Your IP address is the electronic equivalent of your actual address. And just like you don’t want predators knowing your home address, you don’t want them knowing your IP address.
If someone else gets a hold of it, they can do anything from utilize your internet connection to steal your personal information.
Consider the following ways to keep your IP address safe and out of sight:
Use a Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an excellent and high-tech way to protect your IP address from predators.
Essentially, when you use a VPN to surf the internet, your information goes through your VPN company-meaning that your IP address never gets out to be stolen. Even if someone does try to take your IP address, all they will see is the general location of your IP server-which could be anywhere in the world!
The best part about using a VPN is that after it’s set up, you don’t have to do anything different to log into your ISP, so you can be protected, not inconvenienced.
Never click links
Most people know that you shouldn’t click on a link leading you to a disreputable site such as one advertising for pornography or quick money schemes. What people don’t know, however, is that you should be careful with all links, not just those that look openly like harmful sites.
When browsing, any “pop up” windows that appear, no matter how innocent they or their product look, should never be clicked on. These pop up window links may just lead to a website designed to steal your IP address. These ads can look very real and even the websites they lead you to can look safe; hackers purposely design them to look legit, because the longer you stay on the site, the easier it is for them to steal your IP address.
If you see a link to a product or company that intrigues you, don’t click on it; instead, Google it and find the link that way, as it will be less likely to be a scam.
Cookies are yummy, but they have no place in your computer. A cookie is a program that saves your data so that you can access it faster when you go to a web page. While this sounds like a great way to make your browsing faster, it also allows outsiders to easily find your browsing activities-and attack your IP address. You can turn off cookies in your web browser.
Change your “user agent”
A user agent is a unique ID that is logged by your web browser. It determines the type of device you are on (which allows you to view mobile websites easily on cell phones). Even though this sounds great, this unique ID makes you-and your IP address-highly visible to predators. Make sure to change the user agent in your web browser often.
Change your IP address
Even if you do all of the above, there is still a chance that your IP address could be stolen.
Most cable modems keep you on a static IP address to make it quicker to log into your web server. This makes it easy for predators to find you. Make sure to change your IP address by resetting your router often (this is as easy as pushing a button or unplugging and then plugging your router back in).
This post is contributed by Westbrook Julian. She believes that awareness and prevention are the key to effectively combating online ID theft. Preventive measures range from hiding ip address to encrypting online connection thru the use of many online security layers. She always says that “an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure”.