The Internet has evolved a great deal since it was invented. The idea behind the Internet in its purest form was that of an idea where information could instantly be shared across the world. That idea and the genius behind that idea of what is the Internet today began in 1969 and was finalized in 1973 when the Internet was invented. Between 1973 and today, the role of technology is that of a constantly changing, and the representation of change can be defined within the changing of technology because technology challenges man, and in return, man accepts that challenge. Why is this important? To quote Flemeth, Dragon Age Origins, “Men’s hearts hold shadows darker than any tainted creature.” While she is talking about fictional characters and dark creatures, her words have a ring of truth to them that translated to reality. In short, if there is a way to steal information, money, credit, identity, etc, than man will find a way. This is why it is important to hide your IP Address and surf anonymously. The following paragraphs are a discussion of how and why information is shared over the Internet by computers and by humans. The goal is to enlighten the reader by showing what information can be used, tracked, and sold without the users permission.
Information That Is Shared By Your Computer:
When someone wants to find out information about you or your computer they simply have to type in your IP Address. One of the pieces of information that is openly shared by your computer is your IP Address. In fact, if you would like to test this, simply type IP Address into a search engine and be amazed at how much information pops up about your computer, your location, and your equipment. If you are a visual person, you may enjoy the google map that pin points your house. This is also a piece of information that is not only available for free on the Internet, but also, provided without prompting.
The IP Address on your computer is an unique set of numbers in the format of xx.xxx.xxx.xxx. It is a group of four sets of numbers that is assigned to your computer. With that information, anyone with a little knowledge can single out your computer and attempt to bypass your defences and hack your computer.
All of the public information that your computer shares with the Internet is helpful to crooks. Many people wonder why so much information is shared by a computer. Most of it is necessary or needed when your computer interfaces with a website. The IP Address of your computer is very important because it allows any web component that your computer interfaces with to keep track of each request from your computer. By using your unique IP Address, the website is able to send your computer information that is asked for. An example of information that your computer may ask for is an enlarged picture of a product. Each time you click on a website you are asking for something. With millions of computers interfacing with that website at the same time, the IP Address is used to keep each request separate from all of the other requests.
Your IP Country or nation of origin (location,) is essential to any website that restricts information by geographic location. Have you ever searched youtube.com and received that error message that says, “The uploader of this video has not yet made the video available in your country?” Well, the only way that the uploader would know where you are is by the information that is shared by your computer to youtube.com. This can be modified to fool geographic barriers on the Internet.
Your computer also shares information about your browser. This is also important because, without that information, the website may not know how to understand requests or format data so that your computer will understand the website.
In short, some of the information that is shared by your computer is necessary, and some of the information shared is dangerous in the wrong hands.
How Hackers Use Your IP Address:
When hackers or anyone else for that matter, have access to your computers IP Address, they can attempt to gain access to your computer by any of the numerous open ports that exist. An open port is basically a connection point that Internet services, hardware, and applications use to talk to your computer. The vast amount of information about your computer can be used to figure out your browser, operating system, etc. With that information, hackers can use public websites to take advantage of known flaws or weaknesses in your security programs. If they are able to exploit a weakness in your security program, operating program, browser, etc. then they have access to your computer. Once inside of your computer, they have access to your data. This includes personal data, financial data, passwords, and much more.
These are the reasons why it is important that you hide your IP Address and surf anonymously. To hide your IP Address or use an anonymous IP Address, sign up for a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or a Proxy service. Either will help to mask your IP Address so that your time on the internet is anonymous.
The changes within the Internet have been vast, and those differences can be measured from its’ purest beginning to the internet that we know today. Along with those changes have come the darker elements of human nature and the technology to steal data, money and identity have evolved into cutting edge technologies that support illegal and underground businesses. The fact of the matter is that companies all over the world use phishing techniques to gather data every time we log into the Internet. Facebook is currently facing online privacy issues and potentially a suit filed by US Federal Government because of how it collects data. The opportunity for data collection whether with permission or without is very high. This is all the more reason why it is important to hide your IP Address.