Your computer’s IP address is it’s unique identification online. Whenever your computer communicates with another computer it shares it’s IP address. Often your computer retains the same IP address day after day, for months at a time. A good deal of your activity becomes easy for other computers to log and monitor.
Identity thieves can use your IP address to monitor what you do on the web. They can even intercept financial information, including logon IDs and passwords. Since identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes, it is only prudent to take steps to prevent online monitoring of your activities. Hiding your IP address is one way to thwart identity thieves, spyware and hackers.
The typical way to hide your IP address from other sites is to use proxy servers. Proxy servers are, essentially, intermediate servers that exist between your computer and the computer at the receiving end of you message. That computer at the receiving end of your message sees your message coming from the proxy server, not your computer. Thus, your computer’s IP address is hidden.
As well as helping to thwart identity thieves, proxy servers also hide your real IP address from forums, blogs or other services that track your IP address. If you have been blocked by one of these services, hiding your IP address by using a proxy server could be the only way you can regain access.
There are free proxy servers and well as paid proxy servers. There are several software programs you can use to hunt for free proxy servers. These programs will test the proxy servers to see if they are currently functioning and how quickly they can retransmit your communications. However, you should know that some free proxy servers may be operated by identity thieves who are actually monitoring your activities while pretending to be performing a useful service.
It is usually safer to opt for a recognized and trusted service that has been in business for a number of years. Some of these services will allow you to browse the Internet for free, while others charge for browsing.
Most of the free services will have difficulty working with some or many computer programs. So, if you communicate to your bank or other financial institution through an application that runs on your PC or use any other software program that accesses the Internet, you may want to use a paid service. These services usually charge a monthly fee to help support a number of fast servers with high bandwidth connections to the Internet.
Most paid services allow you change your IP address periodically. Some allow you to log out and log back in to their service to change your IP address. Other services provide you a single IP address for an entire day.
Whatever the preferred method you use to hide your IP address, you will be using the Internet more securely and with less fear of identity thieves, spyware and hackers. Happy, safe and secure surfing.