Your IP address is like a beacon on the Internet. It gives websites, and people that you have connected with online, more than just a number. It also gives them the ability to trace that IP address back towards you if they wanted to. Even though a website, or even a person, can’t find your home address from your IP address, they most definitely could get a clear picture of where you are.

To be clear, they can trace it back to your geographical location. But you’ll never know if it does happen. Of course it’s unlikely that anyone would look up your IP address, or is it? There’s just no way of knowing who is running your IP address through an IP lookup service. It could be your bank, an estate agent, a marketing company or a tech-savvy teenager who’s also a hacker.

However, one thing is clear, it is possible to be traced by someone, a stalker, an investigator or even a criminal, via your IP address. And that stranger might just end up at your front door. It’s unsettling to know that anyone who has captured your IP address in the past can come close to zeroing in on your home or at the very last the area you live in.

Your IP address can be captured in many different ways.
  • If your home network isn’t secure, a stranger can tap into your wireless network. Also, if you let a guest use your network, they will know your IP address.
  • Through an email HTML bug. This isn’t a virus or malware, it’s simply a piece of code embedded in an image that’s included in many emails you receive. If you view the image, often it’s enough just to open the email, the bug simply tells the sender that you read the email and it also provides your IP address.
  • Every time you visit a website, you leave your IP address. A website can, if they wish, scour their web-servers, to review all the IP addresses and see the reach of their message or who’s a repeat visitor.
  • By joining a chat forum your username may identify your voice and opinions, but your IP address identifies your computer to the administrator. That’s how they ban you if you break their rules.
  • If you write a blog the blog administrator can clearly read what you have said, and they can also uncover your IP address.
  • Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat don’t reveal IP addresses between users, but the site administrators indeed know your IP address. Also, if you click on an ad or link on the site, they will capture your IP address.
Stopping IP trackers

You can stop IP trackers in their tracks. If anybody tries to trace yours, you can send them off to some other location, miles from where you actually are, another country even.

How do you do this? The answer is simple. Use a virtual private network (VPN).
  • A VPN redirects your Internet requests through a secure tunnel that is hacker proof. But more importantly, a VPN service assigns your live connection a different IP address, for instance a server located in another country.
  • As a result, no person or website you connect with knows your actual IP address because your VPN has masked it for you when you are online.
  • You can use your VPN at home, at hotels and airports, and especially at free Wi-Fi hot spots with unsecured networks.
BullGuard VPN gives you the flexibility to access the Internet and online services safely and securely, from home, work or abroad.
  • Unlike many other VPNs it doesn’t log or track users when they are using the VPN.
  • Importantly it doesn’t throttle bandwidth, that is, slow down the service when demand is high.
  • It is compatible with all major operating systems and protects up to 6 devices simultaneously.
  • Its extremely simple to use, just click and go and prices are as low as £2.70 a month.
Find out more about this top level VPN by simply clicking here.