IP addresses are attached to anything that connects to the internet. This means our phones and computers, but also our smart fridges and game consoles. Although there’s no reason to protect a few of these: for the main ones, it’s vital that your practice good internet health and safety guidelines to ensure you don’t have your identity stolen.
These are the main ways to protect your IP address.
Why Protect My IP Address?
An IP address falling into the wrong hands can lead to all sorts of problems ranging from someone knowing a general area where you may live to someone framing you for a cybercrime. In addition, your IP address is a personal signature back to your devices, so allowing someone else to have access to it isn’t good for many obvious reasons.
Use A VPN
Using a virtual private network is useful because it prevents others from knowing where you are and can disguise your IP address. Unfortunately, many of these services aren’t free, so it’s a fight to get a lower price if you don’t want to pay a monthly subscription. The nice thing about this is that there are perks like getting to watch movies and television on subscriptions like Netflix or Hulu that cannot be viewed in your current country.
Try A Proxy
A proxy is similar to a VPN, but it’s more for short-term use and is usually accessed through a portal on a website. A proxy can successfully hide your IP address, but the security on these isn’t always great, and there’s no way to guarantee that your information won’t still get stolen.
Use A Good Firewall
A good firewall protects your information from being accessed by anyone or anything that may try to get to it through malware or tunneling. This can keep you safe from more than just your IP address being stolen and should be used in general. Regardless of whether you’re doing a quick IP lookup or you’re watching new episodes of your favorite television show, you should be safe and try to be cautious.
Avoid Clicking Unfamiliar Links
The most common way to accidentally give away your IP address is to click a link you don’t know or trust. Although you may feel safe because no dialogue pops up asking you to download anything: some sites are designed to gather as much IP address information as possible. This can allow for a stalker to keep tabs on where you live or for someone to attempt to steal your identity so they can use it for nefarious reasons.
It would be overkill to do any of this to a smart fridge, but you should be careful about how trusting you are with the internet. Treating all of your information carefully can give you the upper hand and allow you to keep moving without stopping to consider if your identity is being stolen or if you need to hide from whatever hackers or information thieves are out there.