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How Your IP Address Could Lead Anyone to Your Front Door

You

You probably don't think too much about your IP address, but maybe it's time you did.

Most people (and maybe you) know their IP address is an digital address of some sort that helps the Internet deliver content to your computer.

And perhaps you know that 99% of the time, no one else knows or cares to know what your IP address is.

But there's more you need to know.

See, your IP address is something like a beacon on the Internet.


Your IP address is like a beacon on the Internet

Your IP address gives websites, and people that you have connected with online, more than just a number—more than your IP address.

It also gives them the ability to trace that IP address back towards you if they wanted to.

To be clear, they can trace it back to your geographical location.

Okay. It's likely that 99% of the time no one (and no websites) are running your IP address through an IP lookup site to see where you're located.

But you'll never know if it does happen one percent of time, five percent, or more.

Here's the point:

Anyone can find out where you are.

Even though a website, or even a person (maybe some acquaintance you once sent an email too) can't find your home address from your IP address, they most definitely could get a clear picture of where you are.

• Even if you don't tell them what city you're in, they could use your IP address to get an idea of where you're connecting from.

• Even if you only contacted them once, they can analyze your IP address anytime after that...it doesn't need to be in real time.

• Even if you didn't make a transaction of any kind with the site, they could still capture, analyze and trace your IP address back to your network.

It's perfectly legal, yet most people aren't even aware of this.

Are you?

Is this all hype, or fact?

You could be thinking this is just an exaggeration to scare you.

Well, here's a true story that illustrates firsthand what we're talking about.

Recently an office manager (we'll call him John) decided to see what would happen if he analyzed his own IP address on WhatIsMyIPaddress.com. He shared his story with us.

I know all about WhatIsMyIPaddress.com, but hadn't explored the geolocation aspect of it—the map that drops a pinpoint on where the Internet says I am. I wanted to see how precise that might be. So, on the map on the homepage, I clicked on ‘Show me more about my IP.' And on the next screen, I clicked ‘Update my Location.' What I saw—and realized—sent a chill down my spine.

As I zoomed in as close as it would go, the map become a Google Earth image. And I the image I saw on my laptop screen was a satellite view of the kitchen window of my condo! And my street name was visible on the map too. Not my address, but the map was definitely where I lived. I was a little startled, and then it hit me—anyone who knew my home IP address had the ability to see the same map. I could imagine someone knocking at my door who tracked me (or my wife!) just by knowing my IP address.

Here's the bottom line...

It radically changed how John looked at his IP address. It also changed the way he used the Internet at home and when traveling.

When privacy hits close to home.

Here's why the geolocation aspect of your IP address is important.

Most people use the Internet from just a few locations, primarily at home.

  • You shop mostly from home
  • You send emails to friends mostly from home
  • You game or join chatrooms and forums from home

With a simple device (that someone can find on Amazon) a stranger or criminal can peer inside your home through the front door peephole!

That means the majority of your online activity is probably coming from your home IP address—the IP address that could be traced back very close to you. Maybe even your kitchen window.

I can guess what you might be thinking:

"Who wants to know where I am anyway?"

The true answer is, "who knows?" That's not meant to be cute.

There's just no way of knowing who is running your IP address through any type of IP lookup service. It could be your bank, your real estate agent, or a tech-savvy teenager who's also a hacker.

However, one thing is clear...

It is possible to be traced by someone—a stalker, an investigator or even a criminal—via your IP address. And that clever stranger might just wind up right at your door.

Also, if a person (hopefully not you!) were going online and doing something illegal (according to the laws in place wherever you are in the world), a law enforcement or government agency might seek legal permission to contact your Internet Service Provider for information.

With a subpoena in hand, investigators would ask the ISP to provide the online account holder's name and address.

The ISP would have no choice but to provide it for them.

Thankfully, for just about everyone that's an extreme case.

But don't feel too safe quite yet.

You must admit, it's unsettling news to know that anyone who has captured your IP address in the past can come close to zeroing in on your front door, depending on where you live.

Here's some good news:

You can stop IP trackers cold, if you know how.

Keep Out

Hide your real IP address. Hide your real location.

Wouldn't it be great if you could somehow pull the "old switcheroo" and go online with a different IP address—an IP address that, when anybody tried to trace it, would send them off to some other location, miles from where you actually are?

Guess what? You can.

Here are a few ways you can do that:

Use the Internet away from home. Go to the library or the local coffee bar. You'll have a different IP address. The drawback: It still close to home and public networks aren't always safe from other eavesdroppers.

Use the Tor network. Tor is an entirely different kind of network that is free and available to all. The drawback: It doesn't offer great security and there are some very odd characters in some corners of Tor.

Use a proxy. They're a touch old-fashioned and tricky to use, but a proxy hides your actual IP address. The drawback: Many websites block proxy access.

VPN Man!

Here's the best way to hide your public IP address.

Go online and sign up for a Virtual Private

Network (VPN) account.

A VPN is a service that redirects your Internet requests through a secure "tunnel" that is hacker proof. But more importantly, a VPN service assigns your live connection a different IP address, then reroutes your Internet request to the world.

Here's why using a Virtual Private Network is a good thing:

  1. No person or website you connect with knows your actual IP address...which your VPN masks for you when you are online.
  2. You can use your VPN at home, at hotels and airports, and especially at free Wi-Fi hot spots with unsecured networks.

Is it hard to find a good VPN?

Nope. We'll help you out.

Click below and you can sign up with a top VPN provider right now. It's fast, safe and easy.

And once you do, you can stop worrying about strange people potentially showing up at your front door.

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