Many internet users seem to be worried about their IP address privacy. They want to know if it is dangerous when some other person knows which IP address they are using to access the internet. Well, if you ask me, I would say in normal circumstances it is not a dangerous thing as no common person can harm you just by knowing your IP address. To understand this you should take the example of your home address. Is this something you would share with everyone? Your answer would obviously be a resounding no. You can take your IP address just like you would your home address. After all, you have as much personal and valuable information (banking details etc.) on your computer.
Imagine, what if a criminal knew your home address? What if this criminal also knew your home address and he also knows about the doors which can be easily unlocked? And what if that criminal also knew the number of rooms in your house? In this case obviously, you should be worried about your security and the security of your house as well. When it comes to the internet, as I said earlier that IP address is just as your home address and then you have thousands of ports in your computer which you can think of as the doors in your home. And then you have applications and software which are just like rooms. So if a criminal knows your IP address, your open ports and what software you are using, you are definitely in trouble.
Obviously you would’t like to give your home address to strangers or criminals, same way you should hide your IP address from hackers or criminals in order to be on safe side.
How hackers use IP address to hack your computer
A hacker can be considered as a criminal who wants to steal your personal information and other credentials from your computer. Though every hacker is not bad, there are good hackers as well who works for the agencies to trace out the criminals. But normally word hacker is used as a thief or as a criminal person. So when a hacker knows your IP address he can use different software and algorithms to check which ports are open on your system.
We are not going to discuss how open ports can be find out by knowing the IP address but just as a hint, hackers can use CMD or other applications to know about your open ports. From these ports they can check which applications are attached with these open ports. For example if you are using FTP server it has a specific port 21 with it. With this hackers can also track which operating system you are using and can also find out the passwords with different tools.
Although a common person cannot do all these things but a hacker is specialized in this field so an IP address acts as the starting point that helps the hacker in hacking your system from where he can get your credit card details, personal data, saved passwords and all other stuff that you have on your computer. Once your computer is hacked by a hacker, he can use it for criminal activities as well.
So just if many people know your IP address it’s not dangerous but if there is a single criminal minded person who also knows your IP then you might be in big trouble.
How to protect your computer from hackers
Now when you know that a hacker can hack your computer by knowing your IP address you might want to know how you can protect your computer and yourself from this threat.
For this you need to follow the steps below as initial protection:
- Always use registered operating system.
- Don’t forget to install the latest updates provided by the operating system.
- Always use Firewall to protect the open ports from hackers attack.
- Always use paid applications instead of installing cracked and free low quality risky apps.
- Use strong passwords on your system and change the password regularly.
These are the basic steps that you should take to avoid hacking risk but it is not all you have to do. A professional hacker can still enter into your computer by knowing your IP address and to get protected from those you need to hide your IP address as well from strangers.
To hide an IP address most commonly used and best way is to use a virtual private network (VPN). VPN hides your IP address and give you a new IP which is not relevant to your location and it bypass the ISP (Internet Service Provider) you are using. This is the best way to hide your IP address for any public or private network. Mostly VPN is used by every big company for the privacy and protection of their sensitive data. Most of the people take it wrongly as they think by using a VPN they don’t need the service of ISP. But this is wrong; to use a VPN you still need an internet connection provided by your local ISP. VPN will protect that network and hide your IP address from others.