What can Someone do with your IP Address?
If you have read our other articles, you will have learnt that it is possible for your IP address to be discovered – IP addresses are not a huge secret and there is a variety of different methods people can use to track your IP address – What’s important however is what they can then do with this information? If someone has obtained your IP address, what can they do with it? How can they use your IP address and can they gain any additional information? There are several important considerations to think about concerning the availability of your public IP address.
Potentially Hack your device/network
The main danger is that someone could use your IP address to then hack into your personal device or network. As you IP address displays your device’s physical location, it can be used as a means to establish a connection with your network for example. Using sophisticated tools and software, a hacker could use your IP address to gain access to your device and then open up ports on your router to delve further and either infect your device with a virus or attempt to obtain personal information. To prevent this type of attack, you should first attempt to keep your IP address hidden at all times (consider using a VPN service) and ensure that your network security is up to date and configured properly.
Trace your approximate whereabouts
There is a variety of different tools available on the internet that can trace your IP address back to a physical location. If someone obtains your address, they may use one of these tools to geo-located your device. In most instances, the locating feature will only narrow the location of your IP address down to a partial zip code or areas of a town – Your actual house number should never be traceable from an IP address.
Discover your ISP provider
If a user discovers your IP address, they can usually then find out your ISP (Internet Service Provider). They could then contact your ISP and probe them for additional information about your whereabouts and personal details – If you ISP is credible, they should never disclose any of this information, however, unless it is a criminal investigation or a matter of national security.
Instigate an IP ban
If an owner of a website or a network administrator obtains your IP address, they could instigate an IP ban and prevent you from establishing a connection. IP bans are usually only enforced if you have attempted to hack a system or breached networks terms of service etc.
As you can see, in most cases, there is no reason to worry – your IP address does no reveal a great deal of information about you or your physical location. Furthermore, providing you have sufficient security measures in place, any attempts to attack your device or network using your IP address should fall short and prove ineffective. If you are concerned about the security of your network, you should consider using a VPN service that effectively hides your public IP address and substitutes it for a generic one.