The good, the bad, and the ugly

“If somebody gets your IP address you may as well lay down, because you’re dead.”

“Should someone get your IP address they can find where you live.”

“What if some creep gets your IP address, they can hack into your computer and steal your banking data.”

True or false statements? It really depends on which movie made for television you’re watching. There certainly is a lot predicated on those doomsday statements above. Though they boast much, they actually deliver very little. But making sense of those three must surely be important to us adults, so let’s begin.

Do most people really know/understand what an Internet Protocol address really is? Well, in fairness, I insist they really do, because an address is an address; that is, it is a destination identification, sure as the address scribbled on an envelope — remember those?

You see, the principle is the same, though the details are very different: if you misspelled Albookirkee on your envelope (and most of us do), the postal system is human and intuitive enough to figure out you meant Albuquerque and will route it. If you make even the slightest mistake on an IP address, the Internet doesn’t care what it thinks you mean…

Return to sender!

The Internet is based on the premise that all devices connected to the Internet shall each have a unique identifier, and that could be an IP address. There cannot be — or, rather there should not be — two IP addresses that are the same, or the darn system just doesn’t work right.