An Internet protocol (IP) address is the information anyone can use to identify you online. Your internet service provider (ISP) sets your IP address every time you connect to the internet. That means you are always identifiable to hackers, governments and any other tech-savvy users. If you are wondering what can someone do with your IP address, you should read this article.
How to see my IP address?
There are numerous ways to find our your IP address. To see your IP address:
This page provides your IP address. Other sites might give more information about your location, the browser you are using and device info. Some might show your ISP, too.
IP addresses are registered on various publicly available databases. Anyone can see your IP when you connect to their websites and online services. For example, a friend might send you a link to a picture hosted on their server. As soon as you see the picture, the person will know your IP address. Then, they can use your IP to do all of the following, and more.
Someone can use your IP to see your location
This is an easy thing to do, and most websites do this automatically. All IP addresses are attached to their countries. This might be helpful when you visit a site from Germany, and the site provides content to you in German. BUT, when you are dealing with suspicious people online and they find out which city you live in, it becomes dangerous.
If you announce you are leaving for holiday and criminals detect your IP address, they can look for your house and rob it. Governments and hackers can attack or arrest you.
Someone can use your IP to hack your device
If someone knows your IP address, they can try to connect to your device directly. Every device uses ports, that allow various services to connect to it. There are tens of thousands of ports for every IP address, and a hacker who knows your IP can try to brute-force a connection. Once they succeed, hackers can take control of your device, steal your data or even impersonate you.
Some bad actors might add your device to a botnet, use your IP for targeted advertising, scams, identity theft and more.
Someone can impersonate you with your IP address
Your IP address might give away your ISP. A con-artist that knows your Facebook name can then call up your provider and try to impersonate you. It is easier than it sounds, as demonstrations have shown telecom operators as very susceptible targets. Afterwards you might get your identity stolen in a matter of hours.
How to hide your IP address
The easiest way to hide an IP address is to use a proxy server
. A proxy server is an intermediary between your device and the internet. There are numerous types of proxies, but only anonymous proxies
hide your information from the server you are connecting to.
If you want to find out more about what is a proxy and how they are used by billions of users every day, read our blog