TMCnet Feature
July 13, 2021

4 Reasons Why You Should Know Your IP

Your IP address has a lot of information stored in it.  If you're unaware of what yours is and find yourself Googling 'what is my IP?' at random hours, you may not be entirely aware of what the use behind them even is.

Here are four things that you should know about your IP address and why it's better to keep it secret and not post it.

It Can Tell Others Where You Are

If you've ever visited a site, and it seemed to know what city you were from immediately: it's often because of your IP address.  Part of your address will reveal what city, zip code, state, or area code you're from.  Although some are vague, it depends on the device you're using and the internet service you use.  People can use this information to narrow down your location and tell what general area you live in.  If you're in a smaller town or zip code, this can be extraordinarily invasive since it's easier to find you.

It Can Trace Back To Criminals

Because of this ability to help people learn your location: this information can help track down those breaking the law.  Law enforcement can use IP addresses to know the location of a cybercriminal or someone who's harassing or stalking another person.  This extra step of security can be useful: except that criminals often abuse it.  Some lawbreakers will spoof or steal another internet user's IP address to try to pass off their crimes onto someone else.  It's a good idea to keep your IP address private and not share it with anyone.

It Can Inform People Who You Get Internet From

Your service provider may show up in your IP address, depending on the service.  This can further narrow down where you live if the wrong person gets this information if the service provider only works in certain parts of the city or zip code.  Although this may not seem like entirely personal or private information, it can complicate things for you if you're trying to keep your identity confidential online.

It’s Not Just For Computers

Computers aren’t the only things that have IP addresses.  Every item that connects to the internet has its IP address.  This means phones, cameras, printers, and even smart fridges have their own. In addition, some things that don't connect to the internet, but do receive Bluetooth, have IP addresses as well.  This means there are many ways to gather your information if you aren't careful to protect it.

Your IP address is like a direct route to you.  Although you don't have to protect that line and hide your identity if you don't think it matters, you should try to be careful. For example, avoid clicking any links from people you don't know and keeping your information private and safe from the public view.  If not, you might be setting yourself up for identity theft or for getting framed for cyber crimes you didn't commit.

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