How your public IP address can lead back to you. Use these IP tools to find out what is exposed
Your IP address is the most known and obvious way you can be tracked. That IP is the IP you are using at the source. This is where you connect to the internet. That IP is usually provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) (xDSL, Mobile, Cable, Fiber, Cafe, Bar, Friend, Neighbor). Most countries have data retention regulations that mandate keeping logs of who is using what IP at a certain time/date for up to several years or indefinitely. Your ISP can tell a third party that you were using a specific IP at a specific date and time, years after the fact. If that IP (the original one) leaks at any point for any reason, it can be used to track down you directly. In many countries, you will not be able to have internet access without providing some form of identification to the provider (address, ID, real name, e-mail …).
Needless to say, that most platforms (such as social networks) will also keep (sometimes indefinitely) the IP addresses you used to sign-up and sign into their services.
Here are some online resources you can use to find some information about your current public IP right now:
Find your IP:
Find your IP location or the location of any IP:
Find if an IP is “suspicious” (in blocklists) or has downloaded “things” on some public resources:
- https://iknowwhatyoudownload.com/ (Take this with a grain of salt, it might not show anything interesting and has limited data sources. This is more for fun than anything serious.)
Registration information of an IP (most likely your ISP or the ISP of your connection who most likely know who is using that IP at any time):
Check for open-services or open devices on an IP (especially if there are leaky Smart Devices on it):
- https://www.shodan.io/host/188.8.131.52 (replace the IP by your IP or any other, or change in the search box, this example IP is a Tor Exit node)
Various tools to check your IP such as block-lists checkers and more:
Would you like to know if you are connected through Tor?
For those reasons, we will need to obfuscate and hide that origin IP (the one tied to your identification) or hide it as much as we can through a combination of various means:
- Using a public Wi-Fi service (free).
- Using the Tor Anonymity Network (free).
- Using VPN services anonymously (anonymously paid with cash or Monero).
Do note that, unfortunately, these solutions are not perfect, and you will experience performance issues.
Source: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Online Anonymity, written by AnonyPla © CC BY-NC 4.0