Have you ever been bullied or threatened on the internet? Or have you ever tried or wished to get a phone number through an IP address? Even if you have never been in that shoe, believe me, this occurs daily. Many are friends, acquaintances, and relatives who have experienced that.
It is so hilarious how users online think they are faceless and untraceable. Have they forgotten that everyone has a unique identifier attached to them by ISPs? I doubt if they know this. If you belong to this group too, you might consider having a change of mind.
There are several reasons why you might have a cause to trace or track a contact online through their IP address. Many are times when you would have your email inbox spammed by unknown individuals. Sometimes you have junk dropped in your DM.
Many of these unsolicited messages and contents could be ways and tricks to hack your account and tap into your data and information base. Do you think tracking such contact is a crime? Of course, nobody wants to be a victim of scams or prey to hackers. Hence the reason for writing this article.
Overview of IP address
The IP address is an acronym for Internet protocol address. It can be likened to an ID card. It is a series of numerical figures that are attached to a device and recognized by the network. It is the registered name and generic signature of each device be it computers or mobile phones.
Since the computer needs to distinguish between computers, websites, and routers, the IP address makes this possible. With the address, the communication channel is established between and among devices and networks.
It is not assigned randomly or a sequentially arranged number. Therefore it is not something you can guess. Rather, these numbers are calculated mathematically and allocated by Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA), a branch under ICANN which is an American body saddled with the responsibility of maintaining security on the internet.
An example is ‘126.96.36.199’. Its major function is for network interface identification and location addressing. Hence, each device is configured with a unique IP address usually given by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
What Does Your IP Address tell people about you?
It is important you know what information of yours is available for others to see. This gives you an idea of what risks and odds are against you on the internet. You might have just begun to wonder if your age, name, phone number, and home address are revealed by IPs. Don’t panic! That is not the case.
The details that your IP reveals to people is the city you are accessing the Internet from, and the ZIP code which is the postal code of the area you are located. This is quite shocking, right? This information is not always closest to where you are. Sometimes, it gives some pretty large kilometers. So, they are not precise.
More so, if you are using a VPN, these details would be far from being accurate. It suffices to say that the information shared is geolocational details. The peak of the info can be the name of your service provider. Which is not your personal information.
Can you get a phone number from an IP address?
While you have read what information about you is revealed by your IP address, and how your ISP can be identified, the next question pumping in mind would be; what of a phone number? The answer is YES. But how? You would like to know that it is practically impossible for an individual to track a phone number through an IP address. Do you know why? The sole right belongs to your ISP, whose duty is to assign IP to users at particular times and places.
These providers have a consumer right to privacy. So, they do not reveal phone numbers to any individual by mere tracking of IP addresses. Only your city can be identified. However, there exists an exception to security agencies, law enforcement agencies, governmental bodies, and internet regulatory bodies that have legal backups.
Any other exceptions?
Though it is only the authorities who have the right to request a phone number if they have the IP address attached at a particular time from the ISPs, it is illegally possible to get a phone number with the use of complex hacking techniques which are not a child’s play.
These techniques will have to beat the ISP server to compromise the privacy rights of the users. While it has been established that the authorities have all right to make requests for phone numbers from service providers, it is important to know how and for what reasons.
Should you have any reason to trace a phone number through any IP address, the authorities can help you trace it. How? When you have tenable evidence of cyber-scamming, cyberbullying, threats, hate speech, spamming of emails, or attempted hacking from an IP address, the authorities would write to the law enforcement agencies to give a warrant which would be addressed to the ISP that assigned the IP address. This will serve as a legal weapon requesting them to provide the phone number to which the IP was attached at that particular time it was accessing the internet.
Undoubtedly, it is understandable when the ISP ignores or turns down the request of an individual to reveal the phone number attached to an IP address. This would have been easy for every Harry and Dick to trace and locate anybody if no stringent policy was placed on it.
What can you do with an IP address?
It is a fact that you can locate the user of an IP address in terms of the city. Notwithstanding, the phone contact of an IP user can be deduced from it. This is anyway dependent on a standing legal verdict. Hence you can track up a user who is committing a crime online. To sum it up, the phone number of the user of an IP address can only be gotten from the internet service providers.
Your IP address is your blueprint left behind whenever you browse the internet. Even after you have logged out, your ID leaves footprints. Your location and router details can be looked up through your IP. Nevertheless, your phone number which is not readily made available can as well be gotten through the IP address with which you accessed the internet. This however can happen with legal backing from the authority.