Hiding IP Address

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by doubledee, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    Hi all. Not sure where to post this?! :confused:

    I am increasingly worried about my online privacy and safety, and am wondering if there is any *safe* software that I can use to hide my computer's IP Address when I surf the web? (Open-Source is prefered since I don't trust Corp America!)

    Thanks,


    Debbie
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
  3. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    Your IP address is visible to any site and doesn't compromise your privacy or safety. Visit www.whatismyipaddress.com to see the limited information available from your IP address. You really don't need to worry about it.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Location:
    South Yorkshire
    #4
    Unless you are an illegal downloader and your ISP is tracking you.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #5
    Is that website safe to use?

    What is their "angle"?

    That is, what is in it for them to help me "Hide My Apples"?


    Debbie
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #6

    There are other services that offer you proxy servers to hide your IP address with and those sites' angle is to make profit from either viewing the ads you have to look at in the free version on the top or bottom of the page and to get your money if you want a ad-free version and more features.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #7
    Well, I'm not doing anything illegal, but to your point, it bothers me that I can be tracked online, and I would like to be more anonymous if possible.

    I just have this fear that "Big Brother" is collecting all of this data on my Me, My Computer, My Internet Usage, and build some large file on poor Debbie?!

    I have seen websites and software that claim they can help you surf anonymously, however I fear they my actually be malware?!

    Any suggestions for this Apple user?

    Thanks,


    Debbie
     
  8. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Your ISP can collect data on your web usage whether you hide your IP or not. They typically don't care about your personal surfing habits, unless you're being a problem by doing something like spamming, or if there's a court order, requesting your history. There's not much you can do about that.
    Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.
    Yes. Relax and use your computer as you normally would, practicing safe computing. Don't worry about your IP address.
     
  9. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #9
    No they cannot. If you use an encrypted web proxy or encrypted VPN, all the ISP sees/knows is that you have connected to that service. The ISP has no way of knowing what web sites are connected to beyond the proxy/VPN service.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #10
    This I knew. And in that case, if I ever did do something bad, Law Enforcement and the Gov't could easily subpoena the Log Files from my ISP and I'd be toast, right?


    But what about in cases where I am connecting to the Internet via Free Wi-Fi?

    Am I still leaving a traceable "footprint" the same as if I was connected to a land-line in my home?


    Awesome security link. Thanks!



    Maybe, but what steps can I take to basically leave no footprints when I surf - which is almost always using some free wi-fi since I travel for work?


    1.) Are there an Open-Source Apps that would hide my IP Address for free? (Versus "Hide My Apples", which seems to have an agenda.)


    2.) Do I have to worry about anyone - even the Feds - being able to trace things back to my Physical MacBook?

    What kind of "footprint" is my MacBook leaving behind?

    (I have this neurotic fear that someone can leap onto my laptop, and/or see everything about me just by me being connected to the Internet?!) :(


    3.) If I wanted to become a security guru, and really take my knowledge (and privacy) to the next level, how could I do that?

    I was just reading some stuff this morning in the NY Times about how it seems like China is all-powerful, and their hackers can do anything the want with U.S. computers.

    That is what is driving this thread... It scares me to think the U.S. "G-Men" are watching my every step right now, or that some Chinese - or other - hacker is lurking nearby on the Internet and I am slowly hanging myself because of my lack of knowledge on staying ANONYMOUS online... :(

    Thanks,


    Debbie
     
  11. Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #11
    If your name is Debbie and you're from Arizona, you're doing a very poor job of being anonymous. You've also included a picture and job information.

    Personally, I'd say take off the tin foil hat, always block cookies and don't register for any internet sites (Google etc.)
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #12
    Why do you say that?


    Well, I'm trying to find a balance between never using a computer, and broadcasting my entire life online...


    Debbie
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #13
    One way to see how much you're being tracked (and by whom) is to install the Firefox add-on "Do Not Track Me," which is easily available.

    https://www.abine.com/dntdetail.php

    It shows me, for example, that at MacRumors, 5 tracking companies were interested in me.

    These trackers are in the main benign, but why not block them?

    There's also this (about which I know absolutely nothing, but it's by the same company):

    https://www.abine.com/maskme/

    Spend some time trying to judge, as best you can, what the appropriate level of security for your digital life is.
     
  14. Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #14
    You're concerned about privacy but you've created a profile with your first name, state, occupation and hobbies as well as a picture.

    Would be easy for someone to trace your activity with this information you've offered freely.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #15
    And a very high probability that her last name also begins with D.
     
  16. Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #16
    I was going to mention that too...
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #17
    Well, as I see it, here is the distinction...

    There are tens of thousands of Debbie's from and in Arizona. So that won't do you much good, nor will knowing my hobbies.

    However, if you know my IP Address, or my MAC Address, or some other technical things about When and Where and With What I connect to the Internet, and Where I surf, that could be damning for even the most innocent web surfer...

    Right?


    Debbie
    (honestly) ;)
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #18
    Well, we're not private investigators (at least I'm not).

    But I don't doubt that somebody who knows that work, has (legal) access to various databases, and a few hours to spare could find you easily enough.

    I do have a question for you: do you like Carolina's Restaurant and are interested in Latin Dancing?

    All this is beside the point, really.

    If somebody wants to track you down, and has resources, it's all over for you -- without an IP address, although of course that would help localize you a bit, and probably would reveal your ISP.

    So if you're up against people like that, you'll probably want to encrypt your entire Macbook's disk with a very secure password, because that's probably the only thing that's going to keep it secure. Everything else they'll find out with ease.

    But are you up against people like that? That's the issue.

    If you're not, then as other posters have said, ordinary precautions will do you fine. The ex-spouse or partner, the neighborhood snoop, somebody at work -- it's not hard to keep them at bay. Keep in mind that if anybody with any skills at all has physical access to your Macbook, that person owns it (unless you've got everything encrypted).

    Keep your OS X firewall turned on (or get Little Snitch if you like), be very careful about social-engineering emails with malware payloads, and so on. How secure is your OS X password? Is your router as tight as it should be, or does it still have the default username and password?

    These are the normal things. Look after them and you'll be fine. If the big bad guys are after you, you're toast anyway.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    #19
    Missing the Point

    Some folks don't mind mindlessly splashing their lives over Facebook. Others are more reserved and want privacy. There should be options for both.

    Why should people I don't know be able to find out about my life? Privacy should be the starting point, not something that requires extra work. And until corporations started selling us on social networking, "sharing", etc. privacy was a lively topic; now it's presented as something odd.

    My life and my thoughts are none of your business unless I choose to make them public. Without privacy we cease to be individuals and become numbers in some marketers commission check.

    To my mind Debbie is not only correct but isn't upset enough.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #20
    I agree with everything you say, Multi-Mac, especially how it's seen as odd when people care about their online privacy.

    I only jumped in because it seemed to me that (a) Debbie was tilting towards the nuclear option, which seemed like overkill to me, and (b) I wasn't the first person to point out that giving too much information in public profiles exposes a person more than an IP address or sites-visited log does.

    And we don't know whether Debbie would prefer that nobody be able to locate her residence/work/etc. or that nobody be able to follow her tracks on the internet, or both.

    It's all about appropriate protection and each user has to decide what that is, and of course how much to expose.

    I have a friend who's a lawyer and put up a personal website with names, dates of birth, street address, and occupations for himself and his wife. It never occurred to him that this might be a bad idea. When I told him how bad it was, he took that stuff down. He thought of the web as useful and benign.
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #21
    The best way to protect your identiy online is to avoid the organizations that profit from gathering browser info on common uses. By that I mean all search engines and social media sites. Stay off FB, Twitter, Pinterest and all of them. If you already have a profile with any of them you're pretty well screwed and might as well cut the cord and trash your computer.

    I used to think Google was evil, so I do my searching with Bing. I researched dishwashers recently and now every time I log on to the net I get ads from Consumer Reports linking to dishwasher reviews. Ticks me off. If possible avoid all of these intermediaries. Know where your going and type that address into your browser. Learn to get information from sources other than the net.

    As for the worry about the Government having a file on you, they already do. Between driving, paying bills and taxes and other State and Federal required activities they know way too much about all of us.

    You can't even have a bank account without a street mailing address. My wife can't use her post office box to get her statements.

    Dale
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    #22
    It's Part of A Trend

    It's Part of A Trend that's been going on for some time. Credit cards with chips embedded that tell when you pass by a store, whether or not you pause at a display window, how long you pause. If you enter the store which way you turn is recorded, etc.

    Real time cell phone tracking http://www.alternet.org/lapd-using-...l-listen-cellphone-conversations-non-suspects.

    How many people know that each CD they burn records identifying information that tells which computer was used?

    The list goes on and on, of course. What I object to is that almost all of this is done without the knowledge of customer, citizen, or user. And that it is the default, whereas I think privacy should be the default. And there is no way for the average non-code jockey to opt out.

    It's also offensive that this is all done to get more money out of me, in one way or another.

    The switch from a population of computer and smart phone users from being people concerned about their personal privacy to Chatty Cathys was done simply as marketing manipulation.

    Someone could hit the NYT Bestsellers list with a title such as "Your Smartphone, Credit Card and Computer Are Spying On You".
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #24
    I wrote a big long reply to your post, but deleted it. I'll just add the tldr; here: Being anonymous online will be a big commitment. It isn't just about hiding your IP address, although that is a big step.

    Anyways... you have to start somewhere, right? TOR (torproject.org) is that place. It is the best way to keep you anonymous. There are also a lot of resources on the TOR web site on what else you should do. It is easy to use, and if you take the time to read up on it, really helps you understand what it means to be anonymous online.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #25

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