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 either it is a financial institution or informational website each need 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?

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 identify 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

IPV4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) is used but it was limited to provide 4 billion IP addresses, so the IPv6 comes to the existence and able to provide up to trillions of IP addresses to better fulfill the need 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 on 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, Private IP addresses are not unique because you have limited devices on your home or business network. 

For example

You can easily find your private IP address using different techniques. For Windows users, go to the (CMD) command prompt and enter ipconfig command. If you are using 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 the online activities or business? If you are able to protect your IP address then there is no need to worry about what can someone do with your IP? But you can understand to keep yourself updated with possible ways and effects of IP address breaches. In order to get a detailed answer, you need to understand the following ways that how 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, 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 own 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.

Here are some 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 read their message and include code in transparent images. Once you will interact with the email message, the service will alert 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 will 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 of your question If someone has my IP address what can they do?

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, it 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

The dark web is a place where confidential data information and other useful information is sold out. Hacker performs data breaches and sells thousands of client information for just a few dollars. Attackers may also collect a number of IP addresses from the different websites and add them into 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, 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 until someone lifts the ban.

6. DoS/DDoS Attacks

If the hackers know your IP address 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 to other players.

7. Copyright Violations

Torrent monitoring or copyright agencies of the countries having strict copyright polices can track your torrent traffic. If they found 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, IP is just a number neither hardware nor software, so any cybercriminal can only use your IP address theoretically. They need to hack your device, that’s why they get access to the IP address. If any hacker is able to 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.

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

Every IP address is attached to a country and your location can be found easily. Consider an example, 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 address 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, if once the attackers got this information, you can be susceptible to having your identity stolen within a short time period.

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 address with a different one automatically. It is a proactive way to prevent different risks but don’t forget to test the VPN connection.

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 will 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 the 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 differnt WiFi networks and switch between them after any time interval. When you connected to a network, you will get a new IP address and it will help you reduce the risk factor.

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

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 will connected 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 address. There are many benefits of a dynamic IP address as you visit the web every time you will get a new IP address.

6. Update Router and Firewall Rules

Router is the 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 a regular time intervals and don’t keep the default passwords. Most of the attacker 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 the data protection. It is simple, a maximum number of security layers provides higher level of security that every business need. Antivirus software will block the malicious URLs originating from phishing emails.

8. Change Privacy setting of Instant Messaging Applications

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

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

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

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