What is an IP address and what does it reveal about you?
Your home has a street address and your computer has an internet protocol (IP) address. This is a string of numbers (made up of four values divided by periods. E.g. 22.214.171.124) and is assigned to every device connected to the internet. It’s a unique identifier—like a digital fingerprint—and allows a system to be recognized by other systems on the internet.
Your IP address can give others more than just a number. It can also reveal…
- Personal details: A search of your IP address in the WHOIS database for example, could reveal your name, telephone number, or address.
- Your location: Details include your country, region, city, GPS coordinates, and telephone area code. Accuracy varies.
- Your online activities: The information you shared, the websites you visited, the Wikipedia pages you edited… it’s an open door to your political opinions, interests, beliefs, and more.
- Your email address: If you sent emails while connected via this IP address, your email address is no secret either.