According to reports, cybercrime rates have increased by 600% since the pandemic started. The integral part of staying safe online is keeping your IP address unexposed. Hackers can use it to breach your devices, track your web activity, or even stalk you. Keep reading to learn about the dangers of letting someone get your IP address and what you can do to prevent that from happening!
What Is An IP Address?
Each device connected to the internet has an IP address. The abbreviation stands short for an “internet protocol address.” It’s how your device communicates with the rest of the virtual world. That’s how you exchange data online, including sending emails, browsing websites, and any other internet activity.
The IP address has a format of “x.x.x.x.” Each “x” represents a number, and that’s your device’s unique internet identifier. Considering it’s unique, it only belongs to that gadget. But what if someone gets your IP address?
Here’s What They Could Do:
- Discover your location. It won’t give away your exact location but show your city and country.
- Track your web activity. It’s a huge privacy and security risk.
- Hack your device. Someone could infect it with malware or use DOS (denial of service) attacks to shut it down.
- Use it for malicious activity. From impersonating you to trying to download illegal stuff online, they could abuse your IP address for malicious deals.
How Does Someone Get Your IP Address?
Before they can do anything, hackers need to find your IP address. So you should be careful and maximize cyber security awareness while browsing the web. A single wrong move could give away your IP address, and here’s how!
Your Email: The hacker might scam you into sending them an email. If you do that, they can get access to your IP address. Some providers, such as Outlook and Yahoo Mail, publicly show the sender’s IP in the email’s header. But even if they don’t, special analyzers could reveal the desired info in seconds.
Torrenting Files: Each torrent has seeds and peers. Seeders are people who upload files and make them available for download. Peers download the desired files, but the trick is that their IP addresses are visible. It allows hackers a way to collect yours and potentially abuse it.
Phishing Attacks: Phishing is a popular internet scamming option where hackers falsely represent themselves as somebody else. They could be a bank or any other institution you do business with regularly. Their goal is to collect sensitive info. And even if they don’t get your credit card or login credentials, clicking on their link is enough to give away your IP address.
Online Ads: You might find an online advertisement attractive, so you click on it. The best-case scenario is you share your IP with advertising companies, helping them learn more about your preferences. And the worst-case scenario is hackers are behind the ad, and they have other plans with your IP address.
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What To Do If Someone Has Your IP Address?
You shouldn’t panic, but it’s necessary to change your IP address as soon as possible. It’s the only thing you can do since you can’t steal your address back. Some providers will assign a new address if you unplug your router for three minutes and then reattach it to the computer.
If you have administrative privileges on your account, you can enter your network’s properties and obtain a new IP address. The process varies, so it might be best to consult your ISP. They can assign you a fresh IP address upon request.
Does AVPN Hide My IP Address?
Yes, VPN hides your IP address. Furthermore, it’s the safest and simplest way of maximizing data protection when browsing the internet. VPN will direct all your internet activity via the chosen server. Instead of using your IP address, it will use the one related to that server. It ensures there’s no danger of someone in the area you are browsing from or any other online activity details.
How Can I Stop Hackers From Getting My IP Address?
Using a VPN is a top priority to prevent your IP address from being exposed. Here are some other tips to use for improved privacy protection when browsing the web:
Activate a firewall. Most operating systems come with an integrated firewall. This feature blocks unrecognized traffic to improve device security.
Use mobile data instead of public Wi-Fi. Shared and public networks are a privacy risk. If you switch mobile data, you get a new IP address for each session. It’s safer and ensures no one could abuse the public hotspot to collect your private info.
- Be careful when browsing the web. You shouldn’t click suspicious links, open messages from unknown senders, etc. Manage cookies carefully and erase them and internet history regularly.
- Adjust the router password. Keeping the default password is risky, and there are ways to make it stronger.
- Don’t let anyone else use your device. Even if they are your friend, at least be around and monitor their activity.
The fact someone knows your IP address isn’t automatically a threat. But if it ends up in the wrong hands, it could be a privacy risk or expose you to potential cyberattacks. Understanding how to keep your IP address safe and maximize internet privacy is an integral part of cybersecurity. Make sure to use a VPN and apply other tips to stop hackers from discovering your IP address!