What does my IP address say about me and my location?

What does my IP address say about me and my location?

Franco Brutti

May 18, 2023

May 18, 2023

May 18, 2023

What does my IP address say about me and my location?
What does my IP address say about me and my location?
What does my IP address say about me and my location?

Often when you read news on the Internet or articles about cybersecurity recommendations, you will come across many texts that talk about the importance of taking care of your IP address.

If you are new to all this technological stuff, you are probably wondering what the IP address is and why it is important to keep it hidden.

At the end of the day, the more protected you are when using any technological device (computers, mobiles, or tablets), the better it will be for you.

Remember that many times we make use of very important personal data that if exposed, could leave us at some risk.

So, in order for you to understand the importance of all this, you need to be aware of what your IP address says about you and especially about your location.

That’s why we’re going to explain little by little everything you need to know about this topic.

What is the IP address?

We’re going to assume that you are new to this topic and start with a brief review of what the IP address is and thus avoid that you may be left with doubts at the end of the article.

So, first things first, what is an IP address?

The acronym IP refers to the Internet Protocol and when we talk about its address we are talking about a numerical series that identifies all the devices that can access the Internet.

This means that every computer or cell phone in your home has its own IP address.

Now, this address is essential because when surfing the Internet, the networks will be able to send the information correctly thanks to the fact that you have this address.

Imagine that the IP address is like your home address, but instead, it’s the address of your devices.

Therefore, by means of the IP address, you can identify what your device is, where it’s located, and some other things that we will talk about later.

How do I know what my IP address is?

Now that you’ve understood that this is something important and that it becomes a kind of web identification, you surely have doubts about the IP address of your device.

Also, for some configurations, you may need to have your IP address at hand.

The quickest and easiest way to find this out, if you have access to the network at the time you need the information, is to look it up on the Internet.

Today there are hundreds of sites that will identify this information and let you know.

So, for quick answers, just type in your browser "What is my IP address?" and you will find it among the first search results.

Of course, if you do not have Internet access at the time, you need to resort to other options and that’s why we will explain how to do it from your Windows computer.

In this case, you will have to access the Settings section and once you are there you have to press the "Network and Internet" button and then select the "View network properties" option.

You can be sure of it: among the data that will appear will be your exact IP address.

What does our IP address say about us?

Now that we’re a little clearer about what the IP address is all about, it’s time to understand more about what it can say about us.

Generally speaking, one of the main things it can say about you is your geographic location.

Perhaps in a rather general and not-so-specific way, but it’s possible to know this information through people's IP addresses.

In fact, this is why websites can know whether or not to give you access to certain pages, depending on whether access to it is restricted in your region or not, and you will be able to know the region you are in because the network knows your IP.

In addition to this, it’s also possible to identify your ISP (Internet Service Provider).

So you can even find out quite quickly which internet company you are surfing with.

Why can it be dangerous if the IP address is exposed?

In the previous section, we mentioned the brief and precise data that your IP address can give about you as an Internet user.

In other words, this is basic data that anyone can deduce if they have your IP address.

However, it’s well known that hackers exist and that they work with a series of tools that will allow them to know more data about us if our Internet protocol address reaches them.

Hence, many people tell you that the best thing to do is to protect your IP address.

However, in order for you to understand the seriousness of the issue, you need to be clear about why it’s dangerous to have your IP address exposed.

Therefore, below, we will briefly discuss all the risks you may suffer if you leave your IP address exposed:

1. Knowing your real identity and your exact location

Basically, as we mentioned before, one of the first things they can find out about you is your location.

Now, there are some tools or methodologies to process your IP information that could allow people to know precisely what your location and address are.

Based on that, they could even know what your real identity is, which can be even worse.   

2. Tracking your online activities

Since you access a wide variety of websites and social networks on a daily basis and allow them to store your data, it’s possible that a third party can track it through them.

At the end of the day, all the interactions you have over the Internet will be stored in your IP address.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that anyone can immediately access this data just by knowing your IP address.

However, it is true that many hackers nowadays resort to the servers of some companies or social networks to obtain information about your search history, what you’ve seen, what you’ve done, and much more.

3. Restrict your access to certain online services

Similarly, it’s by knowing your IP address that some servers can restrict access to web services.

We’ve already talked a bit about this before, as it is what some entities or service companies use to determine where you are and thus know if you have the possibility of accessing some specific websites or not.

4. Performing a DDoS attack

Other risks that have been present in recent years are DDoS attacks, whose acronym stands for: Distributed Denial-of-Service.

When they use this type of attack against you what happens is that they are sending a huge amount of traffic to your network through your IP.

In such a way that the internet network ends up flooded with traffic and as a result, you will not be able to access any website or do anything that requires an internet connection.  

5. Sending malware to your device

Undoubtedly, when talking about the biggest dangers of having your IP address exposed, we find the possibility of infecting your device with some kind of malware.

While it is true that this is an activity that may be difficult for some hackers to complete, this does not detract from the fact that it is still a very real possibility to be on the lookout for.

In fact, there are also those who can locate your email address and start sending you a bunch of spam and messages that actually hide a phishing attack. 

6. Usurping your identity

Last but not least, we can't finish this list of risks without mentioning that your identity can also be spoofed online.

Many cyber thieves can hijack your IP address to impersonate you and carry out illegal activities.

Since they would be using your IP address, the authorities could come directly to you with an accusation.

Therefore, this is also something to be very careful about, as it involves such a high risk that you could be brought to justice without having done anything.  

exposing your IP can be dangerous

How to protect your IP address?

As you can see, leaving your IP address exposed when surfing the Internet is something that can bring you many problems and some of them are quite serious.

That’s why it’s so important to keep your IP address protected so that no one can access it, whether you always work with your home network, or if you use public Wi-Fi networks (in the latter case the risks increase exponentially).

Therefore, we will now talk to you about the best options available today for protecting your IP address and thus avoiding everything we’ve mentioned in the previous section:

1. Protect your IP with a VPN

One of the most effective strategies, and one that has given the best results today, is the use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

What this type of software does is change your IP address to one that is on another side of the world, either randomly or by personal choice.

Of course, this will help prevent you from being easily located with just your IP, but it’s also useful to change your IP to one that is in a region from which you can access websites that you cannot from your current location.

Nowadays there are countless VPN services available, some free, but useful, and others paid, but with a variety of extra services that allow you to enjoy a higher level of security.

2. Use a proxy

However, making use of a proxy server will also allow you to hide your IP at all times.

The way in which a proxy works is quite similar to that of a VPN since it’s responsible for routing your address to another server.

Again, nowadays it’s quite easy to find a proxy that allows you to keep your IP address hidden from all malicious people.

3. Access the Internet with the Tor browser

Finally, there is an even more basic way to protect your digital footprint and that’s by using the Tor browser every time you want to use the Internet.

This is a free browser that makes your connection bounce, so it will be quite difficult for any person or entity (hackers, the government, or companies) to track your online data.

Tor is well known because its logo is an onion and it refers to all the layers of encryption that are responsible for protecting your identity while browsing with it.

Of course, with such a level of encryption and data protection, one of the main disadvantages is present: browsing with Tor can be quite slow compared to other browsers.

But if the speed issue is not so important to you, then it can still be very useful.

how to protect your IP address

Undoubtedly, now more than ever you should be aware of everything that has to do with the IP address issue in order to be careful when surfing the Internet.

As you can see, your IP address can tell a lot about you and can be used in a risky way if it gets into the hands of the wrong people.

Therefore, we invite you to follow our tips to protect it and feel freer and safer when using the Internet.

Remember that our blog is full of articles similar to this one, so if you want to learn more about this kind of topic, do not hesitate to check it out.