Is it Safe to Share the IP address of my computer?
While this might sound frightening, what needs to be addressed here first is what an IP address is and what someone can do with it. For those who aren’t aware, each individual device that connects to the internet has an IP address. That makes all the sense in the world when you learn that the “IP” in IP address stands for internet protocol.
The actual number is unique and it’s what helps different devices talk to one another and share data back and forth. With all this in mind, an important thing to remember is that most ISPs (Internet Service Providers) use dynamic IP addresses and while there’s the option to have a static IP, there’s not typically a reason for most users to go down that route.
What Can Be Done With An IP Address?
It’s typically nothing to worry about, but every website you visit is going to see your IP address. As mentioned, this is how your computer and the website are talking to one another. There’s nothing to actually be frightened by that, but there’s also no reason to share your IP address with anyone that might ask.
Whether we’ve noticed it or not, we’ve all seen personalized ads that can see our relative location. Think about it, do you recall the ads, likely on the bottom of an article, that seems to have an exaggerated headline about something that happened right in your town? You might think to yourself that if that really happened, wouldn’t you have heard about that elsewhere?
They are using your IP address and you would have seen whatever town or city you were browsing the web from on the title of that spam article. This is just one of the many things that can be done with someone’s IP address.
Can Someone Learn Where I Am?
If this is a question that’s in your mind, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that they can’t really see your exact address by doing an ip address lookup but they can get an approximate idea of where you are. That means they are going to be able to see the town or city you are roughly in. That alone isn’t enough for someone to have your physical home address but it might be the first step in learning more about your personal details.
With how online we all live, once the wrong person learns roughly where you are they might be able to put together other details about your life based on what’s posted publicly online. Even outside of criminal fears, many advertisers are going to follow the location of your IP address in an attempt to give you increasingly relevant ads.
How Do I Stay Safe?
Conscious and safe internet browsing and the best way to make sure your data and identity don’t fall into the wrong hands. Depending on what you are doing, especially if you consider yourself the average online user, there’s really not going to be major reasons to share your IP online during day-to-day use.
For power users, sharing their IP might be something they are completely comfortable with if they are sharing files with colleagues or friends. For situations such as those, it can be completely safe to share your IP address with the key factor of safety. As long as it’s to someone trusted, there’s no reason not to share but there’s also not many reasons for the average user to do so.