Your IP address is important for sending and receiving data online. However, if cyberattackers knows your IP address, they can use it to seize beneficial information, including your locations and online identity. Using this information as an initial point, they could potentially hack your device. If someone manages to get your IP address, they can do a lot of harm to your life, from sending you spam to attacking your device. In this blog, TechNinjaPro will show you all the ways that someone could use your IP address.
What is an IP Address?
An IP address is a numerical ticket that identifies your system and your device’s general geographic location. The internet uses IP addresses to differentiate among all the different internet devices, sites, and networks, and it could not operate without IP addresses. Your device has both an internal and external IP address. The internal address identifies certain devices, differentiating them from the other in your home. The external address corresponds to your business or home. Essentially, it identifies your router.
What Can Someone Do With my IP Address?
Your IP address is a number that identifies you when you are online. You need it to receive and send data, browse Wikipedia entries, or watch Netflix. What can someone do with IP address if they gain access to it? The possibilities range from minor issues to complete cyberattacks and possible physical attacks as well.
- Send your customized spam: Advertisers become more sophisticated per day. Recently, many promoters have started embedding tracking programs in online articles. These trackers record your IP address and send real targeted ads based on your internet browsing.
- Learn your location: An IP address identifies what city you are in. Once someone knows that, they may be able to poke around the internet and find your real address. Many home attackers keep an eye on social media to know when homeowners go out of town. If they have IP addresses, it is usually easy to know which houses to hit, so be sure to protect your home while you are away.
- Limit your access to specific services: Your location is not just crucial to potential thieves. Many internet services get this data from your IP address and limit your access to their services.
- Stop playing online games: If you happen to be playing against a game administrator and they are sad when you beat them, they can block you from the match, which may efficiently blocklist your IP address on the complete website.
- Learn private information about you: Identity thieves are continuously on the lookout for personally identifiable data. Your IP address is not personally identifiable data, and a thief cannot use it to get your information directly. However, if a hacker knows your IP, they can track your internet service provider. They could then use a phishing attack to try and convince the ISP to turn over whatever personal information it has on you.
How Does Someone Get Your IP Address?
Your IP address is not that hard to locate. Because it is not considered personally identifiable information, most businesses do not take any extra precautions to conceal it. As a result, some can get your IP address from various sources, including:
- Some email servers list your IP address in the email heading. If you are concerned about this, look for email servers that do not list IP addresses in the title, such as Gmail.
- When you torrent, your IP address is visible in the peers’ list. Using a virtual private network for torrenting can avoid this issue.
- Responding to phishing attacks or clicking on malicious links can make your IP address vulnerable to cyberattackers.
- A link does not have to be phony for it to collect your IP address. Even legal ads may record this data if you click on them.
- It seems obvious, but if you loan your device to someone, they can easily find your IP address in the device settings.
Protecting Your IP Address
There are numerous steps you can take to guard your IP address:
- Update your firewall: Firewalls cannot protect you if you do not use them properly. Make sure you use protected passwords on your firewall, your devices, accounts, and your router. You should make it a routine to update these passwords regularly.
- Change your privacy settings: Cyberattackers can gain access to your IP address through messaging applications such as Skype. Make sure your messaging applications are set to private and do not accept calls from anyone you do not know.
- Use a VPN: A virtual private network routes your online activity through one or more servers and assigns you a new IP address.
- Use a proxy server: Like virtual private networks, proxy servers hide your IP address when logged in. Unlike VPNs, proxy servers do not use high-end encryption to protect your online activity.
Can Someone Use My IP Address to Control My System Remotely?
An IP address is simply a numeric label that discovers your device and offers information about your general geolocation. By itself, an IP address does not allow cyberattackers to control your system. However, if cyberattackers manage to gain access to your system through other means, they can use your IP address to conduct all types of nefarious activities in your name. For instance, they might make death threats or sell drugs.
Hide your IP address with a VPN
To stop cyberattackers from getting a hold of your IP address, invest in a perfect virtual private network like ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN masks your actual IP address by offering you a different one. You can select to connect to a server in a different country which will be reflected in your new IP address. A VPN encrypts your internet activity and sends it through a protected tunnel so no one can see what you are doing online.
To protect your IP address, subscribe to ExpressVPN, download the app and press the On button. When you visit websites, leave comments, or send emails, the IP address used will be owned by ExpressVPN that many people share.