Online safety is one of the key points in modern human's comfortable life. To those of us, who don't dig deep into the web and programming, some things might still be weird and hard to understand – for example, not so many of us know what the scammers can and what they cannot know about you and do to you because of your IP address. And this is actually highly important: according to that information you can build up the right and safe behavior pattern on the Internet and keep yourself and your data secure and concealed from unwanted eyes.
In this text we're going to review the answers to those questions and tell if the cybercriminals can steal your data while you're rolling and meaning your business online: chatting with friends on social media, using different websites to purchase any products or services or buy Instagram followers, etc.
Can anyone remotely access a computer through an IP address?
It solely depends on the circumstances, but in general, no, your PC is safe. Remote hacking of various devices takes more than just an IP address, so you can stay calm about that. However, a very skilled cybercriminal can use your IP address to scan open ports. If you are not familiar with ports, then consider that these are pipelines through which data enters the network from the device and vice versa. If the open ports are here for the hacker and they will be able to gain control over them, then yes, it is likely that they will be able to remotely control your device. But don't be overwhelmed: it only happens if you use an outdated operating system (or the pirated one), or if you don't have any antivirus on your PC.
What can a hacker do with an IP address in general?
A scammer can theoretically use your IP address after hacking your device and gaining access to its IP address. But, as we have said in the previous paragraph, the possibility of that is pretty low. But it is easier to do through your local Wi-Fi network, if you haven't protected it decently. Make sure to follow all the instructions while setting it in the first place and don't skip any steps, this can save you from lots of bad situations in the future.
Once access to your network or device is obtained, they can start doing illegal things using your IP address. For example, bullying people, sending them threats, or downloading illegal torrents – generally, content that may violate the rules or threaten the national security of the country.
What you should understand by now: a cybercriminal cannot actually hack an IP address with ease and start using your computer for reaching their personal goals. But your IP address can be used to find more information about you, use your data to sell on darknet, spam you, block you from using the Internet, or ban your online games.
Are you safe while using social media? Can the IP address give out any special information about you?
Yes and no at the same time. If you're not trying to hide every single piece of information about yourself (including your approximate location), your IP address is not going to add a lot to the knowledge that a person can gather about you whilst looking through your pages. Worst case scenario – they can determine your location in a certain area: a country, a city, or even a district.
If the scammer is qualified enough, they can figure out who your Internet provider is and use phishing and fraudulent attacks against them, which will allow them to find out your personal data. This has happened in the past, but the possibility of such attacks is very low. In general, safety on the Internet depends more on your personal actions.
Back to IP: quite persistent cyberstalkers may try to use your IP address to track your online activities, which will allow them to find more personal information about you. Although, again, this will only work if they manage to deceive your provider, and reveal confidential data or hack their system to get them. And that's an extra hard task to fulfill.
How to protect yourself from cyber attacks?
There are many ways to do so, the easiest one is to use VPN, which is going to quickly hide your real IP address by giving you a new "fake" one. Yes, VPN is needed not only to visit the websites that are blocked in your country; it can give you a big hand of help in the field of personal data safety.
Also you can use a proxy server – it also hides your IP address every time you connect to the Internet. However, it does not provide the same level of security as VPN does. Those are way slower than VPN as well, so the choice is quite obvious here.
If your IP address was found out by someone though, don't panic and just change it. You can do this using a VPN or proxy server, or follow change ip address steps.
As we know now, cybercriminals cannot easily get access to your computer or device using your IP address, but they are able to figure out your approximate location and steal some other technical data from your Internet provider. It can lead to you having problems with the Internet connection, your status in online games, and lots and lots of spam. To make sure that you're staying away from those situations, you can use a VPN service or a proxy server, which can provide you with a safe connection and a "shield" IP address which will help you remain incognito online while managing your daily business.
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