IP address safety?

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Zilnad
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PostIP address safety?
by Zilnad » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:00 am

Just a quick question but at work I have to log in to a customer's online service to submit invoices digitally. This is the first time I've had to use it since lockdown began but they are saying, that in order to log in to their service from home, I need to give them my IP address so they can give me access.

Now I don't see what evil they could do with an IP address but my knowledge on the subject is lacking so it would make me very uncomfortable to hand over this information without first knowing whether it could be used for nefarious deeds.

Either way, I consider it personal information and won't be mixing it with work but I'd like to know where I stand in case anyone comes to me to complain.

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OrangeRKN
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PostRe: IP address safety?
by OrangeRKN » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:05 am

Any website you visit can see your IP address, unless you're using a VPN. It's essentially public information. Right now on GRcade for example your IP is being logged against your username (and this isn't nefarious, I promise you!)

The customer is being more secure by having a whitelist of IP addresses they allow access for. It's pretty standard as a security measure - it helps defend against unauthorised access.

If it still makes you uncomfortable, you can use a VPN (do you not have one for work?) or it's possible to change your IP address by turning off your router for a while (not sure on the timeframe, maybe ~hours), and when turning it back on your ISP will assign you a new IP.

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Zilnad
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PostRe: IP address safety?
by Zilnad » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:15 am

Never used a VPN in my life but thank you for the informative response. Really helpful, I just wanted to be sure as I know nothing on the subject.

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Jenuall
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PostRe: IP address safety?
by Jenuall » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:17 am

You don't use a VPN at all for any of your work you do from home?

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Lagamorph
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PostRe: IP address safety?
by Lagamorph » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:22 am

One thing to keep in mind is that most ISPs don't give you a static IP address unless you pay extra, so your home Internet IP address may change periodically.
This means that if you have to access the portal frequently you may need to occasionally ask them to whitefish your new IP address.

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Jenuall
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PostRe: IP address safety?
by Jenuall » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:23 am

I've heard bad stories about whitefishing on the internet...

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Zilnad
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PostRe: IP address safety?
by Zilnad » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:24 am

Jenuall wrote:You don't use a VPN at all for any of your work you do from home?


No, I don't know anything about this subject so is that really bad? I wouldn't even know how to use my work laptop through a VPN.

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PostRe: IP address safety?
by Jenuall » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:30 am

Zilnad wrote:
Jenuall wrote:You don't use a VPN at all for any of your work you do from home?


No, I don't know anything about this subject so is that really bad? I wouldn't even know how to use my work laptop through a VPN.

In the context of a working from home situation the point of a VPN is to essentially extend your works private network across the open internet to include your device that you are using to do the work, effectively making your device part of your work's local network despite not actually being "on-site".

This usually incorporates security measures such as encryption which makes any work you do remotely more secure - helping to protect both your device individually and your works network in general.

Obviously the needs will differ across organisations based on their requirements etc. but in general it's good practice for places to make use of VPNs these days.

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