Is IP Grabbing Illegal? (All Questions Answered) – SmartyDNS
Your IP address is how you communicate with the Internet. Without it, that wouldn’t be possible.
Since it’s so important, you have to wonder – is IP grabbing illegal? Is it illegal to track an IP address?
We’ll answer those questions (and more) in this quick five-minute article.
Is IP Grabbing Illegal – Yes or No?
First, what is IP grabbing?
Well, it’s when someone uses a third-party service to “grab” your IP address. For example, they might use Grabify. It lets them create a link which they can send to you. If you access it, they’ll be able to see your IP address (alongside other information) on their end, like this:
If they click “More Info” on the right, they can even see your local IP address – the one your device uses on your network.
So is IP grabbing illegal?
Nope. There’s no specific law preventing someone from targeting you with an IP grabbing tool. Your IP address is pretty much public information at this point – just like your street address or phone number.
However, what someone does with your IP address can become illegal.
Here’s When IP Grabbing Is Against the Law
When the person grabbing it decides to DDoS you (basically, force you offline with cyber attacks). They can target your network with a DDoS attack because they know your IP address. In most places, doing this is illegal. DoS attacks, however, might not always be illegal because they’re weaker than DDoS attacks. If someone targets you with them constantly, though, you can contact the the person who grabbed your IP address tries using it to remotely hack your computer. Normally, an IP address isn’t enough to do that, but some skilled hackers could abuse Shared Resources to perform such a cyber attack. They could also use it to scan for open ports, which they then try to exploit to take over your someone uses IP grabbing to target you with phishing attacks. For example, they use it to find who your ISP is, and then they target them with phishing and vishing attacks.
Is IP Tracking Illegal?
It sounds like it should be, but it normally isn’t. It’s how websites keep track of their users, and how they display ads on the Internet. Businesses also use it for all sorts of B2B purposes (marketing, delivering services, analytics, etc. ).
As long as they meet any legal data processing requirements (like the GDPR), there are no conflicts with the law.
Is It Illegal for an Individual to Track Your IP Address?
Again, not really. They can freely use services like IP Logger or IP Tracker to keep tabs on your IP address. There’s no specific law against that.
But if they track your IP address for illegal purposes (harassment, stalking, DDoS-ing, cyber attacks, etc. ), it obviously goes against the law.
Should You Hide Your IP Address?
That’s up to you.
If you want to enjoy more privacy, and not have websites and random people track it, you should definitely do it. The same goes if you don’t want hackers abusing it or using it to DDoS you.
Plus, you get to enjoy other perks if you hide your IP address:
The ability to prevent anyone from finding out what country and city you are from + who your ISP is and what your ZIP code can bypass geo-restrictions and unblock different websites and online services – like Netflix or Pandora can also bypass firewalls at work and school. Also, you can get around government censorship since it also relies on firewalls to block hiding your IP address, you make it much harder for advertisers to track your online movements and spam you with personalized might be able to bypass geographical price discrimination. That’s when sites display different prices based on your geo-location. Hiding your IP address means websites won’t be able to see your geo-location rrenting becomes safer because wannabe hackers, lawyers, and copyright trolls can’t see your IP address in the swarm risk of a cybercriminal logging it and selling it on the dark bans won’t stop you from gaming online or posting on forums.
How Can You Hide Your IP Address?
These are the most convenient ways to do it:
1. Use a VPN
This is an online service that masks your IP address and encrypts your traffic. Here’s how the process works:
You download and install a VPN app on your use the app to connect to a VPN app and the server establish a secure connection between data that passes through that connection is encrypted end-to-end (only the client and server can encrypt/decrypt it) you visit a website, your connection requests go to it through the VPN website receives the requests from the VPN server, so it only sees the server’s IP else who tries looking up your IP address will also only see the server’s address.
Overall, a VPN is a great way to protect your privacy. Plus, by encrypting your traffic, it makes sure that:
Hackers can’t abuse vulnerable WiFi networks to monitor your and surveillance agencies can’t spy on your online can’t throttle your bandwidth anymore.
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Here at SmartyDNS we offer high-speed VPN servers with military grade 256-bit AES encryption and highly secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, SoftEther and IKEv2), and we we adhere to a strict no-log policy.
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2. Use a Proxy
A proxy server works similar to a VPN – it intercepts your connection requests to the web, and forwards them on your behalf. So any site you visit will only see the proxy server’s IP address.
However, unlike a VPN, proxies don’t offer powerful encryption. Sometimes, they don’t offer any at all.
So you get some privacy by hiding your IP address, but your traffic might not be secure. Also, if you use a free proxy that’s run by a malicious actor, they could log your data.
Generally, you should only use a proxy if you need to unblock a web page. If you need security on top of that, use a VPN. Instead of getting separate services, consider using a VPN whose servers double as proxies. It’s much cheaper.
3. Use Mobile Data or Switch WiFi Networks
If you’re on your mobile and want to change your IP address realf fast, try switching from WiFi data to mobile data.
You’ll use your mobile provider’s network instead of your WiFi network’s ISP, so you’ll get a different IP address.
What if you have a limited mobile data plan and normally use WiFi, though?
In that case, you can switch WiFi networks to change your IP address.
4. Ask Your ISP to Change It
They assigned you your current IP address, so you can ask them to change it. Maybe see if they can offer a dynamic IP address too (one that changes at regular intervals).
If you already have a dynamic IP address, you can usually change it by restarting your router.
Can You Hide Your IP Address with Tor?
Yes, you can do that. Just like a VPN, your connections will go to the Internet through a server. So everybody will see the IP address of the Tor server you’re using.
But we have to warn you – Tor has had and continues to have issues with IP leaks:
In 2017, the TorMoil issue leaked users’ IP might leak your IP address when you try to open Windows DRM rrent clients can sometimes leak your IP address. Certain file types (like PDFs) can bypass proxy settings, causing Tor to leak your IP address.
Besides that, you’ll also get pretty slow speeds because there are only around 6, 000 servers for over two million users.
Is IP Grabbing Illegal? The Bottom Line
Not unless the person grabbing your IP address wants to use it to do something illegal – like DDoS-ing you or hacking into your computer.
For normal purposes, IP grabbing (and tracking) is generally legal. If you’re worried it violates your privacy, use a VPN to hide your IP address. It’s the easiest and most convenient way to do it. If you know other methods to mask your IP address (other than the ones we already mentioned), go ahead and tell us about them in the comments.
Technology vector created by freepik –
Is IP tracking legal? – Lead Forensics
In this article:
Many B2B marketers use IP address tracking. It’s a popular solution, helping businesses gain a better understanding of their online audience and boosts lead generation success. However, many data regulations have not been specific about how IP addresses are categorized, causing confusion surrounding the legalities of IP tracking.
The debate questions whether IP addresses are considered personal data. It was originally thought not, as IP addresses need to be made public to ensure users can access the internet, and very little information can be drawn from just an IP address. However, they remain totally unique to each device, and some businesses can gain personal data from an IP address such as the ISP who assigned it. After much discussion, GDPR has classified IP addresses as an online identifier, classed as personal data.
But don’t fret! We are pleased to assure you IP address tracking is legal when used for B2B purposes. Though IP addresses count as personal data when pertaining to individuals, any IP addresses belonging to a business is counted as public information, meaning your team can legally track and process this data. Many IP trackers go the extra mile to protect B2B organizations, only extracting useable data from static, business IP addresses then deleting the original IP.
IP tracking is nothing to fear – it could be the secret to your businesses success! Lead Forensics for example offer and advanced lead generation solution using IP tracking. A small snippet of code detects the IP addresses visiting your website, then cross-references them with our privately-owned database of business contacts. This allows Lead Forensics to identify the businesses visiting your website, and provide contact details and visit analysis, fuelling your sales pipeline with high-quality leads.
Find out more- book your free demo today!
Tracking IP address locations: is it legal? – Lead Forensics
IP address tracking is a popular addition to many digital marketing mixes, helping improve audience understanding and boost lead generation. However, there has been a question surrounding IP addresses and how different governing bodies regard their status within data protection regulations. IP addresses come in many forms, and experts have had difficulties calculating where they best sit within data categories. Data regulations always strive to protect us as individuals, and ensure our data is treated with care and respect, but how does this work for our IP addresses? And what does this mean for businesses using IP tracking?
What is an IP address?
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique identifier assigned to an electronic device, enabling it to connect with the internet and other networks. This assigned IP address allows users to identify and communicate with websites, applications and other devices.
All IP addresses are assigned by your internet service provider (ISP), who procure the addresses from IANA (the internet assigned numbers authority), where all IP addresses are managed and distributed globally. The growing number of electronic devices in circulation has promoted the development of a new IP address format, shifting from a 32-bit number in 4 parts to a 128-bit hexadecimal code in 8 parts. This advancement allows IANA to ensure enough IP addresses can be distributed to support the global demand for increased electronic connectivity and digital dependence.
IP addresses are not new, they have been a vital part of our online world for a few decades now. They enable us to pass data easily between devices and platforms, without the need to download information manually onto a CD or other external storage for transfer.
Using an IP address tracker allows businesses to gain some exciting insights, including the locations of their website visitors, contributing to advanced web analytics. This helps businesses gain a deeper understanding of their online audience, tailor campaigns to better suit their prospects and improve lead generation efforts. They contribute so highly to our digital world, without IP addresses, we would be in serious trouble!
Why the legal questions?
IP addresses remain a questionable topic under data protection regulations, as it’s difficult to find exactly how they fit into laws around classifying and processing data. Here are some of the problems with IP addresses and their place in our data world:
The personal data debate
Each data regulation has a different definition of personal data, but they all follow a similar line. The ICO explains personal data under the GDPR as follows:
Personal data only includes information relating to natural persons who:
can be identified or who are identifiable, directly from the information in question; or
who can be indirectly identified from that information in combination with other information.
Though not all countries work under the GDPR, this definition is broad in that many countries see personal data as information pertaining directly to the individual in question, allowing them to be identified. This includes your name, and often detail such as email address, health information and residence. Any data considered personal, must only be gathered, stored, processed and used in accordance with the necessary legal regulations.
IP addresses fall on a fuzzy line; they are individual to your device, so can be tracked back to you. However, an IP address needs to be public in order to work, and without the personal data held by your ISP matching your name with the IP address, there are very few who can discover your details from nothing but an IP. This being said, ISPs must count IP addresses as personal data, as they hold the ability to match the address to your personal details. In fact, any company capable of extracting identifying data from your IP address must count it as personal data… You see how it gets complicated?!
The disagreement over how IP addresses fell under data regulations continued for some time, and the new release of the GDPR classified them as “online identifiers” under personal data, see the following from the ICO:
‘Online identifiers’ includes IP addresses and cookie identifiers which may be personal data.
Though this uses the term “may be”, we recommend it is always safest to assume IP addresses fall under the category of personal data when they pertain to an individual. Therefore, to track, gather and use them, you will need to ensure you’re working under the correct legal requirements for personal data processing e. g. lawful basis of processing (GDPR).
Static vs dynamic
Another difficulty surrounding the discussion of IP addresses under data regulations stems from the 2 different types of IP address – static and dynamic. Static IP addresses are constant, meaning whenever the device in question connects to the internet, it will always use the same IP address. This makes for a secure and speedy connection but is easier to track. These IP addresses are usually only available on request from an ISP, almost exclusively used by businesses and some large home networks.
A device using a dynamic IP, will change its IP address whenever it connects to the internet. These sorts of IP are commonly used on mobile phones, tablets and laptops, due to their portable nature. These IPs can still be tracked, but it’s very difficult to gain any information from them apart from rough location. Some organizations track these IPs for extra security; banks for example can see a string of dynamic IP addresses from London all accessing the same account, but when there is a login from an IP traced back to the USA or Australia, it could be cause for suspicion.
A large debate was struck surrounding the place of dynamic IP addresses within the bounds of “personal data”– as they are ever-changing and almost impossible to gain data from – do they still count as personal data? The answer to this question has never been fully finalised; but as the ISP can still match a dynamic IP address to the person using it in their records, and data regulations don’t separate static and dynamic IPs in their stance, it’s again safest to assume IP addresses are classed as “personal data”- irrelevant of their static or dynamic status.
What does all this mean for B2B organizations who want to track IP address locations?
We’ll start by easing your mind – for B2B purposes, IP address tracking is legal! Many data regulations are not inclusive of business data, such as business name, business address and contact number – this is all considered public. Business IP addresses fall under this umbrella, meaning they can be tracked and used by B2B organizations.
Due to the regulations and questions surrounding IP addresses, tools that track them for business benefit do not reveal the visiting IP addresses to the user, acting as an extra precautionary measure to increase IP tracking safety and compliance. Instead, these tools extract the necessary data then discard the IP address, ensuring IP tracking is never used maliciously. The tools are only able to extract valuable data from static IP’s used by businesses – any visiting IPs not pertaining to businesses (and therefore not providing any B2B data) are instantly deleted. This ensures B2B organizations can legally continue to gain advanced website analytics, improve campaign success and lead generation, thanks to IP address tracking.
The best way to ensure total data compliance when searching for an IP tracking solution, is to go to the experts, and use a reputable software with all necessary documentation in place. That’s where we come in…
Lead Forensics is an advanced lead generation solution using IP tracking to identify the businesses visiting your website. Placing a small piece of code on your website, Lead Forensics monitors the IP’s visiting your site, and runs them through a database of business contacts to find a match. Your team can see the name and address of visiting businesses, including the contact details and visit information needed to create an impactful, instant follow up. We are proud to produce a fully compliant solution, working with you to ensure all data regulations are consistently met with ease.
10, 000 B2B organizations worldwide use Lead Forensics to fuel their sales pipeline with high-quality leads, gaining ROI in excess of 8, 000%. Find out more – book your free demo today!
Frequently Asked Questions about is pulling ips illegal
Is stressing IPS illegal?
An IP stresser is a tool designed to test a network or server for robustness. … Running it against someone else’s network or server, resulting in denial-of-service to their legitimate users, is illegal in most countries.
How long can you go to jail for pulling IPS?
3 attorney answers It is a violation of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which can be punishable with anywhere from 10 years to life in jail.May 25, 2017
Is IP logging legal?
We are pleased to assure you IP address tracking is legal when used for B2B purposes. Though IP addresses count as personal data when pertaining to individuals, any IP addresses belonging to a business is counted as public information, meaning your team can legally track and process this data.Oct 9, 2018