A lot of people think that they can do whatever they want on the Internet and remain anonymous. However, we all can leave a trial on the web thanks to our Internet Protocols (IP addresses). Basically, your IP is the physical address of your computer. Every single computer in the world has its own unique IP address. It allows computers to receive and send information within a particular network.
Needless to say, your internet protocol can say a lot of things about you. If you are curious to learn more about your IP address and user privacy, just keep reading:
Your IP address can get stolen
Government institutions, companies, and even your nerdy neighbour can spy on your IP address. You might say that it is not a big deal in case random people learn where your computer located, especially if you don’t do anything wrong.
The truth is that you don’t have to be an IT god to sniff out someone’s Internet Protocol without the owner’s permission. Let’s be honest, you don’t want some weirdos to know where you live and work.
It gets even better.
Companies are more than interested in capturing their customers’ IP addresses since it allows them to send personalized ads. Also, you can be blocked from accessing specific types of content. You have probably already seen a message: “This content is not available in your country.”
With your IP address, the law enforcement can also get your exact home address and even hack into your emails. So, if you are planning on doing something illegal, you’d better be smart!
So, how exactly can your IP address get stolen?
- By opening a spam email.
Some junk emails include images that hide a little HTML bug (a piece of code ) that can steal your IP address. That’s why it is better to use a spam filter and delete junk emails altogether from time to time.
- By landing your device to a friend.
In case you give a password to your computer to someone, they can easily find your IP address by typing on Google: What is my IP address? It will pop right away. Don’t give your personal computer to people you don’t trust.
- By joining a forum.
Joining a forum to share some ideas and ask a few questions is not dangerous, is it? The thing is that the forums’ administrator can easily identify your Internet Protocol address once you register and accept the website’s terms and conditions.
Most sites try to protect their users’ data. However, better safe than sorry – don’t post sensitive information about yourself on the Internet. You might change your name on the forum, but it will not help you to prevent data leaks.
- Though social media.
Who doesn’t use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter these days?
Although most social media sites will not reveal your IP address to other users, they can still collect it for their own benefits.
How to protect yourself from IP address hacking?
The good news is that it is possible to protect your privacy while browsing the web. The first and most important step is to create a unique, strong password on your device. That’s how you can be sure that your IP address won’t be decoded while you take a break and leave your computer for awhile.
It is recommended to use a password that is a mix of characters and numbers. Try to avoid common substitutions and memorable keyboard paths.
Secondly, start using a virtual private network (VPN) on a daily basis. You will be able to change IP address to another country-to-other-country/) and protect yourself from data leaks.
Another thing that you can do to protect yourself is to restrict all your apps. PC and mobile phone applications are considered a major source of hacking. When installing the apps, make sure to choose the private mode.
Other than that, be careful with opening unknown emails, especially the attachments to them.
Last but not least, consider adding an extra protective layer by getting the latest version of antivirus software.
The antivirus software can detect danger when you are browsing the Internet and intercept viruses before they do any harm to your files.
You should understand that good behavior on the web (not downloading pirated software or visiting fishy sites) will not protect you from hacking. That’s why having decent antivirus software is a must.
The bottom line
IP address hiking is nothing pleasant. These days, people lose their personal data all the time. If you don’t want to become a victim of a random IT guy, make sure to take necessary measures to protect yourself from IP address hacking.