Many people think their internet protocol (IP) address is hidden and only visible to themselves and their internet service providers. That isn’t quite true. In fact, it can be pretty easy to find someone else’s IP address.
Hackers can use this address to find your location, steal your identity, download or buy illegal content in your name, or hack into your device to steal information and money. You can protect against these kinds of attacks by using a virtual private network (VPN) or a trusted residential proxy provider.
This software allows you to access your internet connection using a proxy IP address, so yours isn’t visible to hackers. It would be best to do as much research as possible to find the best residential proxy network, like this one, for you.
How People Can Spy on Your IP Address
Borrowing Your Computer:
One of the simplest ways someone can get your IP address is by using your computer and finding it with a website like WhatIsMyIPaddres.com or in your computer settings.
Through Your Emails:
There’s no reason to stop sending emails completely. Most email and internet providers hide your IP address, but you might want to check if your IP address is visible if you’re working on your own server.
By Using or Tapping Into Your Wireless Network:
If your wireless network isn’t secure, there’s a big chance someone can hack into it and use your data as well as steal information like your IP address. Anyone who accesses the network can also see the IP address of everyone else on it.
In Web Server Logs:
As we said before, your IP address is your digital pass to travel around the internet. Whenever you visit a website, you leave your IP address in their logs. The website owner can see and analyze these addresses to see who shows interest in their website and target ads.
With an HTML Bug:
Despite how it may sound, HTML bugs don’t mess with your computer or information in any way. They’re simply small pieces of code embedded in emails. When the user clicks on the email, it sends a message telling the sender you’ve read it and gives them your IP address. Businesses use this to find out what engagement they have with emails for promotions and newsletters and to analyze what you’re most likely to click on.
Why Should You Be Worried?
Well, aside from businesses using it to profile you, hackers and cyber terrorists use it too. People can do scary things if they get hold of your IP address and some IT know-how.
Your IP address shows what area you’re in, along with personal details that criminals can use to track you down. They can find your social media accounts and will know your whereabouts and movements. For example, if you put something on social media saying or implying you’re on vacation, these criminals will know you’re not home.
To connect to the internet, your IP is connected to thousands of ports. If they have the address, it’s possible to get through the ports and control your device to steal information or install malware.
With your IP address, criminals can find your social media accounts and use them to impersonate you or get information. They can use methods such as vishing to obtain personal information and steal from you.
Your Employers See Everything:
Even though it’s important to have a transparent relationship with employers, a little privacy in your work can take some pressure off your chest. When you connect to a work network, the owner (your bosses) can see the monthly report of what each IP address has been doing. This gives you no privacy at all, even on your personal mobile.
A hacker can launch a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack using a server of many computers to overload your devices with traffic and shut them down. This can cause various issues for you, especially if you’re a business that relies on databases, devices, or internet connections.
Illegal Activity in Your Name
Hackers can use your IP as a sort of proxy to download pirated and illegal content they don’t want the government tracking back to them. Unfortunately, this means the government will track it back to you. You could end up being investigated for downloading content relating to terrorism or child pornography without having done anything wrong.
In the end, completely hiding your IP address is almost impossible because so much communication between devices relies on these unique identification codes. Considering all the terrifying things that people can do using your IP address, it’s easy to see why so many people are recommending VPNs and proxy servers.
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