Any device that can connect to the internet uses its own IP address. IP stands for Internet Protocol. These addresses are what make it possible for computers and devices located on different networks the ability to find each other online and connect simultaneously. While this is necessary for any internet-based activities to be completed, it’s not uncommon to find that most users of the internet have no idea what the IP address of their computer or device actually is. Additionally, most people do not know what IP addresses are good for or why they need to be protected.
What Is An IP Address Used For?
When you connect to the internet using an internet-enabled device, your IP address is necessary to tell other computers and devices on the internet where they can deliver the data you have requested to. In a way, your IP address is similar to your home or business address. When you own a business, it is important to know what your IP address is because it can reveal sensitive information about you.
The easiest pieces of information someone may get about you using your IP address include your country, city, province/state, zip code and even your physical location. In this case, you will have a different IP address when using your home network compared to using a network at your business.
It is also very easy to figure out who your internet service provider is by using your IP address. Each ISP is assigned a specific range a completely unique IP addresses to designate to its customers. Therefore, someone may be able to trace your IP address to your ISP and get access to your customer account. From there, they may be able to also find out your:
- •Phone Number
- •Home Address
- •Full Name
- •Credit History
- •Credit Card Number
- •Browsing History
- •And much more
IP Addresses Can Make Your Business Vulnerable
Any website you visit at your place of business can link your IP address to tracking software, cookies and other sensitive pieces of information. Hackers could use this information to find out who you communicate with, what your interests are and the types of online services you use. They will then use this information to target you with unwanted ads or sell your data to any company that may want your private information. As a business owner, it is important to protect your IP address so that you are not vulnerable to attacks or putting your identity at risk.
Private vs. Public IP Addresses
There are two main types of internet protocol addresses. They are public IP addresses and private IP addresses. The Internet Engineering Task Force has a pool of reusable IP addresses set aside to be used for individual networks. They are only relevant to local areas and corporate networks.
Generally, these IP addresses begin with the following numbers:
In order to communicate across the internet, computers and devices need to use public IP addresses. Each of these addresses is globally unique. This means that no two IP addresses can be the same while connecting to the internet. Within your Windows settings, you can look up your IP address configuration information. The results will often return your private IP address. This private address cannot be reached through the internet. In order for a business or private party to determine their public IP address assigned to them by their internet service provider, they will have to use an online service such as the one found at https://www.hotspotshield.com/what-is-my-ip/.
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