Risks of Using Your Real IP Address

It passed some time since the Internet was considered that bad place where kids are kidnapped. Now the Internet is deeply attached to our lives. Probably not only once you thought at your privacy online and the dangers that are next to every web page. Those are only speculations, actually the Internet is quite a safe place so no one will get his hands out of the monitor and kick you.

The risks of using your real IP address are minimal, unless you make something really wrong. What can someone do with your IP address ? Not much, he can find your city where you live in and that is pretty much everything.

Almost all websites are storing the IP addresses of users and log every action they do. That is a fact, but not a problem. For example i'm storing data about all queries executed on my ip address lookup tool , so i can display the statistics from the right of this page: "daily IP queries" and "latest queries" . They are just for fun, but to show them i need to do some tracking. Along with IP queried, date and IP details i also store the user IP address. Why ? Not for a specific reason, i won't use them in any way, i don't know anything about the user who used that IP address but they helped me a bit, i was able to find websites that automatically queried my tool. I agree that others to use data from my website, but querying the tool at the homapege makes the whole page to load and that will cause some load to my server. To fix that i created an Ip lookup API so they can query IP's using my database just by loading a small amount of data.  So when i find that they are querying my homepage to get IP address details, i send them a message and tell them to use the API instead. So keeping IP addresses saved me a lot of bandwidth and did not caused anyone problems.

Forums also have a good use of users IP addresses, most of them have problems with spammers or with kids that break the forum rules. They are not using the IP address to track the spammer, but they keep it to ban that person from forums. This tactic is not very effective because they can use proxies but it solves some problems.

I remember that about 7 years ago, when i was young i was administrator on a forum dedicated to my Internet Service Provider from that time. It was a small network, few hundreds of customers but the things with the Internet access went very wrong, so everyone was unhappy. At that time, ip address logging helped me a lot to trace those posting under anonymity or under fake names. I was able to know who posted knowing only the IP address because at that time i knew to whom was assigned every IP address.

Nowadays, almost every software that is made keeps some logs somewhere with IP addresses, most of them for banning purposes that is quite effective if using along with cookies.

So there is no risk that someone to knock at your door and to tell you that he traced your IP address. There are easier ways to get to you. Do you have a facebook, myspace or linked in profile ? So they need only your name and with your name they can use offline methods to get to you. So many ISP flushes the IP addresses when someone connects to the internet that trying to trace someone about IP address is useless. It is true that they can find where are you from but that's all. And that is more for fun.

Today someone asked me on Digitalpoint forums that the folks at the white house can track him using his IP Address after he sent them a message to them saying that a bomb will explode in the White House. I laughed, i knew that he was joking but it is true that he can be traced. Depending on how measures he took to prevent being traced, the FBI people can trace him with more or less time spent.

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