How can we keep track of someone else's IP location
Find IP and localize owner - that's how it works!
As soon as you go online, your provider assigns you an IP address. This number, the time and the date can be used to identify you ... theoretically. GIGA explains to you how you can find the IP of another user and then localize him.
If someone insults you or makes harmful claims on the Internet, they will rarely do so under their real name and with a clearly identifiable e-mail address. Usually the IP address of the polluter is the only starting point to identify him. We'll show you how to find this IP address and then locate the perpetrator - and what difficulties there are.
This is how a cell phone can actually be located:
Preparatory work: Find out the IP address
First you have to find an IP address before you can locate it. If you have been harassed by e-mail, the IP of the perpetrator is usually included with the delivery. You can find them in the so-called "Mail header". This contains data that a mail program needs for identification and answering.
- To get to it, you have to open the message source text, which you can use in Thunderbird, for example, with the Tbutton combination Ctrl + U opens when you are in the email.
- You have to look there now. It helps to search for keywords like "permitted sender“And try the IP address next to it.
- If you want to find out the IP address of someone with you, for example Facebook or insulted in a forum, it becomes more difficult. In that case you are on the (actually illegal) good will of the Website operator instructed or have to Take legal action.
Locating an IP with "geolocation"
There are "IP databases" in which theoretically a location is recorded for every IP. It doesn't get any more precise than to the place. Street addresses cannot be found there. Various sites offer you an IP search where you can enter an IP and then get the associated location displayed.
Sometimes you can then get more information about the IPs. For example who the provider is and their support address to contact them.
On these pages you can locate an IP and get additional information:
Simply enter the IP found there and then you can try to locate the owner of the IP with the data. That's probably enough for you if you have a rough idea of who is behind it. Otherwise it will be problematic.
Problems with IP localization - legal and technical
- Providers such as Telekom are not allowed to give their customers' address data to private individuals or companies. Only investigative authorities such as the police and public prosecutor's office are authorized to obtain the data of a subscriber from a provider.
- The so-called "data retention" is still not legally binding. But even if they did, providers would have to save the connection data for a maximum of 10 weeks and then delete them. So if the "act" was a long time ago, even the police can no longer access the data.
- Even "normal citizens" are increasingly using VPN services or cloud providers to access the Internet. Then the visible IP belongs to the service provider and he usually does not save any connection data of his customers at all.
- Anyone who intentionally wants to harm someone on the Internet often uses anonymization services to hide their real IP address. In that case, it is almost hopeless to locate the perpetrator.
- Likewise, if someone uses a public WiFi network for their crime or goes to the Internet from a company office, it is impossible to establish a conclusive connection between the crime and a person.
As you can see, it is not possible for you to simply locate the address for an IP. The final step is always for law enforcement officers to find evidence that there is a connection between an IP and a person.
More on the subject:
Online Security and Privacy: Important or Not? (Survey)
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