What Can Someone Do With Your IP Address and How to Prevent?

10 min read

Nowadays, privacy is a vital part of any website having an online presence on the internet whether it is a financial institution or informational website each needs a secure environment to survive. What can someone do with your IP address and how to prevent data breaches?  It is a very common question in this digital world, so you will learn all the necessary details related to the IP address, possible attacks, and prevention methods.

What is an IP and How Can I See it?

IP (Internal Protocol) Address is the address of your network hardware that is necessary to connect your computing machine to other devices on your network or internet. It can never be similar to any other IP on the internet and based on numbers and characters.

Example of an IP = 406.342.12.423

An IP not only identifies your devices but also reveals your other information like,

  • Name of your country
  • Your city name
  • Who is your ISP (Internet Service Provider)
  • What is your ZIP code
What is an IP and How Can I See it

IPV4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) is used but it is limited to providing 4 billion IP addresses, so IPv6 comes into existence and can provide up to trillions of IP addresses to better fulfill the needs of devices and users connected to the internet from all over the world. IPv4 was based on the number but IPv6 uses the hexadecimal method to provide unique IP addresses.

Example of IPv6 IP Address: 4agr:2925:5656:7:300:t4bt:tc54:48vt

Private IP Address

A private IP address is the address of your computing devices connected to your business or home network and it cannot be accessed from the devices not connected to your network. Your devices connected to the ISP (Internet Service Provider) will have a unique private IP address. Keep in mind that private IP addresses are not unique because you have limited devices on your home or business network. 

For example 192.168.1.1

You can easily find your private IP address using different techniques. For Windows users, go to the (CMD) command prompt and enter the ipconfig command. If you are using a Mac operating system then enter the following command ipconfig in your Terminal app.

But if you are an Android mobile user then open WiFi settings and click on the network name to find out the IP address. For iOS users, click on the ‘i‘ button next to the network they are connected to.

Public IP Address

The public IP address in the main IP that is connected with your business or home network and it is unique for all users. It also connects you to the internet world and you can find your public IP address by visiting SupportAlly, and it will display the public IP address and browser information.

Static and Dynamic IP Addresses

Now, you have an understanding of private and public IP addresses, both can be either static or dynamic. Those IP addresses are fixed to the network of your device and configured manually known as static IP addresses. These static IP addresses can never be changed automatically.

Whereas the dynamic IP addresses are configured automatically and assigned when you set up the router with the internet. This automatic operation is managed and performed by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). It can be your internet router that will assign an IP address to your network.

If you have questions like can someone remotely access my computer with my IP address and what can someone do with your IP? Then this article will answer all these questions.

Possible ways of How can People Find Your IP Address?

What can someone do with your IP address is necessary to understand for all who are involved in online activities or business. If you can protect your IP address then there is no need to worry about what can someone do with your IP. But you can understand how to keep yourself updated with the possible ways and effects of IP address breaches. To get a detailed answer, you need to understand the following ways that how people find your IP address.

Possible ways of How can People Find Your IP Address
  • If you torrent files then it is very easy for a total number of seeders and leechers to find your IP address. They will only check the list of peers and all information related to the version of the torrent client and IP addresses is shown.
  • If you send an email to someone, he can check the header of an email message where IP can be found. Keep in mind, that not all email services reveal your IP addresses. For example, Gmail only shows the mail server’s address but Yahoo and Microsoft Outlook share other information like IP addresses in the header of the email.
  • Moreover, if you run a website, and host it on your computer (webserver) at home. People can open the CMDs (Command Prompt) of their operating systems and ping the domain of the website. The command prompt will return them the IP address of the website. They can also use an online IP lookup tool to perform the same action.

So, it is a reason why people prefer to use the data center server to host their websites and get peace of mind.

More Ways To Find Your IP Address

  • Your IP address can be found by checking the webserver log files of the website you visit. Remember, every website access and stores your IP address but it is only possible by the admins or owners of the website.
  • People can use different services for the sake of who reads their message and include code in transparent images. Once you will interact with the email message, the service will alert you and provide the location (IP Address) information.
  • Don’t share your wifi password because if you do that then everyone using your Wifi can search “What is my IP address” on Google and see it instantly.
  • Admins of gaming servers, different forums, and blog websites see your real IP address that’s why they can easily block you.
  • If you interact with any online ad (mostly on social media platforms) will reveal your IP address to the advertisers.
  • People can also use different tools like Grabify to create a link to any website and send it to you. By clicking on that particular link you will visit the real website, but it also allows the person who sent it to track your information including your IP address.

What Can Someone Do With Your IP Address?

You should protect your IP address to prevent yourself from uncertain events. The following are the most common answers to your question If someone has my IP address what can they do?

What Can Someone Do With Your IP Address

1. Restrict your Access

Different content providers will use your IP address to target you with their geo-block content restrictions that will prevent you to access the content of their website based on blacklisted geographical locations. For example, Netflix keeps restrictions based on geographical locations.

2. Personalized Ads

Visit an article based on the best heavy bikes, read and close it. Later, you will see maximum heavy bike ads on your social media platforms. Heavy bikes are just an example to understand, they can be anything. Expert advertisers adopt the activities and track you on the web to spam you with specific ads you might be interested in.

3. Hackers can Sell IP Addresses on Dark Web

Hackers can Sell IP Addresses on Dark Web

The dark web is a place where confidential data information and other useful information are sold out. Hacker performs data breaches and sells thousands of client information for just a few dollars. Attackers may also collect several IP addresses from different websites and add them to a database to sell on the dark web. If someone buys your IP address from the hackers or dark web, either they can try to use it to impersonate you or other scam activities.

4. Limited Personal Information

Hackers can’t access your phone number, name, or physical address using only your IP address. They can get your location but if they have enough hacking skills then they can find out your ISP and use different phishing attacks to find out your confidential and personal information. Cyber attackers also try to track your online activities and actions to get more personal information. Remember, it is only possible if they can trick your ISP into revealing confidential data.

5. Gaming Server Restrictions

The loser player can ban you from the match if he has the admin roles, so they actually ban or blacklist your IP address and you can only access it until someone lifts the ban.

Gaming Server Restrictions

6. DoS/DDoS Attacks

If the hackers know your IP they can flood your network with unwanted requests and traffic to down your host server with DoS/DDoS attacks. It usually happens in online gaming zones because upset game players use these types of attacks on other players.

7. Copyright Violations

Torrent monitoring or copyright agencies of countries having strict copyright policies can track your torrent traffic. If they find you in these activities they can ask your ISP to get your personal information and sue you based on your type of torrenting crime.

How can my IP Address be Used?

Keep in mind, that IP is just a number neither hardware nor software, so any cybercriminal can only use your IP theoretically. They need to hack your device, that’s why they get access to the IP address. If any hacker can use your network or device, he can do illegal stuff with your IP address like different threats and content that is restricted in the government policies.

How can my IP Address be Used

With the help of only your IP address, anyone cannot get access to your computing devices remotely. However expert hackers can scan the open ports associated with your computer with the help of an IP. Port is the pipeline from where the data flows into or out of your device/network. If they succeed in finding the open port then they can get the control and be able to access remotely.

I recommend everyone to learn about data breaches, common causes, and process and prevention methods. Moreover, hackers can understand your browsing habits to use different phishing methods and different tricks to install dangerous and malicious software to get access to your device.

People Can Know Your Location

People Can Know Your Location

Every IP address is attached to a country and your location can be found easily. Consider an example, if you are living in the United States and visit any website located in Turkey then they will show you the Turkish language content in English because they understand it. If you post any private information like you are going on long vacations then it is very easy for the criminals to visit your house and break into it. Moreover, governments and hackers can also arrest or attack you if your IP is acknowledged.

You Can Be Impersonated

If you have used your original name on your social media platform then it is much easier for a hacker to call up your service provider and pretend to be you. Remember, once the attackers get this information, you can be susceptible to having your identity stolen within a short period.

You Can Be Impersonated

How to Protect IP Address from Illegal Use?

1. Use VPN Service

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an online service used to hide your IP address and offer many other benefits. You need to connect with a VPN server that will replace your real IP with a different one automatically. It is a proactive way to prevent different risks but don’t forget to test the VPN connection.

Use VPN Service

Your problem is solved, you can get VPN service with military-grade encryption, unlimited data switching, data transfer, and high-speed servers that also feature great bandwidth.

2. Use Proxy Server

Once you connect to the proxy server, it will also hide your IP address but it doesn’t offer the same security level VPNs do. You can’t get higher encryption and speed while using any proxy server. You can get dedicated or semi-dedicated proxies with fast and dedicated support 7 days a week.

3. Use Different WiFi Networks

If you have noticed that someone is targeting your IP address, then try to use different WiFi networks and switch between them after any time interval. When you connect to a network, you will get a new IP and it will help you reduce the risk factor.

Keep in mind, that it is not an ideal solution because public WiFi is full of cyber threats and lacks encryption standards.

Use Different WiFi Networks

4. Use Mobile Data

If you don’t have different Wifi connections then no need to worry, try to use your mobile data but it is not valuable for business environments. When you connect to the mobile data, you will start using the cell phone provider’s network with a new IP address.

5. Communicate With Your ISP

Internet Service Provider (ISP) is the authority that assigns you IP addresses, so you can communicate with your ISP to change your IP address or get a dynamic IP. There are many benefits of a dynamic IP as you visit the web every time you get a new IP address.

6. Update Router and Firewall Rules

A router is a network device that forwards and receives your data to the networks and firewalls are used to prevent from unauthorized access. Change the administrator passwords on regular time intervals and don’t keep the default passwords. Most of the attackers try to use default passwords to attack any network.

7. Update Operating Systems and Antivirus Solutions

Keep your operating system, software applications, and antivirus updated to ensure data protection. It is simple, a maximum number of security layers provides a higher level of security that every business needs. Antivirus software will block the malicious URLs originating from phishing emails.

8. Change the Privacy setting of Instant Messaging Applications

You should only allow direct connections from the contacts and don’t accept messages or calls from other people you don’t know. Once you change this privacy setting, it will be harder to find your IP address because no one can connect with you rather than your contacts.

Final Words about What Can Someone Do With Your IP Address?

People can access your location, and personal information like country, city, ISP, and ZIP code, target you with ads, and restrict access to particular websites. Hacker tries different methods including, IP lookups, lists of peers on the internet, email HTML bugs, advertisements, and many more. Anyone must increase their technical knowledge and make sure they use VPN, Proxy, or other tools to hide their IP address to prevent uncertain events. 

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