Hacking incidents have become a major issue for people from all walks of life. The internet is home to hackers, scammers, and more, but you can protect yourself from these threats with the proper knowledge. It is an unfortunate reality that the digital space is not the harmless ecosystem we would like it to be.
Do you know how many cyberattacks take place every day? Well, for starters, while you are reading the article, thousands of cyberattacks have already been executed. And, sometimes, something as minor as an IP address can help perpetrators attack you. In other cases, your IP address is a detail advertisers and other online entities exploit. It might be for relatively benign purposes, like presenting you with nearby restaurants. However, this type of tracking is a part of a bigger problem.
This blog post will teach you everything you need to know about IP addresses and how hackers use them to access your computer or mobile device. You will also be able to understand what steps you can take to keep yourself safe online.
What Is an IP Address?
Before we go any further, it is crucial to understand what an IP address is and why it can be so dangerous.
An IP address is a unique set of numbers that identify devices on a network. IP is a series of digits separated by periods assigned to each device connected to the internet. If you have a phone or computer, then you also have an IP address that provides your device’s online identity.
This means that every time you open your web browser and visit a website, the site references your IP address to determine where in the world you are located. This helps it send relevant content back to you based on your location.
How Hackers Use Your IP Address to Their Advantage
As an IP address is unique to each device connected to the internet, it’s a way for entities to tell what devices you’re using as well as your location.
Moreover, there are many other activities that scammers perform using your IP address:
- Blocking you from websites. Hackers can block you from websites by blocking your IP address. It means that when you try to access any site, you’ll get a message saying it’s been blocked or there is something wrong with your internet connection.
- Hijacking online accounts. If they manage to change your DNS server, then they can manipulate which websites you visit. Instead of entering a reliable website, you might get redirected to a fake copycat.
- DDoS Attack. Distributed Denial of Service attacks are used by hackers to disrupt a host’s services connected to the internet. To perform a DDoS attack, they need a botnet, i.e., a network of devices infected with malware so that they send messages repeatedly until the host server is overloaded.
In addition, every device in the botnet can be accessed when hackers get your IP address, which means they can send commands to all infected machines at once. Therefore, this becomes an easy way for them to launch DDoS attacks with full force.
How To Protect Yourself from IP Address Scams?
Secure your IP address by blocking it from being seen. There are a few easy ways to do this, and you don’t have to stop using the internet for privacy purposes.
- Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It Is one of the best ways to hide your IP address. A VPN service will allow you to connect to a remote server and reroute all internet traffic through it. Thus, your IP address will change to the one belonging to the VPN server. The latter might be in any location you choose from the available options.
- Check Your Browser’s Privacy Settings. Ensure that your web browser has all its latest updates, including protecting HTTP sessions with SSL encryption, blocking cookies, etc. This will protect you against certain vulnerabilities in the future.
- Update Anti-Virus Software. Make sure you have updated anti-virus software on your computer or mobile device to keep scammers away from breaking into them through open ports or other access. If they find any, update your software right away to remove them from your device.
- Educate Yourself on the Dangers – The more you know about the threats, the less likely you will be scammed by hackers who use your IP address to their advantage. Keeping yourself educated also means that you’ll know how to respond accordingly. Therefore, you can act if a hacker breaks through and gains access to confidential information or personal data.
An IP address is not something new, and it cannot be taken lightly either. Protecting yourself with an efficient solution like a VPN service will ensure that your sensitive information remains safe with no chance of data theft or hack attacks.