Every device that connects to the internet has an IP address. This can range from your computer to your Bluetooth headphones and even your smart fridge. Unfortunately, if you’re online and not careful about what information you’re giving away: a lot can be done against you.
These are the top things people can do with IP addresses and why it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Find Your General Location
IP addresses give away a couple of key pieces of information that can give other people insight into your life that you might not want them to have. These pieces of information are your internet service provider and the city where the closest server to you is. This might narrow down your location, depending on how many people use their service in your area.
Sue You For Copyright Infringement
If you decide you want to watch a movie but don’t want to pay to purchase or rent it, some may turn to illegally downloading or torrenting the media. If you do this enough times or put it up online as something other people can download, this can leave you open to getting sued by the company that owns the rights and can land you in a lot of hot water. Be careful with your information, and try to avoid breaking the law.
Dos/DDoS Your Network
If a cybercriminal knows your IP address, they could flood your network with unwanted traffic until it crashes your web connection. This happens a lot in gaming circles to stop others from playing or frustrate them until they give up the game for at least that session. This is illegal and harassment, so it’s vital that if this happens to you that you take it seriously.
What’s Not Possible with IP Addresses?
Someone with your IP address won’t be able to remotely access your computer unless your operating system is extremely out of date, you don’t use antivirus software, and you have your firewall turned off. People also can’t find your street address based on your IP address alone. They may be able to get closer to finding your address by using the city from your IP address and Googling it with your name: so you must avoid what information you make public.
How to Protect Your IP Address?
If you’re nervous about even doing an IP address lookup, you must do everything to protect it. Thankfully, some simple answers can take care of most threats. First of all, you need to consider behavioral changes while online. Avoid clicking unfamiliar links, especially from people you don’t know and pay attention to who you interact with. Secondly, consider using a VPN on your computer to protect yourself and avoid information gathering. Together these will knock out most threats and keep you safe.
Everyone Needs Better Online Health
Online health heavily depends on how you interact with the world and what information about yourself you allow others to have access to. Be careful when you’re online and pay attention to what you’re telling others.