The average person who’s been on the internet within the last ten years knows the term ‘IP address,’ yet many aren’t sure what this address is or what it means. Unfortunately, this can be a key to finding out a lot of information about you or could allow criminals to frame you if you’re not careful with who has this information.
These are the top things to know about IP addresses and how they work!
What Is an IP Address
An IP address is an identifier that allows information to be sent between multiple devices on a network. This contains location information and information on your network and allows your devices to communicate. The average piece of technology in your home won’t keep the same IP address forever! These automatically reset or change over time so that you don’t have to worry about protecting the same one for the whole five to ten years you have a computer.
What Items Have IP Addresses?
Every item that connects to the internet has an IP address. This could lead you to ask ‘what is my IP address?’ about things ranging from smartphones to smart refrigerators, but the information can still be useful regardless of the device. Our computers and our phones are the main devices that we use that have these addresses. You can quickly find yours by going to settings, clicking on your wifi network, and reading the IP address listed.
What Happens if Someone Else Has It?
If someone has your IP address, there’s a lot they can do to get you in trouble. From DoS, where they block you from getting online to spoofing your IP address while they illegally download materials or even some who will make threats to public institutions or governments while using your IP address, they can do a lot. There’s even a market for these on the dark web since people can use them to gather whatever information they want about you and can give themselves a fake online identity.
How Can I Protect Myself?
There are a few ways to protect yourself, and the main one is behavioral change. This means you have to be aware of any links you click, places you go shopping online, or any information you give out to strangers.
A great way to do this is to use a VPN since it will give you a false IP address that’s harder to steal and trace back to you. Most of these services aren’t free, so it can cost you a monthly subscription, but many say it’s worth it to be able to go online every day and feel safe.
IP Addresses Need to be Secured
You deserve to feel safe online. Whether you love surfing the web to shop, or you adore going online to connect with your loved ones, you deserve the chance to be able to use the internet stress-free. Get to know the ways to protect yourself, and give your IP address the opportunity to be safe and secret.