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Why You Need To Fake Your IP Address On Public Wifi
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Why You Need To Fake Your IP Address on Public Wifi

The online environment is often portrayed as a safe place, where the information that you send or receive cannot be observed by other people, and no one can work out who you are, unless you sign into websites with your real name. It would be nice if this were true, but reality does not agree with this romantic notion. Instead, much like you have a unique vocal signature or fingerprint, you also have an IP address; however, you do have the option to fake your IP address.

A fingerprint is a good example for describing the way that your IP address provides information about you. As you go about your day-to-day activities, you leave your fingerprints everywhere you go. If a crime is committed, your fingerprints can be used to provide evidence that you were at a particular location or that you touched a particular item. Likewise, your IP address can be used to determine whether you visited a website or downloaded specific content.

However, there are some differences between an IP address and a fingerprint. There is not a direct one-to-one relationship between your IP address and you. For example, if you are living at home, you might have a static IP address, which is the same each time you go online. However, it is unlikely that you are the only person using your computer. If someone else visits a site, or downloads something, this will also be tagged with your IP address, which could get you in trouble if they are doing something illegal.

If you are using a public Wifi this is even more significant, because all the people who are using the same public Wifi will have the same IP address. Now, because this is well known, you won’t get in trouble for something someone else did on a public Wifi network. However, public Wifi networks have their own risks, including making you very vulnerable to being hacked and having your information stolen.

Finally, unlike a fingerprint, an IP address provides evidence of your physical location. In fact, this is one of the most important reasons why you might want to fake your IP address. Because your IP address reveals your location, it is directly related to what censorship and filtering you experience. If you want to access a lot of websites, then you need to be using an IP address that is in an area that does not have substantial censorship.

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