With the stupendous growth of the internet and its related activities, internet security has become a serious concern.
When we are surfing the internet, checking social media accounts, or chatting with friends, the rest of the world can identify us using a numeric address commonly known as the IP address. As we deal with internet security in this article, let us first understand some basic internet terms.
What is an IP address?
IP number or IP address is your unique computer address so that the internet can identify you and send you emails and other web content data. This IP address allows you to connect to other devices and communicate over the internet. The IP is a unique combination of numbers that are separated by dots and looks like this: 188.8.131.52. It is this unique address that hackers can use to attack your devices and carry out cyber crimes.
IPv4 and IPv6 are the two formats of IP addresses available. While IPv4 type of IPs has been almost exhausted, IPv6 format provides practically unlimited IP addresses.
What happens if someone gets your IP address? They could use your IP address in a number of unscrupulous ways.
Cyber miscreants could download illegal content like pornography, pirated movies, or even content that is dangerous for national security, using the identity of your IP address. They can even directly attack your system and deprive you of accessing your internet, and use the system to target businesses, online games, or digital ad campaigns.
Online gamers, for one, are particularly at high risk of being attacked as their screen is visible while streaming and this might give the attacker some insights into either if the target is worth attacking or how to carry out the attack.
How do attackers find my IP address?
Cyber attackers can find your IP addresses using tricks like chatting with you on Skype, which exposes your IP address. They could stalk you online while playing games, surfing social media, or track you while commenting on forums online. Once they find your IP address, they can go to an IP tracking website to check and confirm your location.
Now the question is: What can you do to secure your system or online business from cybercrime?
There are a number of options that can help your secure your IP address, here we will talk about one of them – using a proxy server.
Why use a Proxy Server?
A proxy server is a remote computer that acts as a middleman through which you can process all your internet activities. You connect your computer to one of these proxy servers, the proxy server then processes your requests and returns all the processed data to you. The proxy computer serves as an intermediary between your home system and the other systems on the internet. If you want to secure your home machine or hide your IP address from being tracked, a proxy server is extremely helpful.
Instead of the IP address of your device, the IP address of the proxy server will be visible to the outside world. And if you are in the digital marketing realm, a proxy server can serve you two-fold purposes. Firstly, it helps you shield your identity and prevents hackers and cyber crimes, thus improving your security. Secondly, you can remain hidden and monitor your online administrative and cache activities, while also tightening the privacy of users on your website.
For example, you can remain unnoticed and still keep a tab on how your digital ad campaigns are being executed by publishers and whether they are being displayed and viewed correctly or not.
A proxy server will normally just hide your IP address. They are not usually equipped to encrypt the data between your machine and the server. Therefore, they do not provide any extra security controls or additional privacy to your computer.
What are Residential Proxies?
A residential proxy is a middleman that makes use of IP addresses provided by the ISP (Internet Service Provider) as opposed to data center IPs. A residential IP is associated with a specific location of the homeowner, and this means that your IP address pinpoints your location every time you log in to the device.
If you want to scrape or access data to some websites, many service providers will either geo-lock it, and the data can then only be accessed by certain countries. Or, your IP address could get blocked, due to the high intensity of requests you make to the search engines, that cross the desired limit.
To overcome these problems, businesses could seek the services of a Residential Proxy Network.
A Residential Proxy Network allocates genuine IP addresses to users and hides the true IP address, thus allowing them to stay anonymous.
The benefits of a Residential Proxy Network
From a business’s perspective, you might want to keep the identity of your IP address hidden. The reasons could be several – to prevent someone from getting your IP address, avert cyber attacks on your system, to scrape data from other websites or to monitor and manage your digital ad campaigns. Residential IP addresses are identified with real people, in contrast to data center IP addresses. Hence, the chances of them being blocked by online services are much less. If you would like to learn more about Residential Proxies, be sure to check out this post by Oxylabs.io.
From one single IP address, you can make only a specific number of requests in a minute. This limits your browsing search operations or can be banned if you cross the given limit.
Residential Rotating Proxies
A Residential Proxy conceals your real IP address by taking on another IP address. Rotating Residential Proxies or Backconnect Proxy Servers can hide your real identity behind a group of proxies. These proxies keep switching in-between themselves in intervals, thus changing your IP continuously. The advantage here is that you can make unlimited search requests without getting flagged.
There are numerous free Residential and Server proxies available on the web. However, we recommend doing thorough research and signing in for a subscription plan with a robust and authentic proxy server that can meet all your business needs and prevent hackers from misusing your IP address.
About the Author: Lukas Motiejunas
Lukas Motiejunas is an Account Manager at Oxylabs, and he places a strong personal interest in the market research field. Mainly, in the merge of business sector and digital tools utilization to distinguish the most effective practices to carry out automated market research operations. So if you have any questions relating to market research, he’s your guy to answer them. Lukas believes that he has a hidden talent to be a great chef, although rumor has it, he uses the smoke alarm as a timer.