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What Can Someone Do With Your IP Address? 7 Things to Know

what can someone do with your ip address

Your IP address, the unique identifier assigned to your device on a network, can reveal more about you than you might realize. When someone gains access to your IP address, they can track your online activities, monitor your browsing habits, and even gather data for targeted advertising. 

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Moreover, it can be used to identify your approximate geographic location, potentially compromising your privacy and security. Malicious individuals can exploit your IP address for network attacks, such as DDoS attacks or hacking attempts.

To protect yourself from these risks, it’s crucial to understand the threats and adopt effective security measures. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various ways someone can exploit your IP address and provide practical tips on safeguarding yourself from potential threats. Read on to learn how to keep your IP address safe!

This is What Can Someone Do With Your IP Address:

  1. Discover Personal Information and Approximate Location
  2. Track Your Online Activities
  3. Send Personalized Spam
  4. Execute a DDoS Attack
  5. Block You From Playing Online Games and Accessing Sites
  6. Install Malware
  7. Use Your IP For Illegal Activities

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What Is an IP Address?

Before I go into more detail, let’s go over the basics to understand what an IP address is and how it works. An IP address, short for Internet Protocol address, is a unique numerical identifier assigned to each device connected to a computer network. It serves as a means of identification and communication between devices on the Internet.

An IP consists of a series of numbers separated by periods, such as It acts as a virtual address, allowing devices to send and receive data across networks using the Internet protocol.

IP addresses are essential for enabling communication between devices on the Internet. They facilitate the routing of data packets across networks, ensuring that information reaches its intended destination. Without IP addresses, devices would be unable to connect, browse the web, or engage in online activities.

In this sense, every device will have two IP addresses, a public and a private IP address. A public IP address is a globally unique identifier assigned to devices connected to the Internet. 

A private IP address, on the other hand, is used within private networks and is not publicly routable. A private IP allows devices to communicate within a local private network, while a public  IP address enables Internet connectivity.

Read next: VPN with Dedicated IP Address

How Can I See My Own IP Address?

Method 1

It’s very straightforward to find out your IP address. To see your IP address, you can follow these steps:

  1. On a computer or mobile device, ensure that you are connected to the Internet.
  1. Open a web browser of your choice, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari.
What is My IP Address typed into browser search with incognito window
  1. In the address bar of the web browser, type “What is my IP” or “IP address” and press Enter.
What is my IP address search result on Google
  1. Several websites will display your IP address on their webpage. Look for a result that shows your IP address.

Method 2

Alternatively, you can also follow these steps:

  1. Open the settings or network preferences on your device.
Windows Network Status settings
  1. Look for the Ethernet network or Wi-Fi settings and select the network you are currently connected to.
Windows Ethernet settings
  1. Within the network settings, you should find an option that displays the IP associated with your device.
Windows Network settings properties

If you want to find out your IP on a Mac, select System Preferences. In the System Preferences tab, choose the network you’re using,  and select TCP/IP in the Advanced tab to see your address.

For iOS and Android devices, you can navigate to the IP settings tab (or simply the device’s settings tab), depending on which system and device you’re using.

What Information Do IP Addresses Hold?

IP addresses are more than just numerical identifiers. They hold specific information about devices connected to a network. IP addresses hold the following type of data:

  • Network and Subnet Information — IP addresses reveal the network and subnet to which a device belongs, aiding in routing data packets.
  • Geolocation Data — IP addresses can provide approximate geographic information, such as the city or region where a device is located.
  • Internet Service Provider — IP addresses can indicate the ISP responsible for assigning the address to a device, offering insights into the network’s origin.
  • Device Type — Certain IP address ranges are specifically assigned to different types of devices, allowing for the identification of device categories like routers or servers.
  • User’s Activities and Interests — Lastly, an IP address can reveal the user’s online interests, the sites they visit, and any online services they might be registered to.

How Can People Find Your Real IP Address?

Attackers can get your IP address through a number of methods. Here are some of the most common ways a hacker can get your real IP:

By Tracking Sites You Visit

Every time you visit any site on the world wide web, the web server has access to your IP address. The server owner can transparently see your IP. With that in mind, if the server belongs to a malicious user, they can exploit this data for personal gain.

By Your Torrenting Activities

When you’re using torrenting clients, you’re sharing your IP with everyone else downloading the same file simultaneously. In some cases, malicious users and hackers can also be present among the torrenting peers, looking to steal the IPs of other torrenters.

By Phishing Emails

Some email services still display IP addresses in emails in 2024. Needless to say, you should avoid such services, as they serve your IP on a platter for attackers to exploit. Moreover, even if your email service doesn’t display your IP, you should be wary of phishing attacks. Using phishing attacks, hackers can expose your IP and other sensitive information.

By Borrowing or Hijacking Your Device

The crudest way someone can get your IP is simply by borrowing your device for a few seconds. They just need to go to the device settings to see both the device’s IP address and the public IP of the network. However, it’s quite hard nowadays to hijack or take over your device.

By Leveraging Social Media

Many social media platforms store personally identifiable information and user data, including IPs. Anyone who gains access to the platform’s server logs can see this valuable information and use it against you.

What Can Someone Do With Your IP Address?

Knowing the ways how attackers can get a hold of your IP, it’s also essential to know what they can do with it. When it comes to this, the consequences range from minor annoyances to damaging security breaches and even legal implications.

Here are some of the most common examples of what attackers might do with your IP address:

Discover Personal Information and Approximate Location 

If someone has your IP, they can pinpoint your approximate location. While this alone isn’t enough to give them your home address or real name, it could be the first clue the attacker needs to get a hold of personally identifiable information.

With your IP, a hacker can potentially draft a more precise attack that could help them obtain more personal details, such as your mailing address, name, phone number, or even your Social Security Number.

Track Your Online Activities

As your IP is your unique identifier in the online world, anyone who has access to your work or home network can see what you do online. Many attackers use this to develop detailed profiles of unsuspecting users before selling this information on the dark web to whoever offers them more money.

Send Personalized Spam

Targeted online ads are getting more pervasive with each passing year. Advertisers can embed tracking programs in online articles that record your IP. They can then use your browsing history “against you” and send you targeted spam based on your activity and location.

Execute a DDoS Attack

A Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS) is a common form of IP exploitation attack. This is when attackers flood your network connection using a network of controlled computers. Hackers can target both individuals and companies with these attacks, often as a form of blackmail, to earn quick and easy money.

Block You From Playing Online Games and Accessing Sites

If a service provider wants you off the platform, they can issue an IP ban. They can restrict access to your favorite online games, block you from using social media services and messaging apps, restrict access to streaming sites, and more. While this is certainly not as detrimental as a DDoS attack or Swatting, it can still be very annoying and ruin your online experience.

Install Malware

In some cases, hackers can use your IP to exploit potential vulnerabilities and find an opening. With enough time and effort, they can steal any valuable information on your device or lock up your device in a ransomware attack. They can install malware or viruses to slow down your device and use its resources.

Use Your IP For Illegal Activities

Lastly, hackers can use your IP address for unlawful activities. For example, they can engage in activities that can get you in trouble with the law. They can also hide behind your IP to download or stream illegal content, which can lead to fines that you would have to pay, as your ISP will see your IP address behind those activities.

How To Protect Your IP Address

Although malicious online users and identity thieves can exploit your IP address in many ways, there are also several actions you can take to protect your IP address and stay safe. Here are the best tips for protecting an IP address:

Keep Your Firewall Updated

VPN Tunnel

Keeping your firewall active and updated is crucial for protecting your IP address and enhancing your overall cybersecurity. A firewall acts as a vital line of defense by serving as a barrier between your device and external networks, including the Internet. It monitors and controls network traffic, allowing authorized connections while blocking unauthorized or potentially malicious ones.

By filtering incoming and outgoing Internet traffic, the firewall helps prevent unauthorized access to your IP address. Suspicious or malicious connections are blocked, preventing any potential compromise of your IP address and protecting your device from unauthorized intrusion attempts.

Update Your Router

WiFi devices

Updating your router is an important measure in maintaining the security of your IP address and protecting your overall network. When you update your router, you benefit from several important factors that contribute to IP address safety.

One key aspect of updating your router is the installation of security patches. Software updates often include fixes for known vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the router’s firmware or software. 

These vulnerabilities can be exploited by malicious actors to gain access to your network and potentially expose your router’s IP address. Regularly applying updates ensures that these security flaws are addressed, reducing the risk of your IP address being compromised.

With each update, manufacturers release improvements to the router’s security features, enhancing its ability to detect and block unauthorized access attempts. These updates bolster the router’s firewall capabilities and create a barrier that shields your IP address from external threats.

Additionally, don’t use a default password for your router and all your devices. Use secure and unique passwords and make sure to update them occasionally to minimize the chance of anyone branching your security.

Use Proxy Servers


A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your device and the Internet. When you connect to a website or online service through a proxy server, the server relays your requests on your behalf, making it appear as if the requests are coming from the proxy server’s IP address rather than your own. This process hides your real IP address from the website or service you are accessing.

By masking your IP address, it can offer some level of anonymity and protect your identity. It can help prevent websites from directly tracking your online activity back to your original IP address. This can be particularly useful if you want to access geo-restricted content or browse the web privately.

That said, it’s important to note that the level of protection provided by a proxy server depends on its configuration and the trustworthiness of the server itself. That’s why, if you want stronger protection, I always recommend using a VPN service. This leads me to the final and best tip.

Use a Virtual Private Network

NordVPN Threat Protection settings inside the app

A VPN service offers several key advantages in protecting your IP address and enhancing your online anonymity. When you connect to a VPN server, it creates a secure and encrypted tunnel for your online traffic. 

This encryption prevents unauthorized individuals, including your ISP, from monitoring your online activities and accessing your IP address. By encrypting your web traffic, a VPN ensures that your IP address remains hidden and inaccessible to prying eyes.

Additionally, a VPN masks your IP address by replacing it with a new IP address of the server you connect to. When you browse the Internet or use online services, websites only see the new IP address you received from the VPN, effectively concealing your true IP address. This IP address masking adds an extra layer of privacy, making it challenging for anyone to trace your online activities back to your IP address.

Furthermore, a VPN enhances allows you to choose the server location from which your Internet traffic appears to originate. By selecting a server in a different country, you can make it appear as if you are browsing from that location and keep your actual location private.

Using a VPN is particularly beneficial when connecting to public networks. Public hotspots are often insecure, making it easier for hackers or snoopers to intercept your data and expose your IP address. By using a VPN on public Wi-Fi, your Internet connection is encrypted and secured, preventing others on the same network from seeing your IP address or monitoring your online activities.

NordVPN – The Best VPN For Protecting Your IP Address

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NordVPN is the top pick for VPN users who want nothing but the best-performing VPN to protect their IP and online identity. NordVPN has outstanding privacy features, a zero-logs policy, and a massive server network.

The service has a Threat Protection feature that blocks malicious websites, ads, and trackers, as well as identifies files infected with malware. Another great feature is its Double VPN tool, which routes your traffic through two VPN servers, encrypting your data twice.

NordVPN offers you the opportunity of getting a dedicated IP address. This static IP address will only be used by you, so you don’t have to worry about it getting blocked by any site or service because of someone else’s online activity. 

What Can Someone Do With Your IP – Key Takeaways For Keeping Your IP Address Private

Understanding the potential risks associated with your IP address is crucial for keeping it private and secure. When someone has access to your IP address, they can potentially engage in various activities that may compromise your online privacy and security.

Luckily, there are many ways to minimize the chance of this happening. The most effective one is to use a reliable VPN that encrypts your traffic and masks your IP address. Additionally, employ firewalls, regularly update your software and devices, exercise caution when sharing personal information on online forums, and stay vigilant against suspicious activities or requests. 

By implementing these measures, you can significantly enhance the protection of your IP address and maintain your online privacy. And, if you’re looking for a top VPN that can do all of this, I recommend NordVPN as the best VPN for safeguarding your IP address.

IP Address Protection and Risks FAQs

Does a VPN hide my IP address from my Internet Service Provider?

Yes, a VPN hides your IP address from your Internet Service Provider. When you connect to a VPN server, your online traffic is encrypted and routed through that server, masking your actual IP address. 

Is it legal for someone to track my IP address?

Tracking IP addresses for legitimate purposes is legal. Law enforcement agencies can track IPs as part of investigations or to combat cybercrime. Similarly, site owners may track IPs to analyze website traffic or customize user experiences.

What should I do if I suspect my IP address has been compromised?

If you suspect a security breach or unauthorized access, take immediate action. Change your passwords, run antivirus scans, review your network settings, and consider seeking professional assistance to address the issue.

Can someone hack into my computer remotely just by knowing my IP address?

No, an IP address alone does not provide sufficient data or access to compromise your device. Hacking typically requires exploiting vulnerabilities in your operating system, software, or network. However, hackers can use your IP address as a starting point.

Can someone track my physical location using my IP address?

Yes, to some extent, someone can track your physical location using your IP address by using geolocation databases and services. By analyzing the IP address and matching it with known location data, it’s possible to determine your general geographic location. 

What is the difference between a static and dynamic IP address?

Static IP addresses are fixed, unchanging addresses assigned to a device. Dynamic IP addresses are assigned automatically. A dynamic IP address can change periodically whenever the device reconnects to the network or after a certain time duration.

Can using a public Wi-Fi network expose my IP address to others?

Yes, using a public Wi-Fi network can potentially expose your IP address to others on the same network. If you have data to spare, use mobile data instead of connecting to unknown Wi-Fi networks.

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📍Servers/Countries:5800+ servers in 60 countries
₿ Accepts CryptocurrencyYes
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