Hackers tend to focus on large corporations; there is more of a challenge and more reward if they are after monetary gain.
However, no computer system is out of bounds when it connects to the internet. Besides, it can be easier than you think for people to hack into your device.
Hackers can be sat there thinking; I have your IP address; my computer can easily get in and take a look. (Learn How to Hide IP Address)
IP addresses are required to give your device identity while on the internet, and it tells other computers the way back to send data and information to user requests.
While IPs are needed for every device with a connection, it does leave you vulnerable to a lack of privacy. In our guide, you can learn more about how do IP addresses work and how you can best hide from hackers or someone else who intrudes on your privacy with a VPN.
Can Someone Hack You If They Know Your IP Address?
If your IP address is known to others, they can try to get a connection directly to your computer. Each system uses a large number of ports, which allow connections to different devices or services.
For each IP address a hacker knows, they could try a brute-force attack using open ports to gain access.
Furthermore, you could find your computer taken over, and they use your IP address to add you to a botnet, or even use your IP address for targeted ads, scams, identity theft, and more.
Is it OK to Give Out Your IP Address?
Generally speaking, there is little reason you should need to hand out your personal IP address. Regular users can’t use your IP address for anything.
Besides this, if you are inside a router, you will have an IP from your network. You would need to know how to find your address.
It is worth noting, every time you turn off a computer running on a network, the internal IP and possible ports will change and keep renewing.
Whatsmyipaddress is a handy website to show your external IP address, and it shows how easy it is for anyone to see IP addresses on the internet.
To see your internal IP address, you can right-click on your start button and select ‘Powershell’ in the menu. In the window, type ‘ipconfig,’ and you can see all your related network information.
What Can Someone Do With My IP Address?
It is better to know how your IP works and how you might be exposed. Every device on a network or internet has its own IP addresses. They all need these to send an email, use social media, and any other activity you need access to.
Many on the internet claim IP addresses disclose user identities online, yet this might not be true.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean hackers might ignore your device or won’t like to try and find a way in. Some hackers might try to do this for fun and crash your network in the process using a ‘denial of service’ (DOS) attack.
Ports are used in TCP/IP for enabling programs to communicate with networks. Every IP will have assigned ports, which act as a backdoor. A hacker can get inside, yet in many cases, they can’t go much further.
A system firewall should effectively protect you and stop anyone trying to access your personal computer.
The ways someone can find your IP address are:
- Torrenting: When you download content from torrent sites, every member of the swarm can see your IP address on the list of peers.
- Lending Your Device: If somebody borrows or uses your computer, they can find out what your IP address is using the methods mentioned previously
- From Emails: When you send somebody an email, they could check the message header, including your IP address.
- Clicking Links: When you click a link, you give out your IP, the destination websites know your IP address, and where to send a reply. If you pass through a proxy server, this can record your IP.
What Can A Hacker Do With IP?
Hackers can use the IP of someone for all manner of things. When online, your personal information will be safe and isn’t clearly visible to someone.
However, with a little digging, they could find more information on your device.
Here are more of the things someone could do if they like to be hacking into devices.
- IP addresses show the city location you are in. If they narrowed this down and said on social media you were off on holiday, your home may be unattended, and they know they can pay a visit.
- If a criminal gains access, they might install malware. This can expose your IP and, much worse to divulge your information while you innocently browse websites.
- IPs are the property of ISPs. An ISP can see exactly what is happening from each IP assigned to users. When connected to a work network, employers could potentially track all that you do while at work.
- Hackers can cause harm you with DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. A DDoS attack uses armies of computers that are under their control. They can flood networks or websites to crash them.
- If you’re not a victim, you could well be part of the army of computers that keep sending these requests.
- Hackers can use hacked IP addresses to download illegal content; if this is yours, it could leave you vulnerable until you prove otherwise.
How To Hide IP Addresses
The best way for people to stay well protected with their data and hide IP addresses is to use one of the better VPN services you can find. A VPN will swap your IP address with one from the server you are connecting to.
It can be nearly impossible for anyone knowing your real IP address when you use a VPN, as all your data is encrypted with the highest security levels.
The number of attempts it could take to crack this related security runs into millions of tries and years.
Furthermore, for even further privacy, you can quickly change to a VPN server in another location or country when online.
You can still browse the web, yet anyone trying to get your information, wouldn’t know your location or the IP address to connect with.
Running a virtual private network on your computer is so good, it can even protect your data from your ISP recording and retaining your online activities.
If you wish, you could torrent or stream, or do what you like online. VPNs keep your IP address and what you do online on the web private from your ISP or anyone else.