Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Web servers at least get your IP address when you visit. Whether or not that or other information can actually be used to identify you specifically depends on a lot of things.

When I visit a web site, are they able to identify my IP address? If so, how can I block them from being able to identify me?

Not really, but kind of.

I know that's really vague and doesn't really clearly answer the question, but there's a reason for that.

It depends on what you mean by the phrase "identify me."

In the strictest sense, a server cannot identify you personally - not without your cooperation.

On the other hand, the information that a server can gather without your help can cause some folks concern.

Your IP address

IP address: An IP address, short for Internet Protocol Address, is a number used to identify a device connected to a TCP/IP network like the internet. In IP version 4 (IPv4), an address is ...continue reading.

From the Ask Leo! Glossary

The one piece of information that a web server gets is the IP address of your internet connection.

In fact, the Ask Leo! web server believes that yours is 54.82.68.201.

If your computer is connected directly to the internet, that's its IP address. If you're connected through a router, that's the IP address that's been assigned to your router.

If you're connecting through a corporate network, a proxy, or some other more complex private networking scheme, then that's the IP address assigned to the equipment that connects that network or proxy to the internet.

The IP address is a core component of how the internet works. The server must know the IP address to which it should send its response. It's like the return address on an postal mail envelope - you can't reply if you don't know where to send it.

Is your IP address "you"?

So, does your IP address identify you, specifically?

Well, yes and no. And maybe.

In cases where you're connected through an IP address that can be somehow associated with you - perhaps the IP address assigned to your connection by your internet service provider - then yes, the IP address does (kind of) identify you. Your ISP knows where you live and has records of what your IP address is. If you have multiple users or multiple machines, they can't necessarily tell who did what from which computer, but they can at least say, "This came from that customer's connection".

The average person can't get at this information, of course, and neither can web servers. It typically takes legal action of some sort force the ISPs to release it.

So, a server knows the IP address through which you connect and that might be used to identify you, assuming law enforcement gets involved.

With your cooperation, much more is possible

I hope it's obvious, but I'll state it anyway: any site that you can login to knows who you are to the extent that you provided accurate information when you signed up.

When you return, that site might still know who you are, even if you don't necessarily login on that return, and even if you don't explicitly tell it to "remember me." It's still quite possible for the site to remember you anyway and only request that you login if it needs to confirm that you are who it thinks you are.

All that's as simple as a cookie - perhaps even the same cookie that makes it possible to go from page-to-page within a site without having to login over and over again for every single page.

And thus are conspiracy concerns born

Ads are just content served up by web servers. So the advertisers web servers know your IP address and can do things like leave cookies so that they know which sites (using that same advertising network) you visit.

Well, not you, you, but rather "some computer at your IP address" is all they really know.

Perhaps.

Perhaps until you login to one of those sites.

IF (and it's a very big if) that site that now knows who you are shares that information with their advertising network, then the advertising network knows who you are if you visit any other site on which they provide ads.

So, in that sense, it is possible exactly who you are could be accompanying you to the websites that you visit, depending on how you control your personal information, what sites you use, and in turn what services those sites use.

Just how real is this?

I'm always reluctant to talk about online privacy, especially when it relates to advertisers, because there are many people who are absolutely convinced that every little thing they do online is indeed being monitored in excruciating detail using the techniques that I've outlined above and other similar approaches.

I don't believe that for a second.

I've said it many, many times before: you and I just aren't that interesting.

I login to dozens of sites throughout the day. Many have advertising and I'm certain that many use the same networks as some of the others.

I'm just not concerned.

Could they pool all their resources and information - my IP addresses, cookie-based information, surfing habits, account logins and such - to closely monitor what I do?

I suppose they could.

Do I think that they do?

No.

Why would they? I'm just not that interesting.

Taking steps anyway

Perhaps you really are that interesting (I'm not doubting that there are people who are).

What do you do?

Well, my knee-jerk reaction is to say: stay off the internet, period. The internet was never designed to provide the level of anonymity and privacy you might need. There are things that can be done, but unless you understand them and know how to use them both consistently and well, you run the risk of being identified.

I touch on fake accounts, anonymous proxies, anonymization services, and more in How can I send anonymous email?, and those are all steps well-worth considering if this is an important issue for you.

The practical answer for the average netizen

Netizen: A netizen is simply someone who is online in one form or another. It's a play on the word ... continue reading.

From the Ask Leo! Glossary

No, servers don't identify you as an individual, unless you tell them who you are.

To me (or rather my server), you're just 54.82.68.201. Even if you leave your name in a comment below, which also records the IP address from which the comment was made, there's no attempt to automatically figure out who you are the next time you visit. There's no need, and there's nothing I would do with that information anyway.

I honestly believe that the vast majority of sites operate exactly the same way.

(This is an update to an article originally published December 1, 2004.)

Article C2237 - January 2, 2013 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

77 Comments
Anna
December 2, 2004 8:20 AM

I use EarthLink dialup so every time I connect to the 'net I have a different IP because Earthlink uses dynamic IPs. HOWEVER, a message board I post on was able to identify 3 user names that I've used over the past 2 years. They said they did it using my IPs but I know that is impossible. So, how did they identify me? Sure hope somebody can sort this out for me. I'm told it might have something to do with the subnet masking that stays the same? TIA
Anna

Brandon
June 12, 2005 2:16 PM

I know you asked that question 6 months ago, anna, and have probably either forgot about or found an answer to it by now.

Anyway, go to http://www.grc.com. Click on the Sheilds Up Logo. Then scroll down, way down, or do a search for sheilds up. And Click on it. Read this page, because it answers your question.

Then, if you want, continue on to shields up and get your computers security tested!!

To answer your question here, and shortly, from a your ip address, they can get your "reverse dns". If your ISP is less concerned about privacy, this reverse dns may contain identifyable information. The page I directed you to will tell you what your reverse dns is.

Jing Zhao
September 7, 2005 12:05 PM

I have a web site. Some other site such as download.com has a link to my web site. When user click the link on download.com, can I get the IP of the person who click the link? If I can, how?

Thank you

Leo
September 7, 2005 12:09 PM

Sure. You'll normally find it in your web server logs. (Exactly where and what they look like will depend on the web server you are running.)

Saira
January 4, 2006 8:49 AM

How do you find out the IP address of a website?

Leo
January 4, 2006 9:25 PM

When I need to do that I just open a command prompt, and enter "ping " followed by the website's domain name.

Courtney
February 5, 2006 3:34 PM

Can you tell me how to find out who has visited my myspace page, please? Im really interested to see who has visited.
thanks!

Leo
February 5, 2006 5:51 PM

I don't believe myspace makes that information available.

Arijana
March 14, 2006 11:42 AM

hi I can't enter on one site it says "You are using an Invalid IP to access this site!" but I can go to all others web site.please help me what to do.Thank you

Lynnette
March 17, 2006 1:55 PM

Can you tell me how i can view who visits my page on Myspace.com.. is there a certain code i need to input..???..

Melissa
March 20, 2006 6:46 PM

for those that asked how to view whose visiting your myspace page, the only way I know is www.whospyme.com. You sign up for a free account and there's a code you put in the "who i'd like to meet" section on your myspace page and then you can usually see every hit that your page gets. You can see there profile picture (with a link to their profile) and even how they got to your profile, just as long as the person was on your page at least 2 to 3 seconds, which is pretty easy.

katie
March 31, 2006 7:30 AM

www.whospyme.com. how does that site work? i cant find a code.

Laurel
April 3, 2006 7:45 PM

Hi, I was wondering if signing up for whospyme.com is a bad idea. Are they able to sell my information or have you heard of anybody having a bad expirience with it ie. viruses, stolen information?
Thanks

Cleo
April 5, 2006 12:48 AM

So are you guys saying that when it says people visited your profile is doesn't say their name? How do you know then? Just it just say "6 people" visited your profile and then it doesn't tell you who? That's dumb. Maybe that website is a good idea then, who knows what kind of weirdos are checking you out.

Mike
September 28, 2006 5:13 AM

I have a web site, and there is one form to receive enquiries from my web site. I want to add one more thing in my form, to receive the IP address of them who posted form to me. can I get the code for this?
tks and kind regards,

Leo Notenboom
October 4, 2006 3:29 PM

Yes, but exactly what the code is depends on the server software you're using and what software is processing that form.

amber
October 13, 2006 11:34 PM

how can you find out who someone is on myspace if all you have is theie ip address????

Leo Notenboom
October 14, 2006 1:17 PM

You can't.

giada
November 4, 2006 9:16 AM

Hi Leo, I would like to ask sort of the opposite of most of the requests above. There's a new trend that is being used on myspace,

http://new.modmyprofile.com/map.php?id=206705&st=

It's a map tracking code, it won't give profile info unless one is a user but it will track where one is from even if one is just an anonymous user browsing the page. I don't like this, it's an invasion of my privacy. I think it should be a choice and that there should be a way to block this sort of stuff. If one is wondering who is looking at their page then why have it public??? Myspace gives one the choice of making pages private or public. I, as a user do not wish to be tracked down,(even though it doesn't give an address, it does give street names... that's pretty invasive to me) if I want people to know more of me and I happend to like the page that I am browsing then I ADD them otherwise I continue on my way. I have already written myspace staff and they've had to delete the codes from a few users but I don't want to have to report this everytime I see one of those map trackers. Is there a way to protect myself from this kind of IP tracking? Something that is automatic and can be permanent? thanks!
Giada

Leo A. Notenboom
November 4, 2006 9:33 AM

Interesting little tool. I installed it on my MySpace page. :-) http://myspace.com/leonot

I'm actually not aware of any way to block this tool, or rather ANY tool from knowing your IP. As the article states, the only real way to do that is to use an anonymizer-like service.

Knowing the IP of the computers that connect is just a fundamental way the internet works.

Lucian
March 21, 2007 12:07 PM

i like to get information about my visitors, i'm using http://www.ipgp.net to get country, city and internet service provider. I can know if he visit from a big company or a big university.

Ally
March 23, 2007 8:00 PM

can someone trace my Ip back to a specific town or subburb.... and can they do this by contacting Red Hot Pie to locate the Ip of the person who sent a specific message , and or/ their location/ username?

Ally
March 23, 2007 8:01 PM

is there a way i can stop such a trace? cloak my Ip? before someone gets this info?

Leo Notenboom
March 23, 2007 8:14 PM

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Your IP says you're in Perth Australia, but that's as close as we can get.

The only way to avoid it is to use anonymization services.

Leo
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Michelle
May 15, 2007 6:45 PM

Someone who has a public journal, is logging and displaying IP addresses and threatening those who read that she is going to file suit....
can she really find out who SPECIFICALLY is visiting (like their name etc) by contacting their IP and asking?

aisha
June 11, 2007 8:31 AM

hi leo, i'm still a bit unclear about this. if i visit a blog, but without posting any comments, will the blogger him/herself be able to see my ip address?

Leo A. Notenboom
June 11, 2007 5:05 PM

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Yes. Absolutely. The IP of every visitor is typically logged. That's true for
most all websites.

Leo
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icurious
June 14, 2007 5:24 AM

Can IP addresses of someone posting on a public message board be tracked without the boards operator being aware of it?
Could someone know where I am posting from here, without contacting you to get my IP address?

Jane SM
July 1, 2007 8:47 PM

Leo, I think someone has hacked into my computer. I also believe that someone is monitoring my comings and goings in Yahoo IM using the program called Buddy Spy. Is there a way (such as TCPView and/or Netstat) to tell if someone is spying on you?

JustCurious
September 29, 2007 9:17 AM

I bring my Laptop to work with me, and I connect to the internet through an ethernet cable, from time to time I may visit a raunchy website or two, is it possible for my job to go back and see what websites I have visited, without them checking my computer?

Leo A. Notenboom
October 1, 2007 1:06 PM

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Can they? Absolutely yes.

Do they? No idea. Depends on the company.

Leo


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JustCurious
October 1, 2007 2:58 PM

Ok well my next question is can I be identified personally without them having my computer?

vinh
November 24, 2007 12:36 PM

If the boss has my IP address, each time i lock in the websites with passwords. Can he knows my passwords ? And each time I,m online, can he knows which sites I was on ?

curious
December 4, 2007 8:52 PM

If i have two different internet connections, one at home and one at work, does my computer save the ip's of both connections. In other words, can my boss at work find out my home ip by looking at my computer.

Leo A. Notenboom
December 6, 2007 3:45 PM

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I don't *think* so. I certainly can't think of a way to do it off hand, but I
also won't guarantee it. For all I know your computer's IP address might be
saved away somewhere in the registry.

Note that if you're behind a NAT router at home then there's no way for your
OWN computer to know it's own internet IP address (it only knows the local
address assigned by your router). So in that case your boss couldn't tell
anyway.

Leo


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Chaz
December 7, 2007 1:47 PM

My computer was stolen, If I know it's ip address, can I send it a note?

Leo A. Notenboom
December 8, 2007 9:33 AM

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Nope. And I don't know how you'd get the IP address anyway, since the IP
address is specific to your location. Once the computer is moved elsewhere y
virtue of being stolen, there's no way to know what IP it would be assigned
unless you had installed some kind of tracking software before it was stolen.

Leo


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Bailey
December 20, 2007 3:46 AM

I am using a wireless internet connection to a laptop at work and am downloading music that may be illegal but from official sites. My work are worried of the legality of this,how easily it can tracked and if traced who is responsible and what sort of punishment you can recieve?

Pikky
January 12, 2008 12:37 AM

Dear Leo,
If I used one the same computer but at different places to login the same website? will the IP address be the same or will it be different becos of the diff ISP used? and usually, if it is a domain website, can the website admin trace back to the IP? how much do they usually store in the registry for each login? thanks!

james
January 22, 2008 1:40 PM

Hey,

If i use AOL can my IP be traced?

Thanks.

Nick
January 26, 2008 10:31 AM

I made an enemy of an internet forum owner and suddenly he sends an email to one of my email accounts that he could not possibly of known. Can he use my IP address to find out all my email addresses?

Leo A. Notenboom
February 2, 2008 11:23 AM

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It is not possible to directly map an IP address to an email
address. There must've been a different way for him find
your email address, or some other place where he found your
IP address and email address together.

Leo


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Jim
February 6, 2008 4:05 PM

If I connect to a wireless router, can the server that I am using see what websites I have visited? If so, do servers such as roadrunner keep these things on file?

Doug Smith
February 24, 2008 5:51 PM

Help, I have a lot of hours invested in qualifying. . .
I entered a free online poker tournament where you qualify for different levels. Now that I have qualified for the Final Tournament, I see it says it's for "Canadians Only". Not sure if it was an oversight on my part or if it's an added thing in the fine print. My Account address says US, but if it was changed and I used the anonimyzer, would they be able to tell if I was playing in the U.S. ?

Thanks in advance Leo !
If your advice leads to me winning $, I will definitely return to buy you many Lattes !

Judith Johnstone
March 13, 2008 3:48 AM

I was banned from a site how do they know when I try to sign in again?

juan casteneda
April 1, 2008 7:09 PM

Leo,
I need your advise. I travel a lot out of the U.S. and I'm a big fan of March Maddness (college basketball), but when I try to watch it live on the internet It tells me it can only be viewed in the U.S. This happens often on television network web sites. The web site and the server have identifed me as being out of the country. How can I go around it ? Please Help!!!

paul
April 5, 2008 2:29 PM

Hi, does this quote have relevence if you have a dynamic IP?

Summary: A server can easily identify any users that visit their web sites. However, there are services that will allow you to surf anonymously.

I use aol, i am not allowed to use certain bookmakers sites, i have been looking at ip masking software but ive been told that as i have a dynamic ip, they cannot identify me this way as it is constantly changing and my ISP will never disclose any info about me, i also delete cookies regularly and im pretty sure they cant get my MAC address.

Is there something i should know or i do i have it pretty much covered? Basically am i relatively untraceable?

i look forward to hearing from you


thanks

Leo A. Notenboom
April 6, 2008 12:30 PM

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Static or Dynamic, the ISPs help is required to find you. If they keep records
of which dynamic IP address you were assigned to when, then it's possible that
** again, WITH THE ISPS HELP ** you could be located. That help typically
requires law enforcement to get invovled.

Leo


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Otis
April 14, 2008 9:10 PM

But can this scenerio happen? Post a comment to a site like "jobvent". Company upset over
bad comments, "hacks" or finds out your IP address somehow from your posting, then traces the address to your location?

otis
April 14, 2008 9:13 PM

Can this scenerio occur? Post a negative comment on a site like jobvent, your company reads and is upset. Hacks the jobvent site to find your IP address from the post, and traces it to your location?

kevin
May 12, 2008 11:37 AM

i have a question. please email me back . Can the hacker find out all my conversations in msn or yahoo mesneger?, emails passowrds, or sited ive visted. through my IP adres?? thank you. i really need to know

kendra
June 14, 2008 6:20 AM

Can a server consistently deletes the IP addresses, thus wiping out any trace of IP addresses that were on the site?

Kevin
December 23, 2008 8:05 AM

can someone identify me from an email address ? I am in the process of utilizing a yahoo address to collect information for a possible lawsuit and am wondering if there are privacy laws that prevent yahoo from releasing/attaching my name to incoming/outgoing mail.
any help would be appreciated.

Dawn
December 27, 2008 2:31 PM

Can someone watch you online? What I mean is, can a person know when you sign up on a website ex. facebook, myspace ? Every time I sign up for a new account this person has a new profile before I know it. I feel like they are following me. This person has my first name and my email address. How much information can a person get with your first name and email address, especially someone that knows their way around the internet? thanx

Twinkle
February 19, 2009 7:22 AM

Leo i need ur help, i work in a manufacturing firm. we've a WiFi connection and i used to download chunksof data incl. movies. Now they r astonished of the sudden rise in bill and are trying to trace it out. Is it possible to trace me??

Depends on how technically savvy they are, but in a work environment the answer is almost always: Yes.
- Leo
19-Feb-2009

Amy Park
March 23, 2009 7:04 PM

Hello Leo,
If I am visiting someone's blog and they have SITEMETER attached to their blog (and lets just say for the sake of my email to you, they have the "advanced sitemeter") are they able to LOCATE ME PERSONALLY through sitemeter..i.e., are they able to find an ISP number and then locate me?

They can get your IP address (as I did with your comment), but as I've said in several articles on the site, you cannot get someone's exact physical location from an IP address.
- Leo
24-Mar-2009

Gabriela
April 5, 2009 12:34 AM

Hello,
By mistake i completed a questionnaire page before applying for a job on the internet. The questionnaire asked for my basic info name, address, e-mail.. Since then I get over 100 junk e-mails a day. Is there a way to stop this? Also, what would be the easiest way to learn how to create a website, w/e-mail set up etc.? I appreciate your comments.

nicole
June 8, 2009 6:56 PM

i was acting stupid in a chatroom i got banned and they said they have my ip adress and they might contact my internet provider help will they actually contact

bean
September 29, 2009 2:52 PM

Someone from within my company has managed to id me via an anonymous site for posting company reviews. Considering all comments are anonymous, is this possible (and if so how) or is this person bluffing? They seem to know my name and exactly which comments I posted.

Josh
November 21, 2009 3:38 PM

Great information on here. While I understand from the article that a host can easily identify an IP addresses are easily visible by hosts, I just want to clarify: if I visit a website, will he know that, for example, "someone named Josh XXXX spent 12 minutes reading my blog entry and then downloaded my new song"?

C J
May 3, 2010 1:00 PM

I found out that someone knew my name just from me visiting their website. How did they do this? Are they doing something illegal? I did not fill out any forms or anything on their site.

Sara
July 12, 2010 9:25 AM

How do you determine an IP address using only a comment that is left on a website?

Unless you're the server owner, you don't. If you are the server owner, you'd look at the server's access logs.
Leo
13-Jul-2010

ITCS
February 18, 2011 5:31 AM

You can use TOR to run your browser through proxies or use a web proxy as an alternative (usually slower method)

Regards,

ITC Servers

Sabrina
March 4, 2011 11:01 PM

Yes your Ip address will be known if you visit a website. For example this site Ip-Details shows your Ip address, country and address.

Knowing your IP address is most definitely not the same as "identifying you". There's little that can be had directly from an IP address, and much of it is wrong. For example in the tool you suggest is places me in California, which is very, very wrong.
Leo
05-Mar-2011

Morpheus Exegis
January 4, 2012 2:15 PM

@Josh using server access logs i can tell ip x.x.x.x visited my site at X day of x month of xxxx at xx:xx:xx and from front page or from their landing page went to page x, y, z and then downloaded x.zip from my server taking xx seconds to download at speed x.x. now if you are a member of my site i know user joshx = ip x.x.x.x and i put the two together. not much but definitely a start. Also not worth anything to anyone except the server maintenance guy who would liek to improve download time or page sizes to efficiently increase traffic / reduce costs.

@C J i would be skeptical probably know your ip because of another site and knew your details from there. there is a whole plethora of ways to track people and trace their ips including scripts that would be able to go through you history in the browser and grab info from previous pages stored in your browser cache. some of these scripts are used by gimmicky sites to show off the authors scripting abilities. while these are impressive there is not much to worry about.

@ Sabrina. adding to what Leo said if you know i am in Canada and the ip address is general that of Ontario and likely i am int he city of Toronto or Municipality of Markham what does that tell you. I just told you that and i will give you my house number 10 . try and figure out where i live or where I am at. Likely only a very few people can find this info and to them your IP is the least important info you have on the net. Facebook and other sources are at least a million times more likely to leak your private lives as your ip is. Also ip's change like mine will by tomorrow and then i might be based out of a different city until i have that ip. Paranoia doesn't help if you want to safeguard your ip anonimize it otherwise best defense is not to call attention to something that just blends in with millions if not billions of others like it.

Charlie Griffith
January 4, 2013 9:44 AM

Smile.....Dear Reader.....

...yer not a wizened wily Wizard behind a curbing curtain....or even a nouveau arriviste and tantalized young Toto or one of many another mischievous curtain-grabbers at the end of Dorothy's leash.... or more likely out out of range of her "Come Here!" startling command, who're eagerly grasping to pull on that curtain's edge and insert a trial balloon through the smoke and vapors. " For some more funnnn.....click nowwww right hearrrrr on meeeeeeee!"

[...end metaphor practice right here...]

Relax, you're only one of a gazillion looking right now at that perspicacious particular piece of prurient porn.

[OK! OK! ...I'm ducking ...no more pitched shoes, please!]

This netizen's experience is that for each question our friend Leo is poised to answer, and he's certainly poised, he's already peeled off layer upon layer upon layer of onionskin possibilities which have been accreted since DARPA Days.

That's ...A.... reason his favorite answer-preface is, "I know, that's really vague and doesn't really clearly answer the question, but there's a reason for that."

IMHO, the reason is that's why I.T. Departments are filled with....wily wizards.

How about a big, blanketing "THANKS! LEO!"

DT
January 4, 2013 12:13 PM

Leo is right.

The average citizen (even most above average citizens) are simply of no interest to the government.

The people who you might think are spying on you have 200 million other adult people to worry about, and they're only paid to care so much. They have a life, too, ya know.

Stay within the huge boundaries of normal, legal, and acceptable behavior and you will NEVER be interesting, which is exactly how I like it.

If you're the only car going 70mph down the rural highway at 3am, of course, police will find you interesting -- they've got no one else to watch.

Now imagine they're watching hundreds of cars go by at 70mph at 3pm in the afternoon, the interest in any one car drops dramatically.

Chances are, unless you stand out *on purpose*, there are just too many other people more interesting than you.

tony hanners
January 4, 2013 2:29 PM

two ways for privacy is to use a vpn as this shows one of their ip addresses instead of you and/or use a netbox which is a computer for rent in another country, or like i do use both.

Bill
January 4, 2013 2:30 PM

1st, Charlie Griffith, can you send me some of whatever you are smoking?

Last week I visited Garmin's website - I looked at it - nothing more. The next day I got an email full of offers from Garmin. Maybe it was a coincidence, I do own a Garmin.

A day later I visited a site I've never visited before but I am a member of the organization. The very next day I got a telephone solicitation from them.
Coincidence again?

I somehow doubt it.

Just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean someone isn't tracking you on the net.

Uncle Charlie Griffith
January 4, 2013 5:21 PM

I loved this!
"Just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean someone isn't tracking you on the net."

Thanks......... "Bill
January 4, 2013 2:30 PM ......"

Uncle Charlie Griffith
January 4, 2013 5:24 PM

....forgot to ask....

"What's a Garmin...?"

Bill
January 4, 2013 7:36 PM

Just for Charlie:
A garmin is a device you put on your wife's car to see exactly where she is going and what she is doing if you are paranoid.

Les Ashton
January 5, 2013 12:26 AM

Bill, do you surf au naturel on the Net, or do you go in using "inPrivate"? I've only been penetrated once since using that.........or maybe it's AVG Paid's attentions.......spot o' yer multum-in-parvo, that lot! Cheers from SandGroperLand, Les A.

John H
January 5, 2013 12:40 PM

Leo
This is the dawn of BIG DATA. Every piece of data is going to be connected with every other piece of data. No matter how insignificant. Data storage and manipulation is dirt cheap these days. Individually we are not very interesting but to an advertising company, every little piece of data is value added to to the end product. It is not conspiracy, just good business. And that detailed data base is just sitting there for use by someone, for better or worse.

Kevin
January 7, 2013 5:42 AM

Hi Leo
Another very good article. Ya got my IP address correct but location was 75 miles away.
Later when I fiddled about a bit ya did think I was in a different Country :-)

Texas Mike
March 5, 2013 10:38 AM

It's true that computers are more powerful these days. And it's true that databases are much larger because of that. But there is still the cost of data storage AND the cost of data maintenance. So there are STILL limits to the amount of data that can be collected on just little old YOU. Does ANYONE have information on the exact number of trees and descriptions in the Black Forest? See what I mean?

Homeboy
March 9, 2013 8:23 AM

If you´re really uptight about being ID´d through your IP address, then you should never look up into the sky while a satelite is flying over and taking picture or for that matter never stand too close to water as your reflection can be seen and maybe photographed by the same satelite. Never visit London or Monaco while cameras are everywhere. Never pull money out of an ATM while here is also a camera looking at you incase you are maybe a crook and want to break into the maschine. Never use a cell phone because it can be orted. Never use a charge card while your payments can be followed..... Basically, never leave your home or bed.

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