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.
Someone Has My IP Address – Should I Be Scared? – Ask Leo!
What your IP address does and does not reveal, and to whom.
If someone threatens you because they know your IP address, it’s an empty threat.
My IP address was exposed after I got a virus. Should I be scared?
Help please, someone got my IP country and state and my village I am just a kid please help – he even got my ISP please I am really scared.
Hey! Some guy has my IP. Is it possible that he does a cyber crime and uses my IP address and gets me arrested?
No, you should not be scared. No, no one is going to track you down to your home. No, no one is going to use your IP address for some kind of cybercrime.
As you can tell, this is a question I get often. There’s lots of confusion over what people can and cannot find out from your IP address.
It gets worse when you search for an answer to this question online. Search results are full of scare-mongers declaring that your privacy is over once someone has your IP address — unless, of course, you purchase their product. Sigh.
Finding you by your IPLocating you by your IP address is possible, but it’s not doable by anyone other than the highly skilled, and requires tools and access the average user doesn’t have. Typically, law enforcement would need to be involved. You hand over your IP address with all your online activity; it’s how the internet works. Someone knowing your IP address isn’t anything special or terribly risky. If someone threatens you because they know it, it’s nothing more than bullying.
The big fat caveat
I have a hard time convincing people not to worry. Here’s why:
Of course your IP address can be used to track you down. Anything is possible.
If you have the resources and the access to do it, that is. Law enforcement can find the location of an IP address, for example, by forcing ISPs and other internet providers to punch through their privacy protections and give them information not available to the general public.
Theoretically, hackers could infiltrate your ISP and get private information about your IP address.
Unless you are an exceptionally high-value target, have run afoul of the law in some serious way, or live in some seriously repressive regime, no one is going to make the significant effort to track you down by your IP address. It’s just not going to happen.
It takes access and skills that are not generally available to even the scariest of hackers.
Again, it’s just not going to happen to you.
Here’s another reason why you shouldn’t worry…
I know your IP address
Here’s the IP address I have for you: 208. 181. 171. 125.
In fact, every website you visit, every online service you use, everything and anything to which your computer connects directly knows your IP address.
Not only is it not a big deal, it’s how the internet works. It’s how those sites and services know how to respond to you. It’s how the Ask Leo! server knew to send you the information for the very page you’re reading right now.
You’re “exposing” your IP address all the time.
We all are.
But, but, but!!!!
You’ll find plenty of articles on the internet claiming you’re putting yourself at significant risk by exposing your IP address.
For most of us, that’s pure bullsh*t.
They’re trying to sell you something. Usually, they’re trying to sell you a subscription to a VPN service to “hide” your IP address.
You can hide it if you like. It’ll slow down your online experience, and perhaps lighten your wallet some. It won’t really make you significantly safer1 — at least not from the “horrors” of exposing your IP address. You know, 208. 125.
“But I’m special — people really are after me. ”
99% of the people making this claim are wrong.
We all fear what we don’t understand, and people don’t understand the internet or how it works. It’s easy to get sucked into concerns about issues that don’t exist — in part because there are so many other issues that do. 2
On top of that, there are many who love to turn this lack of knowledge to their own purposes. The most common I see are kids trying to scare other kids by claiming that by knowing their IP address they can now hack their computer, infiltrate their home, or make it look like criminal activities are originating from it.
No. Just no. It’s nothing more than taunting and bullying.
Now, about that 1%…
Of course it’s possible; it’s just not likely
Let’s say you’re part of that 1% who are correct about being tracked at a personal level. What’s the risk?
The only legitimate risk is that, in theory, someone could mount a denial-of-service (DOS) attack against your IP address. This pummels your IP address with so much traffic that you can’t get out. Essentially, you get knocked offline.
That’s it. You get knocked offline. You’re not hacked, you’re not compromised. You’re inconvenienced. Your ISP would take steps quickly to make it go away, and you’d be back in business.
Of course, if you’ve done something to warrant law enforcement or government interest, they can get the information about where you are from your ISP. But that’s not available to your random internet user or bully.
Disclosing your location
There’s one more aspect of all this that’s very important to realize.
Without even exposing your IP address, you might well be telling websites and services exactly where you are.
Visit What’s My IP Address? It’s one of several sites that will tell you your IP address (208. 125), and also tell you where you are — to a point. In my case, it gets my city/region correct, but that’s all. It doesn’t come anywhere close to locating me or my home. It’s not uncommon for this type of IP-based “geolocation”, as it’s called, to be miles off — sometimes hundreds of miles off. 3
Geo-locating myself based on IP address. Click for larger image. (Screenshot:)
Click on the link to “Update My IP Location”. You’ll be presented with a list of pros and cons, which I appreciate, and the opportunity to skip the next step.
Click proceed, and your browser will present you with this:
Browser asking for location permission. (Screenshot:)
Here’s the deal: this has little to nothing to do with your IP address. Your browser, and your system in general, is often able to know your specific location with a high degree of accuracy. I clicked “Allow” in one browser, and sure enough — the exact location of my home was displayed.
Because I let my browser share that information. I clicked Allow.
Even if you use a VPN to “hide” your IP address, all bets are off when you explicitly tell someone where you are — and that’s exactly what “Allow” does when a website wants to know your location.
Naturally, VPN and other vendors use this amazing location ability to sell you solutions that ultimately aren’t needed, or don’t actually fix what’s at play.
Keeping yourself safe
Most people need do nothing more than follow common internet safety rules to stay safe. No extra tools are needed. In my opinion, if someone knows your IP address, it doesn’t expose you to any significant extra risk. Maybe click “Block” when a website wants to know your location (unless, of course, you want it to — like your delivery app, or perhaps Google Maps).
If you really are that special someone who needs to stay extra secure because people and/or law enforcement really are after you — well, this article isn’t for you. Consider using a good (not free) VPN, perhaps TOR, a dedicated machine, someone else’s internet connection, and so on. The list of what you need to do is longer than I can really go into.
Besides, if you’re reading this article, I’m still not convinced you need it.
A note about comments
There’s a good chance I’ll end up closing comments on this article, because experience shows that the vast majority will be either:
People who didn’t read the article.
A series of “what about? ” questions that I’m just not willing to get into because they’ll apply to very few people, and generally not even to the person asking.
I hope that’s not the case.
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While working from home, is it a bad idea to give the company you work …
I work from home. Why would a company I am about to do some work for ask for my IP address? What would they need it for? Should I be worried? Thanks
Mark Buffalo22. 4k8 gold badges73 silver badges91 bronze badges
asked Feb 3 ’16 at 20:48
This seems to be a persistent question. IP addresses aren’t secrets. Every website you go to must know your IP address. There’s no reason to not give away your IP address.
Many companies have firewalls that only allow certain addresses through to certain ports. This is a relatively common way of controlling access to resources with minimal effort.
However, most people don’t have static IP addresses at home, and your IP address can suddenly change without notice. So just be aware that the IP you have today might not be the IP you have tomorrow.
answered Feb 3 ’16 at 20:54
Steve SetherSteve Sether21. 4k8 gold badges49 silver badges75 bronze badges
Why would a company I am about to do some work (working from home) for, ask for my IP address? What would they need it for? Should I be worried? Thanks
More than likely, they need to be able to white list your IP address, or IP range, to allow remote connections from your home. They need to know who’s on their network, and why. There’s nothing to worry about here.
Keep in mind, they will probably whitelist your dynamic IP range (likely 0-255), and not your actual IP address, unless it’s static.
answered Feb 3 ’16 at 20:51
Mark BuffaloMark Buffalo22. 4k8 gold badges73 silver badges91 bronze badges
Since you share your IP on every occasion in the web, there is no problem. Usually the reason for this is that they want to whitelist your IP in their firewall to allow you to remotely access them. Apart from that: Giving away your IP can not really harm you.
Even if that one company knows your identity and can consequentially relate your IP to you, this does not imply that any third party can do so. There is no problem in giving someone your IP if that person knew your identity in the first place, no additional information is given.
Other third parties cannot find your name and physical address from your IP address, and you can’t find it from theirs.
Well at last not without help.
We’ve seen that using a whois lookup on an IP address will tell you the ISP that owns it. It’s that ISP that can then tell you who, exactly, that IP address is connected to.
Note that while they can tell you, that doesn’t mean that they will. That information is typically regarded as private and ISPs are not keen on giving it out. What they can and do respond to, however, are court orders.
answered Feb 3 ’16 at 20:57
AdHominemAdHominem2, 98615 silver badges25 bronze badges
Firewall whitelisting is the obvious answer, audit whitelisting might be the other.
If we know in advance to expect you to dial in from IPs associated with the northeastern US and all of a sudden we see you’re successfully logging in from an IP address range in Guangdong, it’s going to raise red flags.
answered Feb 4 ’16 at 14:18
IvanIvan6, 2483 gold badges17 silver badges22 bronze badges
Sounds like a poor man’s VPN substitute. Normally the company’s VPN should allow connections from anywhere, and then use one or two different authentication methods (or more).
It makes perfectly good sense to firewall off large blocks like China, but micromanaging IP addresses is a continuous administrative overhead.
Plus there are plenty of users who don’t have static IP addresses, does your company update the ruleset every time someone blips their router/modem?
Answer No its not dangerous to share your IP, but it may be a sign of poor security practices masked by IP-based Access Lists.
answered Feb 4 ’16 at 6:15
CriggieCriggie4782 silver badges9 bronze badges
It’s a common practice: for restricting an outside access to VPN and other services. You should not worry and use a static IP address – for your own safety, btw. Because if even someone will steal your password – he will not have your IP likely.
answered Feb 3 ’16 at 23:03
Alexey VesninAlexey Vesnin1, 5431 gold badge7 silver badges11 bronze badges
Similar to [Alexey Vesnin] answer, we setup an external modem and firewall with an onion VPN connection. We configure the connection to run one specific application with username, password, and security questions. The firewall is configured for a static IP and mac address. If any other user/device tries to connect to that firewall it is kicked off. Employees can run personal internet through their own network card and firewall/router/modem. 1
answered Feb 4 ’16 at 4:25
LJonesLJones1071 silver badge6 bronze badges
I work for a marketing and advertising agency. My company needs my IP address so that they can track how many times I visit ours, and our clients’ websites (which we are monitoring to determine the effectiveness of our marketing and social media campaigns). Since I visit the site frequently to update blogs and edit content, my activities could skew the analytics.
answered Feb 18 ’16 at 5:35
ChrisChris111 bronze badge
It seems that it was not clearly stated yet in other answers:
If you connect to any of your company servers, then they will immediately know your IP anyway (as would any other webserver). Knowing your IP most likely will also allow them to know your physical location (not very precise though).
If you want to hide your location for some reason, then you would need to use a proxy or something, but then again, they might not allow you in.
answered Feb 8 ’16 at 12:30
If you work at home and routinely connect to your company’s website then they would have to know your IP since it would be in their logs. Who is doing the asking? Ask them for an explanation. No it is not routine as some have suggested. It may be that someone has been entering into their system to do something harmful and they are checking but, even then, all IPs are logged so it does not make any sense at all. Get an explanation and do not fail to mention that you understand that your IP should automatically appear in their logs so why do they have to ask for it.
answered Feb 7 ’16 at 3:46
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Frequently Asked Questions about what can someone do if they have your ip address
Should I be worried if someone has my IP address?
Typically, law enforcement would need to be involved. You hand over your IP address with all your online activity; it’s how the internet works. Someone knowing your IP address isn’t anything special or terribly risky. If someone threatens you because they know it, it’s nothing more than bullying.Jun 23, 2021
Is it safe to give someone your IP address?
There is no problem in giving someone your IP if that person knew your identity in the first place, no additional information is given. Other third parties cannot find your name and physical address from your IP address, and you can’t find it from theirs.Feb 3, 2016
What happens if someone track your IP?
While the IP address used to route internet traffic to your computer it does not reveal your location. If someone was able to get your IP address they could learn a bit about your internet service, such as which provider you use to connect to the internet, but they really can’t locate you, your home, or your office.