Your IP address can quite precisely show the country, region and city from which you connect to the Internet in real time and get extra details (your ISP, host name, etc.) by using IP address lookups.
Even though it can’t reveal your exact physical address, snoopers can combine data about your online activity and IP location to get a profile of who’s accessing the Internet from that specific IP address.
Your ISP can monitor what websites you visit. In some countries, such as Australia and the UK, data retention laws require ISPs to log Internet activity and collect metadata of their client communications.
If authorities come to an ISP with a subpoena, they can get all personal details about any Internet user, including name, address, phone number, credit card details, and even more.
Regardless of your country, advertisers can see on which ads you click based on your Internet Protocol address.
Associating your IP address with your online activity provides advertisers with insights about your ad preferences, so brands can serve you highly-targeted ads. They can also add your IP to a specific list that they use for IP-targeting techniques.
There are various IP tools available (for example, anonymous proxy), but the easiest and the most secure method of hiding your IP address is using VPN – a virtual private network, such as NordVPN.
VPN works as a secure gateway to the Internet: it redirects your connection via a remote server run by the VPN provider, encrypting it all the way. This way, your data is protected from snoopers and cybercriminals, while your actual IP address stays hidden.
Anyone attempting to monitor your online activity can only trace it back to the VPN server. Your real IP address stays protected unless the VPN provider hands over your details – that's why it's essential to use a reliable VPN service with a serious approach to privacy and a no-log policy, such as NordVPN.