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IP address geolocation security (lack of)

hitchhiker43
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IP address geolocation security (lack of)

Hi all, I have an ADSL service with dynamic IP addresses, I have become concerned recently by geolocation being able to pinpoint where I live and send me targeted Emails and display targeted adds on some websites. I personally have no use whatever for geolocation services.

 

I tried changing my IP address by switching the modem on and off but unfortunately whatismyipaddress.com were still able to locate me.  I noticed the new IP address was very close to the old (only the last 3 digits changed).

 

Why can we not go back to the good old days of being in Sheffield by default ?

Perhaps you could change my IP in a big way to throw the beggars off my scent ?

Tp-link W8960n on longgggggggg line!
23 REPLIES 23
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

I'm in Essex and have had the same static IP for about 16 years.

whatismyipaddress.com says I'm in Sheffield  Tongue

hitchhiker43
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Registered: ‎06-07-2016

Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

I wish! I don't know when or how they changed mine Sad I have checked very carefully whats around here and despite us using an Iphone in the house exclusively on wifi (it has no sim) location services upon it have always been turned off. I just have a feeling this is Pnet allocating IP's according to location given the narrow range apparently available to me but I could be barking up the wrong tree!

Tp-link W8960n on longgggggggg line!
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Registered: ‎10-06-2010

Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

I think the only thing Plusnet can do about it is let you purchase a static IP.

hitchhiker43
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Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

Thankyou EJS but I am intrigued as to how or why this would solve the problem ?

Tp-link W8960n on longgggggggg line!
Community Veteran
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Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

Using a VPN would disguise your location.

hitchhiker43
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Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

Indeed I agree a VPN would work at least temporally but so should changing the IP address and I am wondering why that didn't work again at least temporally ? You see I am thinking maybe my ISP is selling me more than I bargained for Smiley

Tp-link W8960n on longgggggggg line!
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Registered: ‎10-06-2010

Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

A static IP address from Plusnet would probably be allocated from a different range than what's assigned dynamically. As you have noticed, dynamic IP addresses tend to be assigned from one or more ranges which are specific to a location. And the geolocation data will probably be the same for the whole /24 block. It does not matter that you have done nothing to reveal your location, others in the block will have and the geolocation companies will have acquired the data.

hitchhiker43
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Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

Ahh thank you very much for the explanation EJS I was harboring some suspicions along those lines myself. Would I be thinking along the right lines that maybe Pnet are trying to help there customers who do use geolocation not to loose service just because there link drops out and they get a new Ip address ? So I wonder if they started to introduce this when they started flogging mobile services .......

 

Maybe if I speak nicely to the staff I can move back to Sheffield!!

 

P.S. I put this in ADSL as I thought maybe other services had different IP allocations etc

Tp-link W8960n on longgggggggg line!
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-06-2010

Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

I think it was due to the switch from WBMC Shared to WBMC Dedicated (a.k.a. Plusnet's "new network"). Terminating the PPP sessions on some piece of BTWholesale kit nearer the end user saves carrying a few bytes of PPP overhead back to some Plusnet datacentre, saving a small amount of backhaul bandwidth. I think this requires each piece of BTWholesale kit to be given its own ranges of IP addresses to assign. Any effects on geolocation accuracy were not the motivation.

Plusnet Staff
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Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

Hi @hitchhiker43

 

Can you private message me your Plusnet username so I can check into this for you?

 

Thanks Smiley

Jon


If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Jon Smith
 Plusnet Infrastructure Operations Professional
hitchhiker43
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Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

EJS thanks for the explanation though as you say the amount of ppp overhead to backhaul is tiny, maybe there trying to de-centralise more, in any case it seems another consequence nobody has thought about is a serious loss of user privacy and identity security.

 

Jon, thank you, sent Smiley

Tp-link W8960n on longgggggggg line!
idonno
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Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

I have a static address. One search says I'm in Sheffield, another (whatismyipaddress.com) in Brent and another site says I'm in Bournemouth! Miles from where I actually am.

 

One thing I do is when the browser says a site wants my location, it gets turned down every time. Have you checked your browser settings? Can't say I get any targeted ads at all. Simply because ads are a rare sight on my box.

 

I would be more concerned about emails. How are they getting your email address to send targeted spam to you?

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
hitchhiker43
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 194
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Registered: ‎06-07-2016

Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

I found the browser one only the other day, FF has location switched ON by default, really friendly and secure!!

 

I am beginning to think there maybe some bad cookies now so that's something to investigate tomorrow.

 

Meanwhile they got my Email addy from one of these cr*p websites that allowed themselves to get hacked (or just simply use that as an excuse when they actually sold it) who knows......

 

I try not to spray personal information around so to find my location is known from my IP addy is somewhat annoying.

Tp-link W8960n on longgggggggg line!
idonno
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Re: IP address geolocation security (lack of)

Yes, it seems my much used Hotmail email address comes up on pwned

Not that I have any problems with it as it's set to exclusive i.e. if I haven't got the sender in my address book, it automatically goes to the spam folder. Deleted, never read.

 

One other thing I did years ago was get my own domain email address. Costs about £10 a year (comes with 400+ sub domains. so potentially 400 email addresses to play with). I could use separate email addresses for each person / company I deal with if I wanted to but so far, touching a big plank of wood, I haven't had any spam in either of the two I've got set up in years. Might be worth looking in to if spam becomes to much of a problem.

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?