Internet protocol address, aka an IP address, is a unique number assigned to every computer and device that connects to the web so they can communicate with each other and share information.
You can think of your IP address as a unique identifying label for your computer or device on the internet. It’s important to protect this information because it allows others to see everything you do online and on your device.
They can use this information to steal your identity or even hack into your computer in order to steal money or other valuable assets from you.
So, here are some tips on how to help protect your IP address.
What Can an IP Address Tell You?
When you think of an IP address, you probably imagine a string of numbers (e.g., 192.168.1.10) that comes from your internet service provider (ISP). You’re right, but there’s more to it than that.
The number itself doesn’t reveal much, but it does give a rough idea of where you are located, such as city, state/province, and country and what type of network you’re connected to. In some cases, your physical location and also the name of your ISP can also be determined by looking at an IP address.
An IP address can reveal a lot of information about you and your location. However, it does not reveal specific personal data such as your name or phone number directly.
But, suppose someone knows your IP address and where you are located. In that case, they can potentially find other information about you that may be useful in identity theft or other crimes.
What Happens If You Give Someone Your IP Address?
When you share your IP address with another person, it isn’t just a small piece of information that’s been shared. Your IP address is personal to you. You’re trusting them to use the information responsibly. If they are careless about it or simply malicious, you can find yourself and your identity at risk.
Many things can happen when someone gets access to your IP address — even if the other person doesn’t intend to commit any crimes.
Discover Personal Information about You
If someone knows your IP address, they can use it with other information to learn more about you. This can be done through a website that tracks users’ internet browsing behavior and collects data about them. It may also be possible for this someone to track you down by tracking when you visit certain websites or by collecting information from social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
Frame You for Illegal Activity
Someone might use your IP address to frame you for illegal online activity, like downloading illegal content or using your IP address for cybercrime. This can result in criminal charges against you, which can have serious consequences.
Hack Your Device
Hackers can use any type of data they can get their hands on to gain access to your device. For example, if they know what IP address belongs to whom, they can break into your account and access passwords, credit card numbers and other personal information.
Learn Your Geographic Location
If someone has obtained your IP address and knows where you are located approximately, they can track your movements and either stalk you or harm you in other ways, possibly even physically. They may also share this information with others who may have an interest in knowing where you go each day. This can be illegal or even dangerous if you don’t want people knowing where you live or work.
Send You Personalized Spam or Ad
If the person knows your IP address, they can track your online activity, such as what websites you visit, when you visit those sites and how long each session lasts. This can allow them to target advertising based on what sites you visit and when you visit them.
Can Someone Find Your IP Address?
There are many ways that someone can find your IP address even if you don’t give it away. Some of the most common methods include:
By Hacking Your Router
Hackers can find your IP address by hacking into your router. Most routers have an admin panel; this is where you can change the settings of your router. So, the best way to find out what information the hacker can access is to check out the admin interface of your router. It shows you all the available settings, such as WAN IP address, LAN IP address and even WAN Port number, if applicable.
Clicking on a Link
Most websites now have tracking software built in so they can monitor which pages are visited and when. This means that if someone clicks on a link on a website, they may be tracked as well. They can have access to all the information collected by the site’s tracking software, including IP addresses and browsing habits.
Connecting to a Fake Hotspot
Hackers can create fake hotspots in public places like coffee shops and airports in order to trick people into connecting their devices to them. Then once they get connected, hackers can steal their data, including IP addresses, through that connection.
By Hacking into Your Network
Hackers can get access to computers connected to the same network as yours either through social engineering or physical access, such as stealing cables. They can then be able to access any devices connected directly or indirectly via the network, and their IP addresses can become visible through port scanning techniques.
How Do You Protect Your IP Address?
The internet is a vast web of information, and it is impossible to completely protect your privacy. But there are ways that you can protect your IP address from being exposed.
Protecting your IP address with a VPN can help to hide the identity of your computer or device. A virtual private network (VPN) creates a secure connection between your computer and a server outside of your immediate geographic region, typically in another country or continent.
A VPN hides your IP address by encrypting it, making it harder for attackers or hackers to track you down online. You can also use a VPN to encrypt all of your internet traffic, so no one can see your online activity while you’re connected to the VPN.
This is particularly important if you are using public Wi-Fi connections such as those found in coffee shops, hotels, airports, etc. Because these connections are unsecured and therefore vulnerable to hackers who may try to steal sensitive information. Public Wi-Fi should only be used when absolutely necessary.
There are many different types of VPNs available but using services like IdentityIQ, which offer both privacy and security features along with fraud alerts, can help keep you protected. Other benefits include credit report monitoring and identity theft insurance, underwritten by AIG.
Can I Hide My IP Address without a VPN?
The short answer is yes. You can protect your IP address by using a proxy server or tor.
Tor allows users to browse the web anonymously by routing their traffic through multiple relays around the world. On the other hand, a proxy server is an intermediary that sits between you and the site you’re trying to visit, acting as an intermediary for your computer. Both tools can help you mask your IP address and location, allowing you to surf anonymously on the web without worrying about anyone snooping on what websites you visit.
However, it’s not exactly the best method for hiding your location or IP address because they are not as secure as using a VPN service.
Bottom Line on IP Addresses
By simply giving your IP address out to someone, you’re giving them the key to your online identity and security. The internet is a big place, and it is only going to get bigger. To stay safe online, you have to be conscientious. Make sure you protect yourself.