Is the Internet Protocol Address. It represents the address of a device (for example, a computer, webserver, printer) in a inner or outer network.
If we want to send a letter it is not enough to indicate the country and the city of the recipient. A complete address shall also indicate a street, a civic number and maybe the exact plan. It is the same for the data sharing: in order that a packet of data is send to the correct recipient, the IP address shall not indicate the network, but also the destination device (the host).
Even if an IP address does not include additional information, it can be used in order to draw conclusions on its users. First of all, it is easy go back to the internet provider of a user by its IP address.
It is possible to also determine a precise position. By using IP addresses providers of Internet can control and track the data flow of their clients. Both providers and browsers that we use for the navigation online by our IP address can register where we have clicked in a website. Or how long we stayed on a page. But it can also control what we have shared.
This makes the memorization of IP addresses a sensitive argument.
Actually, into the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) it is established that IP addresses are a part, as online identifiers, of personal data, and that they need to be adequate protected.
Is it possible to hide our own IP address? The IP can not be fully hidden, but there are few methods to cover it up.
The Virtual Private Network (VPN) are virtual communication networks that permit the encrypted transmission of data. If we are browsing on a VPN, the webserver required sees the IP address used by the VPN, but not those one used by the same user.