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What You Can Do With an IP Address, and How to Hide Yours
With someone’s IP address, you can learn a user’s general location, and disable some parts of their internet browsing device connected to the internet has an IP address, which helps websites identify your third-party programs or services, someone with your IP address could possibly block you from reaching certain you’re concerned about the security of your IP address, consider installing a firewall and Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.
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Every device that connects to the internet has an IP (Internet Protocol) address. The
IP address, which is composed of a series of numbers separated by decimal points, looks something like “198. 169. 0. 100. ” This number is used to help devices talk to each other and exchange data. Your network router has its own IP address, of course, as does every device on your network. But because these identifiers are so important, that means a hacker can potentially use them against you. Here’s what you should know about your IP address, and what it can be used for.
What you can do with an IP addressFirstly: most users won’t have to worry about any of this. It’s unlikely that any hacker would take the time to learn your specific IP address, and manipulate your specific device. There’s no real reward in it for them, so unless they love playing pranks, it would be a waste of fact, every website you visit already knows your IP address — that’s how they know to load on your computer, as opposed to someone else’ said, armed with your IP address, someone has the potential to take certain actions against your network. As such, it’s a good idea to keep your IP private from individuals you don’t could:
Block you from accessing websitesIt’s possible to use your IP address to prevent you from performing certain online activities. The most common example of this is blocking your ability to reach a certain site, or to post messages in forums or the comment section of web sites. In fact, this is the most common way that website administrators ban rulebreakers. It’s often referred to as an “IP Ban. “Your IP address can also be used to block or ban you from playing online games on some gaming services.
Learn your general geographic location Your IP address can reveal your geographic location. In most cases, this won’t be any more specific than your city and state. In rare cases, it could be as specific as your IP address also carries the name of your Internet Service Provider (the company that gives you internet access — think Spectrum, or Xfinity).
Your IP address signals where you are. ; William Antonelli/Business Insider
While there’s not a lot someone can do with this information, it can be combined with details from other sources to piece together data about your identity.
Perform a Denial of Service AttackKnowing your IP address, a malicious user may be able to perform a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, in which your network is flooded with data. It prevents normal traffic from getting through and overloads the network’s ability to function. However, these attacks are usually directed at large companies or websites — it’s rare that anyone would set up a DoS attack on a regular user.
How to protect your IP addressWhile there are some risks, your IP address alone poses very limited danger to you or your network. Your IP address can’t be used to reveal your identity or specific location, nor can it be used to hack into or remotely take control of your computer. That said, if you’re still concerned, a few simple precautions can help protect and foremost, your network should be protected with a firewall. Most routers have firewalls built in, but you should contact your router manufacturer or internet service provider to learn about your additional protection, you can use Virtual Private Network (
VPN) software. A VPN hides your IP address from all outside users, making it extremely difficult for someone to uncover your IP address or monitor your online activity.
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services.
NordVPN; William Antonelli/Business Insider
‘What is my IP? ‘: Here’s what an IP address does, and how to find yours’What is a good internet speed? ‘: The internet speeds you should aim for, based on how you use the internet’What is Wi-Fi calling? ‘: How to make calls from your smartphone even if you don’t have a cell signalHow to find the IP address of your internet router using a Mac, PC, iPhone, or AndroidNo, Bluetooth doesn’t use cellular data — here’s how the popular wireless technology connects your devices
Dave Johnson is a technology journalist who writes about consumer tech and how the industry is transforming the speculative world of science fiction into modern-day real life. Dave grew up in New Jersey before entering the Air Force to operate satellites, teach space operations, and do space launch planning. He then spent eight years as a content lead on the Windows team at Microsoft. As a photographer, Dave has photographed wolves in their natural environment; he’s also a scuba instructor and co-host of several podcasts. Dave is the author of more than two dozen books and has contributed to many sites and publications including CNET, Forbes, PC World, How To Geek, and Insider.
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What can someone do with my IP address? | NordVPN
There are dangers to someone knowing your IP address, but they’re rarely discussed. Criminals can use your IP to launch various cyberattacks and scams against you and others. Before we begin, however, let’s start with finding out what your personal IP address is: What is my IP? By the end of this post, you’ll know what to protect yourself against and discover ways to hide your IP address. Pretty can someone find my IP address? Your IP address is a unique string of numbers assigned to you by your ISP – like a delivery address for online traffic. If you connect to a different Wi-Fi or move house, your IP address will change along with your ISPs use dynamic IP addresses, which aren’t fixed to your device, but you can have a static IP if you wish to (you can learn more about different types of IP addresses here). For example, if you want your computer IP address to always stay the same, you’ll be able to specify that through the device’s settings. This can be useful when port-forwarding, if you want certain data to be sent directly from your router to your computer IP your IP address holds certain information about you, someone may want to use it for malicious purposes. There plenty of ways people can get hold of your IP address. Here are just a few:If you torrent files. When you download content from torrent sites, every member of the swarm (total seeders and leechers) can see your IP address. All they need to do is check the list of borrowing your device. If somebody borrows or uses your computer, they can find out what your IP address is in seconds, as there are countless free websites that let you do an email. If you send an email to someone, they can check the header of the message, which could contain your IP address. Yahoo! and Microsoft Outlook are known to include IP addresses in the email icking on a link. Any link you click on will need to provide your iP address for the server at the other end to deliver the content provided by the link. Whoever owns that server will see your IP a VPN hide my IP address? Yes, it does. A VPN completely hides your IP address and encrypts your internet connection. Even better, a VPN prevents third parties like your ISP from eavesdropping on your data. Your online activity cannot be traced back to you, giving you a powerful layer of rdVPN has more than 5500 servers in 59 countries, providing you with the best speeds available. With one NordVPN account, you can protect up to six different devices: smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more. You can also install it on your router and secure gadgets that don’t support VPN functionality can jump from one server to another in seconds, changing your IP address and masking your location. Protect your online privacy out NordVPN on the latest cyber news and tipsWhat can people do with your IP? While your IP address won’t give away sensitive information like your phone number or apartment position, hackers can still use your IP against you. If a cybercriminal knows your IP address, the consequences can be devastating:Someone can get your location and intrude on your privacy in real lifeYour IP address shows what city you’re in, so if someone ill-intentioned finds it out, you could be in trouble. Let’s say you’ve announced that you’re going on holiday on your social media. A criminal only needs to do a little extra digging to find your house and burgle it while you’re meone can use your IP to hack your deviceThe internet uses ports as well as your IP address to connect. There are thousands of ports for every IP address, and a hacker who has your IP can try all of those ports to brute-force a connection, taking over your phone for example and stealing your a criminal does get access to your device, they could also install malware on it, which could expose your meone can impersonate you to get hold of your IP addressYour ISP could reveal your IP address to someone else. Criminals who know your name on social media can contact your ISP and try to impersonate you or use a vishing attack to steal your personal details. Remember that telecom operators are only humans who use systems with vast amounts of personally identifiable information. Employers can track your activityIPs are owned by ISPs, and each IP is assigned to a user. When you’re connected to your work network your employers could potentially see and track everything you do online – giving you hardly any privacy at all. A hacker can hit you with a DDoS attackIf a hacker has your IP address, they could harm you with a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. A DDoS attack uses an army of computers controlled by a hacker to flood your device with traffic so it disconnects from the internet and completely shuts bercriminals can frame you for illegal activityHackers are known to use hacked IP addresses to download illegal content that threatens national security as well as anything else they don’t want traced back to them. Protect your IP address, and you will protect do I stop someone from using my IP address? You should always protect any personally identifiable information even if you think the risks do not apply to you. With enough determination, a bad actor can stitch together an entire identity just by going online, and your IP could be the starting are three ways to protect your IP address and prevent yourself from being exploited by hackers: Change your privacy settingsChange the settings on all your instant messaging as well as any other apps to “private” and don’t accept calls or messages from people you don’t know. Hackers are known to gain access to your IP address through messaging apps like Skype. Update your firewall and routerA criminal can hack your router remotely and retrieve your IP address, especially if you’re still using the default one. Change the password of your router regularly and be sure to use a long mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Use a VPNA VPN will protect your IP address and your private information. By routing your online data through a VPN server with its own IP address, you can prevent websites from logging information about your device and location. While you might be principally interested in VPNs for their IP-switching functionality, they also come with a range of additional other benefits can a VPN offer? A VPN will establish an encrypted tunnel between your device and a VPN server. That means that no one can spy on your data as it moves from your device to the server — not even your internet service provider (ISP) has never been more valuable. Your ISP can monitor your activity and sell that information to advertisers and other third parties. Hackers can steal your passwords and use your private details to launch phishing attacks. It’s vital that you protect your rdVPN provides a number of extra features that you might find particularly useful. Our CyberSec system will enhance your protection against malware by shielding you from high-risk websites and other known threats. When Kill Switch is enabled, you can avoid any unexpected data exposure. And with the NordLynx protocol, you can enjoy unrivaled speeds, without compromising on out NordVPN on the latest cyber news and tips
Zen likes to use her cybersecurity knowledge to help protect the privacy and freedom of others, otherwise, you can find her playing with paints in her studio in London.
11 Ways People Can Spy On Your IP Address
(You don’t want to hear the last one…)
We took a poll. Most people say that the only people out there who know your IP address is your Internet Service Provider…the Cox Cables and Verizon’s of the world.
Those people are wrong.
The fact is, anybody with a little know-how can find, view and “capture” your IP address.
You need to understand this:
With the right technical know-how and a computer trick here and there, companies, government institutions, and the typical nerdy IT guy—and even your annoying teenage neighbor—can uncover your IP address.
I’m sure you wondering, “don’t they need my permission? ”
The answer is no. They can sniff out your IP address without your permission.
But you shouldn’t lose any sleep over that.
Still, it makes you wonder why someone would even care to know your IP address.
Well, people have different reasons for wanting to know it.
And different ways to get it.
Here’s why they want your IP.
A business may want to know your IP address because they simply want to run in through an IP lookup service to find out where “you” are located.
Fraudsters try to hide behind
an IP address.
They actually have a pretty good reason.
Let’s say an online retail customer whose mailing address says, “New York, NY” and buys thousands of dollars of fancy merchandise from a company. However, when that company captures the customer’s IP address, it figures out his location is really Russia or China. That’s a real problem.
It gets better.
In fact, it’s common for advertisers, companies, and service websites to “grab” your IP addresses if you’re visiting their site or if you click on ads on their website.
What they can find out is pretty interesting.
What country or state you’re in
What city you’re in…within a few miles (sometimes city blocks)
They can piece together a profile of your interests or online behaviors
There are ways to block your IP like you block a phone number…I’ll cover that a little bit later.
That’s only step one:
By knowing your IP address, an online Forum could “block” access to their chat room.
By knowing your IP address, an online subscription service could block you from accessing their content, because a sporting/special event is otherwise blacked out in your area.
It’s not that people can “use” your IP address, it’s more that by knowing it they can track you, target you, or block you.
Finally, you might want to sit down for this one.
With a subpoena and your IP address, law enforcement can ask your Internet provider for your name and home address and gain permission to hack into your emails.
But all this is just part of the story.
Now you need to know HOW people get your IP address—every day, with ease.
Get hidden now. »» I want to hide my IP
How Someone Might Get Your IP address.
Here are nearly a dozen ways people on the Internet can get YOUR IP address:
By borrowing your computer or smart device. If somebody uses or borrows your computer, they can find out your IP address simply by going to It pops right up.
By tapping into your wireless network. If your home network isn’t well secure, a stranger can tap into your wireless network. Also, if you let a guest use your network (you provide the password) they will know your IP address.
They pluck it out of your email. Relax: Most Internet/email providers today no longer include the IP address of someone sending an email. But smaller Internet Service Providers or people who set up their own email server which might still be revealing their IP address. Try our trace email tool to see.
Through an email HTML Bug. Thanks for your interest. This bug isn’t a virus or malicious. It’s simply a piece of code embedded in an image that’s included with an email you read. If you view the image (often just be opening the email), the bug simply tells the sender that you read the email…and it also provides your IP address. There are even services that help people set up email bugs like this. Check out
From web server logs. Here’s how the Internet works: Every time you visit a website, you leave your IP address. After all, it’s your digital pass to connect online. A website can (if they wish) scour their Web-server computers to review all the IP addresses, just to see the reach of their message or who’s a repeat visitor.
Who knew? But hang on, there’s more…
In Internet Forums. Joining a forum to share ideas or contribute to a discussion is getting more popular, especially in online education. Your “handle” may identify your voice and opinions, but your IP address identifies your computer to the administrator. (That’s how they ban you if you break their rules. )
From Blog Comments. Bloggers write in part to hear the opinions of their readers. Not only can the blog administrator read what you have said, but they can also uncover your IP address with a few keystrokes.
Through social media. Social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. ) do not reveal IP addresses between users, but the site administrators indeed know your IP address. Also, if you click on an ad or link on the site, they will capture your IP address.
Out of messaging Apps. Your mobile phone uses an IP address every time you engage someone through a messaging app, such as WhatsApp and Viber. Messaging app usage is growing incredibly fast. Your IP address is invisible to the person you message, but if-and-when you click on a link in a message, the website you sent it to has access to your IP address. There are sites like and that you can use to create trackable links.
Via your work email. The email header on your office’s email could reveal your IP address, and a clever IT-minded person can easily use it to find the location of your workplace. Try our trace email tool.
Through a court order. In late 2016, a new law went into effect that sent chills down the spines of millions of people. Revisions to a U. S. federal security measure called Rule 41 gave the FBI and others more leeway while investigating online activity. The request for subpoenas to get IP addresses (and home addresses) is much easier now.
Let’s put it this way…
You’re fighting a losing battle when it comes to preventing someone from capturing your public IP address. But that doesn’t mean all is lost. You can get the upper hand in this cat-and-mouse game of shielding your IP address from the world.
Fight back (and win! ) with an alternative IP address.
As you can see, your IP address is “capturable” most of the time while you’re online. But you can make sure that the IP address they capture isn’t traceable back to you by 99% of the time.
By using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. A VPN, which is an affordable, fee-based online service networking that masks your actual IP address and routes you through another network with a different IP address.
Real IP address
Spoofed IP address
And you want to know the best part?
That “borrowed” IP address is the only one anyone in any of the above categories will see.
There’s no time to waste.
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7 Ways Someone Ca Grab Your IP Address [INFOGRAPHIC]