How to Put a Stop to Geo-Targeting with a VPN
You’ve probably experienced countless situations where you’d be just browsing the Internet or watching YouTube, only to be interrupted by an oddly specific ad. An ad that announces that a new shop or restaurant just opened in your city. This is no coincidence, as such ads result from intense geo-targeting by advertising companies and websites looking to maximize their profits by directly targeting consumers.
So, what is geo-targeting, and how does it work? Equally as important, is it an invasion of your privacy or just a pesky annoyance you have to deal with? Lastly, what can you do to avoid geo-targeting? We’ll answer all of these and more questions in this week’s Zlog post.
What is Geo-Targeting?
In simple terms, geo-targeting is a marketing practice that focuses on delivering different and specific content to each consumer based on their physical location. It’s a very effective strategy for local businesses like restaurants, stores, and different services. This brings about another question – how does geo-targeting work?
How Does Geo-Targeting Work?
The basic principle of how geo-targeting works is pretty simple. Firstly, geo-targeting aims to find out your geographical location and narrow it down as much as it can. It does so through your IP address, GPS coordinates, or cell towers. After this, the service’s app or software processes this information to filter the most precise information based on your location.
Digging your actual IP address through these methods sounds like a scary and underhanded practice, but it’s not as terrifying as it sounds at first. This is because most geo-targeting services require you to opt-in for the location-based service. In other words, you need to share your location with the delivery service. However, once you do this the first time, every time after that, you’ll be bombarded with targeted ads based on the location you previously shared.
Difference Between Geo-Targeting and Geofencing
Another term that often gets bundled up with geo-targeting is geofencing. However, it is a slightly different form of advertising. Geo-targeting focuses on your habits and behavior patterns. It usually targets a larger group rather than individual users.
On the other hand, geofencing is primarily oriented towards smaller groups. And, as the name says, it basically draws a virtual barrier around a specific location. So, geofencing targets all devices in a specific area. It’s particularly useful in large venues, shopping malls, or gathering centers.
Is Geo-Targeting a Privacy Intrusion?
Legally speaking, no, there’s nothing illegal in geo-targeting. This is because the user has to previously turn on location services or opt-in when prompted. The potential issue of this strategy comes up if the companies that get your permission share the information with other companies that haven’t got your permission. Unfortunately, there’s no way to control it yet, aside from altogether abandoning location-based services.
When discussing this topic, it mostly boils down to convenience versus privacy. If you enjoy the convenience and advantages targeted ads bring you, it’s useful to explore this feature. Conversely, if you think that these services are intruding on your privacy, it’s best to avoid them. Luckily, if you think the latter, there is a way of putting a stop to geo-targeting.
How to Avoid Geo-Targeting?
Ok, we’ve established that geo-targeting is a completely legitimate and understandable practice many businesses employ for their online platforms. But, what if you’re uncomfortable with experiencing such a service and want to avoid it entirely? This is completely understandable, and luckily, there’s an easy way of how you can do so.
The most effective way to avoid geo-targeting is to use a VPN service. A VPN helps you replace your IP address with a remote server address anywhere in the world. This effectively stops IP tracking, as the trackers will focus on your new IP address.
Of course, to make sure you enjoy a smooth service without constantly experiencing geo targeting issues, you need to pick a reliable VPN. More importantly, the VPN service should be capable of efficiently accessing any remote location and maintaining stable connections.
With ZoogVPN, you can enjoy this advantage and many more convenient features. Aside from bypassing geo-targeting, you can access your favorite streaming sites or torrent in complete privacy and anonymity. Sign up with ZoogVPN right away to experience all of the perks a top-quality VPN can provide you with.