According to reports, cybercrime rates have increased by 600% since the start of the pandemic. An integral part of online security is keeping your IP address unexposed. Hackers can use it to hack into your devices, track your web activity, or even stalk you. Keep reading to learn more about the dangers of letting someone get your IP address and what you can do to prevent it from happening!
What is an IP address?
Every device connected to the Internet has an IP address. The abbreviation is short for an “internet protocol address”. This is how your device communicates with the rest of the virtual world. This is how you exchange data online, including sending emails, browsing websites, and other internet activity.
The IP address has the format “xxxx”. Each “x” represents a number, and it is your device’s unique internet identifier. Considering that it is unique, it only belongs to this gadget. But what if someone gets your IP address?
Here’s what they could do:
- Discover your location. It will not reveal your exact location but will show your city and country.
- Track your web activity. This is a huge privacy and security risk.
- Hack your device. Someone could infect it with malware or use DOS (denial of service) attacks to stop it.
- Use it for malicious activities. Whether they are impersonating you or trying to download illegal content online, they could misuse your IP address for malicious transactions.
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 cybersecurity awareness while browsing the web. One wrong move could reveal your IP address, and here’s how!
Your email : The hacker might scam you by sending them an email. If you do this, they can access your IP address. Some providers, such as Outlook and Yahoo Mail, publicly display the sender’s IP address in the email header. But even if they don’t, special analyzers could reveal the desired information in seconds.
Torrent files: Each torrent has seeds and peers. Seeders are people who upload files and make them available for download. The peers download the desired files, but the trick is that their IP addresses are visible. This allows hackers to collect yours and potentially misuse it.
Phishing attacks: Phishing is a popular scam option on the Internet where hackers falsely present themselves as someone else. This can be a bank or any other institution you do business with on a regular basis. Their goal is to collect sensitive information. And even if they don’t receive your credit card or login credentials, just click on their link to give your IP address.
Online ads: You might find an online ad appealing, so you click on it. In the best-case scenario, you share your IP address with advertising companies, helping them learn more about your preferences. And the worst case is that the hackers are behind the advertisement and they have other plans with your IP address.
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What if someone has your IP address?
Do not panic, but change your IP address as soon as possible. This is the only thing you can do since you cannot retrieve your address. Some providers will assign a new address if you unplug your router for three minutes and then plug it back into the computer.
If you have administrative privileges on your account, you can enter your network properties and get a new IP address. The process varies, so it may be best to consult your ISP. They can assign you a new IP address upon request.
Does AVPN hide my IP address?
Yes, the VPN hides your IP address. Plus, it’s the safest and easiest way to maximize Data protection when browsing the Internet. The VPN will direct all of your Internet activity through the chosen server. Instead of using your IP address, it will use the one linked to this server. It ensures that there is no danger to anyone in the area you are browsing from or any other online activity details.
How can I prevent 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 you can use to improve privacy while browsing the web:
Enable a firewall. Most operating systems come with a built-in firewall. This feature blocks unrecognized traffic to improve device security.
Use mobile data instead of public Wi-Fi. Shared and public networks pose a privacy risk. If you change mobile data, you get a new IP address for each session. It’s safer and ensures that no one can abuse the public hotspot to collect your private information.
- Be careful when browsing the web. You should not click on suspicious links, open messages from unknown senders, etc. Carefully manage cookies and clear cookies and internet history regularly.
- Adjust the router password. Keeping the default password is risky and there are ways to strengthen it.
- Don’t let anyone else use your device. Even if they are your friends, at least be around and monitor their activity.
The fact that someone knows your IP address is not automatically a threat. But if it ends up in the wrong hands, it could pose a privacy risk or expose you to potential cyberattacks. Understand how to protect your IP address and maximize internet privacy is an integral part of cybersecurity. Be sure to use a VPN and follow other tips to prevent hackers from discovering your IP address!