The world is connected. Most of us have quick access to the internet and things are good.
Although the internet has become mainstream, a lot of us are still unaware of an IP address and what it means. Even though a few of us know what it is, they don’t know the kind of information that an IP address can reveal.
This is why we are here to fill the gaps. In this article, we will have a deeper look at what is meant by IP address and what information it can reveal.
Let’s get started.
What is an IP Address?
Basically, an IP address is an online unique identifier that helps your computer in getting identified. It is through this identifier that computers are able to connect among themselves and share data.
According to the IPv4 protocol, a standard IP address contains four individual numbers that are separated by a decimal. For instance, a sample IP address could look like 188.8.131.52.
Quite predictably, an IP address gets these numbers on the basis of certain parameters and this is why your IP address could reveal a lot of information about you.
What Sort Of Personal Information Can Your IP Address Reveal?
The most and personal kind of information that your IP address can reveal is your location. For instance, if you send an email from your office, someone can easily track your city from which it was sent. Do not believe us? Try ip2location! Although it is a bit tough to access any other granular information about you, it is not impossible.
They can also see the information related to your internet service provider and this might reveal the area of your router, but they might still not be able to extract the exact street address. But nothing is impossible!
Everything Is Possible…
Nothing is impossible, perhaps because hackers are smart and they know what they are doing. Although an IP address alone can’t reveal a lot of information, onlookers can analyze your online activity associated with a particular IP address to reach concrete conclusions. They can stick the collected information altogether and can track you.
A study was conducted by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner’s Office to analyze what information an IP address can reveal. The researchers used a search engine to find details about the people who used the IP address of their own network. They worked by finding the IP address of a person who edited a Wikipedia entry and used this IP to extract all kinds of information – the Wikipedia entries he had edited. They were even able to find that the person visited an online message board related to sexual preferences.
This is just one piece of study that was conducted. It is not difficult to conclude that you can easily be exploited by third-parties and hackers through your IP address.
It goes without saying that a person’s IP address can reveal more about them than they could ever imagine.
So, What’s The Fix?
Although the scenario is a bit scary, especially when you don’t want to leave digital footprints, you can still do your little bit by using proxy servers.
Proxy servers are an ideal solution to remain anonymous and secure on the web. A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your computer and the destination server such that every request made by your computer first passes through the proxy.
In this whole process, the IP address of your computer remains hidden, and only the IP of your proxy is revealed. This is an ideal way to circumvent geoblocking. If you want to access certain websites but are unable to due to your location, a proxy server can help.
Additionally, a proxy server can also help you in browsing the web anonymously, negating targeted attacks, protecting from hackers and the likes. What’s more, a proxy server doesn’t harm you in anyway. It doesn’t eat your bandwidth and slow down your connection. Instead, it streamlines your online experience. Want to learn more about secure proxies? Check out Oxylabs blog post on private proxies, where they go into detail on how they work in terms of privacy online.
The Wrap Up
As is evident, an IP address is an important string of alphanumeric characters and can reveal a lot of information about you. You can take things into your hands and protect the beans from getting spilled.
Use a proxy server, ideally a paid one because of the quality services that it offers, and browse the web anonymously.
What are your views on this? How do you ensure your safety and security online? Let us know in the comments below.