IP anonymization lets you hide a part of the IP address of your visitors. There can be multiple reasons to do that but most often you may simply be required by your local laws not to gather the IP addresses.
To anonymize IP you’ll need to open your Analytics Settings and choose the Privacy tab from the left side menu. There you’ll be presented with a couple options regarding anonymization.
To start to toggle the anonymization button and choose how many octets you want to hide. Every IP address (version 4) consists of four octets ranging from 0 to 255 and divided by dots (example 192.168.0.1)
If you’ll choose the octet to be obscured, it will be replaced by zeroes.
Since you can either choose to obscure one, two or three octets, the addresses will be presented in your Piwik PRO like this:
Actual IP 188.8.131.52
One octet: 184.108.40.206
Two octets: 220.127.116.11
Three octets: 18.104.22.168
NOTE: This may be confusing sometimes so it’s good to remember that if all of your visitors IP addresses end in zeroes then the IP anonymization is in effect.
Additional anonymization setting lets you decide if the anonymization should be done only for Piwik PRO human users (all users will see the anonymized address) or should it also be anonymized for the internal processes of Piwik PRO – meaning that most IP dependant services will report inaccurate data or will stop reporting data at all. Example of such processes are:
- Geolocalisation – the accurate user location is based purely on his IP and because of that the report will be completely unreliable (just a single anonymized octet can cause the location to be placed in another country or even continent)
- IP segmentation – all segmentation based on the IP will not be possible, even if you’ll use zeroes in the anonymized octets instead of the actual values Piwik will still not recognize the address and won’t be able to segment the data by it.
Excluding visitors based on their IP address works even when the anonymization is turned on. The visitor exclusion is done before anonymization, therefore all the settings in blacklisting will work correctly.