Tuesday 23 July 2019

How Much Information Can an IP Address Actually Tell You?

Let’s start with the basics. What is an IP address? Consider an IP address as a unique string of numbers that are separated by full stops. An IP address helps in identifying and communicating the computers connected over a network.

But this is not just the only role that an IP address plays. In addition to helping your computer connect to a network, it also reveals a lot of information that might pose a risk to your enterprise.

In this article, we will have a closer look at what all can an IP address reveal and how you can adopt proper ways to keep your security intact.

What Can an IP Address Tell Me?

Compare an IP address to a Social Security Number (SSN). Similar to SSN, an IP address is unique to the computer it is assigned to. An IP address basically informs the router as to where it is sending the information. It also ensures that the information sent is being received by the correct device.

Since IP addresses play such an important role, they also tend to keep us at risk by revealing all the sensitive information to the hackers. So how can hackers intrude into your system just with an address? Let’s find out.

The Exploitation of Open Ports

Ports are important because they help your computer in running services like media sharing. Basically, ports are just an opening which is often used by services as a communications endpoint. All in all, there are 65,535 total allocated ports in TCP/UDP.

Consider a port as a back door. It is often exploited by the hackers and they use it to enter to your computer. How? Supposedly, you are running a program over the internet. This will open a related port, this port can then be exploited by someone to get access to your connection. In this way, an IP address can provide hackers with some ability to affect your computer.

So is there any way to prevent this from happening? Well, yes. One extremely reliable way through which you can block backdoor access to your computer is by using a proxy service.

What is a Proxy?

A proxy is a server that acts as a firewall between your computer and the internet. This way, whenever a request is made by your computer to access a certain website, it first goes to the proxy server. The proxy server then makes the request, in turn, to the destination server, thus tricking the destination server and making it believe that the request originally emerged from the proxy server.

This way your IP address remains hidden, and the IP address of a proxy server is used to make all the communications.

Generally speaking, proxies can be divided into two:

●       Residential proxies

Residential proxies, as the name suggests, resemble your local IP address as they are been provisioned by a regional Internet Service Provider. Thus, residential proxies look more genuine and appear similar to the normal residential user.

Here is how these proxies help businesses

o   Help you stay anonymous
o   They look more natural and authentic, and their chances of getting blocked are rare.
o   They provide better security when compared to shared proxies as the latter are often exploited by hackers and spammers.
o   Ensure fast web surfing
o   Allow you to send more requests per minute

●       Data center proxies

Server proxies, as the name indicates, are proxy servers provided by third-parties which act as an intermediary between your computer and the destination server. They work in a way that the destination server thinks that the request originated from the proxy server instead of your computer.
They are available both as a free and paid service. However, it is highly recommended to use paid proxy servers as they are reliable, and provide quality service without compromising on your security online.

Oxylabs, a large and well-known proxy provider, has covered in great detail what a proxy is, so if you feel like reading up more on how they work and what different types there are, go ahead and check them out.

The Wrap Up

As cybercrime is on a steady rise, and businesses and enterprises are at an increased risk of getting hit, it is the need of the hour that businesses start using proxies to keep their IP addresses hidden.


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