An IP address is a unique internet ID of each of your internet-enabled devices (your laptops, phones, etc.). Each has its exclusive IP address via which you can contact it and exchange information between devices on the internet.
An IP address is like a postal address from which you send and receive information from the internet. Now imagine what happens if someone gets your IP address. Of course, you could use something like a proxy, which provides its own IP address and enhances user’s security levels online. For more information on a proxy, read this blog post.
How might a hacker exploit your IP address?
Although quite difficult to achieve, a skilled hacker can indeed find their way into some of your personal/business information using your public IP address. They most probably won’t be able to access all or even most of your data. Nevertheless, sensitive data like your home address, ZIP code, your browser history, etc. using your IP address are easily reachable.
If your IP gets into the wrong hands, it could be dangerous for your business, and even your financial details may be at risk. If these unscrupulous elements access your device remotely using malware/viruses like a Trojan, they could access some of your files and manipulate your information maliciously.
It is, therefore, essential to take your security seriously and protect your data from intruders all the time, especially if you run a business or work in an organization.
How can your IP address be stolen?
The easiest way to having your IP address stolen is through a port. Think of it this way; if your IP address is the address to your home, then ports are all the doors through which a person can get into your house and gain access to the rooms (programs) within the house.
These ports enable you to run programs on your device, and while running them, related ports will be open. If you are on the internet, that means your back door is open. It also means anyone who’s paying attention can gain access to your device — your IP can be stolen this way.
However, each port only connects to a particular program — each door only leads to a specific room. It means that the program a hacker gets access to is as far as they can go. They cannot necessarily gain more access than they already have.
What is the risk?
Hackers are capable of doing a lot of things with your online identity. You may become vulnerable when your IP address is in the hands of a hacker. When someone hijacks your IP, he/she does not only gain access to your information, but it might also be used for some nefarious activities.
IP addresses that have been sabotaged can come to play for searching illegal content like child pornography and pirated materials, or even be used for DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, which shuts you out of the internet.
Protecting your IP address
If you understand what you need to do to keep your IP address safe, you’ll keep the hackers out of reach. By using the right tools protecting your IP address is easy. One of the best tools to do that is to use the help of proxies.
A proxy helps you mask your IP address, so it is not visible to the outside world. It comes with its own IP address, and that is what people see instead of yours.
This tool correctly acts as a bridge in the flow of your internet traffic. These man-in-the-middle servers will take your information packets to its final destination. Yet, bear in mind that everything you do, the proxy server, will repeat as it mirrors your activities. The destination server (the website you want to visit) will think the proxy is your traffic.
Moreover, a proxy can allow you to connect to any location in the world, regardless of where you reside. In this way, you can hide under a proxy while being online. Doing so keeps your IP address out of the public. Therefore, what a hacker sees is the IP address of the proxy, so they can’t gain access to your data. If you use proxies, for every attempt, a hacker makes to gain access to your data, they fail considerably.
Better safe than sorry
If anybody knows your IP address, it is not a bad thing in itself. However, if your IP address is accessible to hackers, that could translate to a significant loss in monetary terms. Therefore, taking the necessary precautionary measures is the right thing to do.
An IP address may not reveal everything about your data, but the damage a hacker can do when they have access to it can be extensive. So be smart — use a proxy to ward off any possibly IP hacking. Your business will not be on the receiving end if you have the right knowledge to protecting your assets adequately.