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I receive hundreds of tech questions every week and they tend to vary quite a bit. But some topics just seem to come up time and again.
One of those recurring topics involves the potential danger of certain people discovering your IP address.
While I usually don’t worry all that much about folks discovering my IP address, there are times when it does pay to keep it a secret if at all possible.
For example, lets say you read an article on a blog or news website about a politician and you want to post a comment that you know will anger folks on the other side of the political aisle.
In a situation like that you can prevent “the opposition” from tracking you down via your IP address and coming after you by cloaking your IP address.
Luckily, that’s very easy to do by accessing the website through a VPN and then posting the comment anonymously.
Another example of when someone might want to keep their IP address a secret is when they need to contact an ex-spouse who has physically abused them in the past.
After all, if they had to leave the area to get away from the abuse, wouldn’t it make sense to make it as difficult for the other person to track them down as possible.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not out to frighten you or make you think you’re in danger in any way. I’m just being realistic about the world we live in these days.
Bottom line: The Internet has made the world a much smaller place than it was just a few short years ago. As a result, it sometimes pays to keep as much of your personal information a secret as you possibly can. And that includes your IP address.
Just be aware that unless you ALWAYS use a VPN and other methods of hiding your IP address, it’s very easy for someone to retrieve it by analyzing your everyday online activities.
And although your IP address won’t lead the person directly to your doorstep, it will clue them into your general area. They can then use other online tools to complete the job of locating you.
While most people don’t worry about their IP address being public (and they really don’t need to), there are indeed times and situations in which it makes sense to keep it under wraps.