Law enforcement has you under surveillance (unless you’re under suspicion of a serious crime).
- Government agencies are monitoring your behavior on social media (unless you don’t trust your government one bit).
For nearly all of us that’s not the case. Sure, the above instances are true for some people sometimes in some countries…but that’s a small percentage. Some individuals (journalists, politicians, activists, etc.) have very strong motivations to use a VPN and protect their privacy.
Someone is still watching….
Even if you’re not on someone’s bad list, there are still others who want to know what you’re up to online. Fact is, there are plenty of people that want to know what websites you’re visiting now and then, or what kind of data you’re sending over the internet.
- Advertisers. They are very interested in your online behaviors, and why not. If a retailer wants new customers, they want to know who visits their websites or who visits their competitors websites. They track IP addresses to find out.
- Internet service providers (ISPs). The companies who provide us with internet connections at home know all about your online activities. Even though they aren’t monitoring your daily activity, they do sell their customers’ online data (to advertisers)—not specifically name and address, but by IP addresses.
(See what you can find out if you were to look up someone’s IP address.)
- Websites you like and visit. Even your favorite websites will want to keep tabs on you, by finding out if you’ve visited their website, especially from home. Even if they don’t know your email address or have an account with them (if they’re a retailer or a bank, for example) they can find out if you visited their website.
- Sites that have rules you need to follow. Sometimes internet users break the rules that a website has in place regarding language, posts, pictures, etc. If a user violates the rules, the website can block them. They can identify the user and deny access by an IP address.
The magic of a VPN: it offers you internet privacy and security.
We have an entire library of articles on VPNs, all written in easy-to-understand language, that will tell you more about the privacy and security a VPN offers. Go to our home page and click the “VPNs” tab.
Here are a few things you should know as your learning about and considering opening a VPN account:
- There are good VPNs and some you shouldn’t trust. Here’s a look at the difference.
- There are free VPNs, but you shouldn’t trust just any free VPN. Here are the top ones.
- VPNs are not very expensive, and if you’re willing to buy a one- or two-year subscription, it can cost just a few dollars a month.
- Usually, you can protect multiple devices with one paid subscription.
If you need more convincing, read our enlightening article on why you should use a VPN.
How we made choosing a VPN simple.
WhatIsMyIPAddress.com figured out a solution for choosing the VPN that’s right for you. It’s called the VPN Simplifier™.
Simply decide what’s most important for you when you’re online and see your top VPN choices. All recommended VPNs are highly reviewed.
- Easy Prey Podcast
- General Topics
- Home Computing
- IP Addresses
- Networking Basics: Learn How Networks Work
- Online Privacy
- Online Safety
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