You wouldn't give bad guys your home address would you? Most of us don't realize that just by browsing the internet, you're giving bad guys the address of your computer. An IP address if the identification of your computer or network. It is a public address, meaning whenever you access the internet someone on the other side can see the location of the computer and can send things back to it.
Think of it like you would a return address.
An accidental click of a bad link can give cyber-criminals your identification information and they can send back, or install malware or other malicious files on your device or computer.
Virtual Private Networks are growing as people discover the threats of cyber attacks. These VPN's block your IP from being identified and connect you to the internet through their private servers.
"It's almost like you're getting another internet service provider, but it's adding another layer of security for you," Francis Dinha told us. Dinha is with Open VPN and their product is "Private Tunnel". He explains how a VPN works:
"When you're surfing the net and visiting a website, that website wouldn't know exactly which IP address you're coming from. Whether you're coming from California or coming from home," he said. VPNs are especially useful for business travelers who connect to the internet from public wi-fi networks. Rather than letting that network see your computer's IP address, it would remain hidden.
"On a public wifi, anybody that's connected to the same public wifi can see all of the information that you're exchanging with that website," Dinha said.
Virtual Private Networks are popping up all over the internet. Some are free but others, like Private Tunnel costs a little money. Dinha told us the cost is based on usage and for average or typical consumers the cost will be around $30 to cover an entire year.
Find out your IP Address. Go to Google.com and enter "what is my ip" in the search box. Private Tunnel www.privatetunnel.com