Have you ever shared your email id or mobile number on the website? If yes, while sharing these details, you have indirectly shared your IP address. It is the IP address on which the internet works. When hackers, internet service providers, advertisers or any other agencies what to know your online activities, they track your IP address. This single thing can reveal a lot of things about you, for example, your location. Now just imagine, someone has tracked your location and has kept an eye on you. That person can attack you anytime when you are alone or can hack your system to get important information.
You need to keep your IP address protected while browsing the internet. Check if your IP address is protected by using ExpressVPN’s IP checker, and see if your real IP address is revealed. Now, let’s know more about it by understanding what an IP address is and what type of information it can reveal.
What is an IP address?
In simple words, the IP address is an identifier that lets all the information to be sent between various devices on the internet. Just like your home address, your IP address includes location information. It is not a random address and produced mathematically and provided by IANA- Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. You can consider this as a digital language. An IP address can have two different standards, i.e., Internet Protocol Version 4 and 6, (IPv4 and IPv6).
Why everyone has a unique IP address?
It may be noted that your IP address is not an identity on the internet. It is like a unique address that is assigned to a particular network card. As you know, the internet is a huge network, anything on it comes with a unique address, and the IP address works as their identity. So, your internet router is on the internet, and it comes with its own unique IP address. Besides, the IP address can vary based on your internet service providers.
How do the IP addresses work?
When you go online to browse something, you are accessing the network, connected to the internet or one that offers you access to the internet. Maybe that is connecting to the ISP (Internet Service Provider) that you have at your home. To carry out this successfully, your computer utilizes internet protocol. The IP address here works as a virtual return address and makes the connection.
What does your IP Address reveal about you?
Case 1: Phone number and email address
Most of the sites ask for your mobile number and email address to log in their website. When you submit the data, it stores on the internet.
Problem and consequences: The hackers by hacking your IP address can obtain your contact and email details. Then they can use it in illegal ways. They can send emails using your email id, making you a criminal. Besides, they can know other things like name associated with that email id, services connected with email id like Gmail or LinkedIn and all your documents as well as internet activity
Case 2: Location
Your IP address reveals your geolocation. You might have noticed that when you visit some sites, you can see your IP address with the country name. This is not a good thing at all. Besides, it can also leak information about the hosting and ISP service provider.
Problem and consequences: The attackers, using advanced technology, can detect the country, state, or city in which you are living. They use it to decide if your property is a worthy target to attack. They can keep an eye on you and steal the things when you are not in the house. Sometimes, this can lead to more serious consequences like kidnapping or terrorist attacks.
Case 3: Browsing history
The Internet Service Provider can store the list of the websites that you have visited, and they also store the metadata of the users that may contain the physical address, credit card, phone number, name, and much more information.
Problem and Consequences: Using the IP address, criminals can directly attack the network and steal all the personal data. Then can use your credit card details to transfer your money to their account. Besides, they can download illegal content, like pirated moves, pornography content using your IP address.
It is true that without an IP address, you can’t use the internet, but you should be very careful about revealing your IP address. The best thing you can do is to use a VPN service to hide your IP address. Furthermore, whenever you visit any site, make sure that it has SSL encryption technology to keep your data encrypted. Remember that, by protecting your IP address, you are protecting your identity.