Can I be accurately identified and located with my IP address?

In short, not really. IP addresses by themselves do not correlate with physical location nor are they permanently tied to a device, let alone a person. The only reliable way to get a user's exact area or house address is by collaborating with their ISP at least, assuming the IPA has not been spoofed or the source device hasn't been hijacked as a proxy. IPv4 addresses are often shared by multiple devices, whereas the exact IPv6 address is often short lived and randomly generated by the end-user's device, which may be untraceable afterwards even to their local router.

If one still needs the privacy though, or needs to investigate (for example) a site that's untrustworthy, then it's best to use a proxy or Virtual Private Network to effectively hide their address. Although IPA's don't usually allow tracking of people or computers, they still can be traced from service-to-service (if not disguised) and with the activity details observed too, one might be able to discern who they are or what they're like. So while IP addresses don't present an immediate physical risk, they can still be a significant privacy concern.

Remember though, even network switches and routers aren't aware of real world locations (as they don't need to), but rather hardware addresses (numbers) and circuit selections.

Last update on 2023-03-26 by DNC admin.

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