Why getting a dedicated IP address for your business is a smart move

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Starting a new business is always exciting, as is taking your existing business to the next level. During day-to-day operations, you will likely have to make many decisions related to the security, operation, reputation, and management of your business.

Probably, getting a dedicated IP address for your business is not one of them. Few business leaders think about the importance of IP security and what not securing it can mean. Dropping the ball on this crucial element of online security can have significant consequences.

What is an IP address?

Short for Internet protocol address, an IP address is a string of numbers that connects a computer to a computer network for the means of communication. This address is both the network interface ID and the slot address. A network administrator assigns each device connected to a network an IP address. These can be permanent or dynamic, depending on the situation. In short, the function of an IP address is to identify the user and their location, creating a path from the network to the host.

There are various online tools that can help users find the geographic location of an IP address in their possession. For example, this IP search is used legitimately to help businesses understand who is visiting the site and how to better serve them. These tools can also determine if the traffic is a bot or a threat in some way, if an address is valid and in use, if a user is blacklisted, or if the user is using a proxy server. Many of them are extremely beneficial when used correctly by companies looking to grow their intelligence.

But not everyone who uses IP research tools has the best intentions, and in some cases it can end up in very problematic situations for everyone involved.

What can happen if you don’t protect your IP address?

A couple in rural Kansas found out the hard way in 2016 when they discovered that their personal IP address had been given to some 600 million people around the world, making them the favorite target of countless annoyed netizens.

James and Theresa Arnold successfully sued MaxMind for $75,000 plus costs in a 2016 lawsuit over allegations the company turned their lives into a “digital hell”. The Massachusetts-based company was found to have assigned Arnold’s IP address to internet users, causing any crimes committed from that address to be blamed on the unsuspecting farm family. The lawsuit was taken to court but was eventually resolved via an alternative dispute resolution solution in September 2017, despite being an accident.

The company had the good idea to collect as many IP addresses as possible and plot them on a map. They would then sell that to advertisers for a profit. The problem was that the IP addresses ended up being assigned to a pool of real addresses held by people with no connection to those internet usage addresses.

As a result, many calamities ensued with a constant influx of disgruntled people accusing locals of hacking, server overload, internet attacks, digital attacks, petty online disputes and more serious consequences involving mistaken identity. But this was not a one-time event, as the situation continued for many years. Ambulances, police, IRS, FBI, and those investigating cryptocurrency crimes all showed up looking for answers.

One day, even a broken toilet was thrown down their driveway, supposedly as some kind of message to the person they thought lived there.

Now imagine for a moment that this was your business. You could face irreparable damage to your reputation and a host of other issues that may be difficult to resolve. While it’s unlikely that a regular couple would opt for their own dedicated IP address, if the family in this example had done so, they wouldn’t have been inundated with nonsense for several years!

Considering a dedicated IP address for your business? Keep reading to find out why you should…

Why You Should Get a Dedicated IP Address

A dedicated IP address is completely exclusive to a single account or user. Shared IP addresses are more common and usually register many websites and users on a single server; thus, they all have the same address. Once a business receives a static/dedicated IP address, it is for their exclusive use and cannot be used anywhere else.

Having a dedicated IP address has many advantages. For example, it allows employees to securely connect to company files and resources. It also allows the company to control specific resources and sensitive data. This can be done by allowing access to certain IP addresses while restricting it to certain gateways and servers.

It also reduces the risk that you have your IP address blacklisted. With shared IP addresses, you run the risk of being tapped with the same brush for another user’s inappropriate behavior. This can prevent you from getting banned, your emails from ending up in spam or other problems. It can also protect your security and location privacy and prevent others from tracking you or your employees.

A dedicated IP address can also facilitate faster file transfer because you are not sharing the network connection with countless other people or sites. It also offers the possibility for the company to develop its own FTP to share files internally, offering even faster speeds and more security.

Last but not least, having your IP address for your business will improve email deliverability, which is essential if you are involved in media marketing. A shared IP address with a bad reputation can dramatically affect your delivery rate, with more of your emails going to spam. This can result in thousands of dollars wasted each year on emails that were sent but never seen by their recipient.

These are just a few of the reasons why you should consider getting a dedicated IP address for your business, regardless of size.

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