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What are the dangers of someone knowing your IP Address?

Every device that connects to the internet has an IP (Internet Protocol) address.

They’re needed for devices talk to each other and exchange data.

Your IP address may look like

  • 50.201.69.200 – for IPv4 
    or
  • 2001:4860:4000:4uh5:b2fw:0000:8e5d:6432 – for IPv6

– depending on how modern your equipment is.

TIP: Want to know what you IP Address is – check out What is my IP?

But what are the dangers of someone knowing your IP address – and should you hide it?


Denial of Service attack

If someone knew you IP address – they could perform a Denial of Service attack on your router.

This will flood your connection so that your internet stops working – or at best just slows down to a crawl.

This also affects your ISP (Internet Service Provider) – so fortunately most will have systems to detect and manage Denial of Service attacks in their network.

However, these attacks require resources and run the risk of the attacker getting caught and in trouble with their ISP and the law – so fortunately they’re not often directed at home internet connections.

Discover your location

There are online databases which show the geographic location of IP addresses.

Someone with your IP address could uses these to discover your location.

In most cases, these only show your city and state – but this information could be enough to narrow down your identity – such as the school you go to.

Report your IP address as “bad” to websites and services

Some websites, like AbuseIPDB, list “bad” ip addresses – which have been used for hacking, spam and other abusive activity on the Internet.

Someone with you IP address could report it as “bad” – even without you doing anything wrong.

Do this enough times and you’ll have troubles accessing websites which block “bad” IP addresses.

Report your IP address to law enforcement

Taking things a step further – someone with your IP address could also report it as “bad” to law enforcement.

This is unlikely to be taken seriously without evidence – but it still may attract unwanted attention.


Can I be hacked using my IP address?

No – at least least it’s extremely unlikely.

For this to happen you would have to have an existing vulnerability – such as an unsecured router with a default password or open ports.

Fortunately this is extremely rare. Modern routers are designed with security in mind – for example making you set a password before it can be used. And ISP’s often use a firewall to help protect your connection.


Should I hide my IP address?

Sometimes – depending on what you’re doing.

For example, if you’re doing Internet banking you would NOT want to hide your IP address – as you want to have a “clean” connection to the bank. But if you’re browsing websites you don’t trust – YES you should consider hiding your IP address.

The best way to do this is using a VPN – such as Private Internet Access.

Private Internet Access is a highly trusted VPN service which:

  • hides your IP address
  • gives you access via 46 countries – further hiding your location
  • is the only proven no-log VPN service in the world!

I’ve used Private Internet Access for several years and highly recommend them – they offer extreme value for money with prices from $4.42/month.

Windows 10 – How to remove ‘NVIDIA Control Panel is not found’ prompt

Problem

By default Windows 10 will install the software (drivers) required to run a NVIDIA video card – it however doesn’t install the ‘NVIDIA Control Panel’ – which is completely optional and not required for everyday use.

Further more – it has terrible reviews on the Microsoft Store – currently 1.5 stars !

Despite this – Windows will display a prompt every time you turn on the computer which reads

NVIDIA Control Panel is not found

Click here to install NVIDIA Control Panel from Microsoft store.

Solution

These steps show how to disable the ‘NVIDIA Control Panel is not found’ prompt in Windows 10.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and click ‘Run’ (or on the keyboard, press Windows + R)
  2. Locate ‘NVIDIA Display Container LS’
  3. Right-click on it and choose ‘Properties’
  4. Change ‘Startup type’ to ‘Disabled’
  5. Click ‘OK’ and close the Services window
  6. The prompt will no longer appear when you turn on the computer.

 

How to bulk remove Twitter likes

The following steps show how to bulk unlike tweets on Twitter.

The process involves running a custom script in the browser debug console. It may work in other browsers, but is recommended to use Google Chrome.

NOTE: It may need to be ran multiple times to completely clear your tweets.

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Go to your twitter profile “likes” tab https://twitter.com/username/likes
  3. Press F12 on your keyboard – this opens the browsers debug console
  4. Open the ‘Console’ tab
  5. Copy the following script
  6. setInterval(() => {
      for (const d of document.querySelectorAll('div[data-testid="unlike"]')) {
        d.click()
      }
      window.scrollTo(0, document.body.scrollHeight)
    }, 1000)
  7. In the bottom of the debug console, next to the blue arrow, paste it in
  8. Press enter the run the script
  9. Note – you may need to refresh the page and run the script again, several times, to completely clear your list.

 

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC – Unable to edit PDF/A opened read-only

Problem

When opening a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC – the PDF  is read-only and all edit options (e.g. adding a comment) are disabled.

The following message is displayed at the top

This file claims compliance with the PDF/a standard and has been opened read-only to prevent modification.

Solution

This issue often happens when a hard copy document has been converted to a PDF – e.g. scanned and saved as PDF using a photocopier.

PDF/A is different from a traditional PDF – PDF/A files are designed for long term archiving – which is why editing is disabled by default.

These steps show how to enable editing:

  1. In Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, click on the ‘Edit’ menu then ‘Preferences’
  2. Open ‘Documents’ menu on the left hand side
  3. Under ‘PDF/A View Mode’
  4. Change ‘View documents in PDF/A mode’ to ‘Never’
  5. Click ‘OK’ to save the changes
  6. PDF documents using the PDF/A standard will now be editable.

Adobe Acrobat X Pro – Unable to edit PDF/A opened read-only

Problem

When opening a PDF in Adobe Acrobat X  Pro – the PDF  is read-only and all edit options (e.g. Add or Edit Text Box) are disabled.

The following message is displayed at the top

The file you have opened complies with the PDF/A standard and has been opened read-only to prevent modification.

Solution

This issue often happens when a hard copy document has been converted to a PDF – e.g. scanned and saved as PDF using a photocopier.

PDF/A is different from a traditional PDF – PDF/A files are designed for long term archiving – which is why editing is disabled by default.

These steps show how to enable editing:

  1. In Adobe Acrobat X Pro, click on the ‘Edit’ menu then ‘Preferences’
  2. Open ‘Documents’ menu on the left hand side
  3. Under ‘PDF/A View Mode’
  4. Change ‘View documents in PDF/A mode’ to ‘Never’
  5. Click ‘OK’ to save the changes
  6. PDF documents using the PDF/A standard will now be editable.

Excel – How to calculate days until, between or after dates

The following Excel formulas show how to calculate the number of days for:

  • Days until date
  • Days between dates
  • Days after date

Days until date

This formula shows how to calculate the number of days until a date.

It uses the current date using the TODAY() function.

This is useful if you know your dates are all in the future.

=DAYS(A2,TODAY())

Days between dates

This formula shows how to calculate the number of days between two dates.

This is useful if you have two specific dates you need to measure the difference between.

Note: the DAYS() function parameters are DAYS( END DATE , START DATE )

=DAYS(B1,A1)

Days after date

This formula shows how to calculate the number of days after a date.

It uses the current date using the TODAY() function.

This is useful if you know your dates are all in the past.

=DAYS(TODAY(),A2)

How to enable ‘print view’ in Google Chrome debugger

How well a website prints is often not considered by web developers – but it can still be an important part of the user experience – especially if you have long-form content which some users may want to print to read offline.

The debugger tool in Google Chrome allows you to view a website an “print view” – making it easier for developers to customise the layout used when pages are printed.

To open “print view” in Google Chrome:

  1. With Google Chrome open, press F12 on your keyboard
  2. The DevTools console (debugger) will open
  3. Click on the menu at the top right
  4. Open ‘More Tools -> ‘Rendering’
  5. Scroll down to the bottom, until ‘Emulate CSS media type’
  6. Change to ‘print’
  7. The web page currently loaded, and any other pages opened – will display how it will be printed
  8. If the page doesn’t change – or it includes content which is not suitable for print (e.g. the menu) – there’s work to do !

Word 2016 – Fix random list items indented

Problem

By default bullet and numbered lists have a ‘tab’ indent before each item.

However, this can be customised on a per-item basis.

Often this is done in existing documents or templates – leaving other users confused when some items display differently.

Solution

To fix this, you need to reset the list indent settings for the list.

  1. Right-click on any item in the list
  2. Open ‘Adjust list indents’
  3. Change ‘Follow number with’ to another value – ‘Tab character’ is recommended, as this is the default in Word.
  4. Click ‘OK’ to save the changes
  5. The list will now be displayed as expected

 

Office 365 – How to disable inbox ‘Other’ folder

By default the Outlook web app in Office 365 has an ‘Other’ folder.

This is similar to the Gmail’s category tabs – where emails are automatically categorised and shown in either the mail ‘Focused’ or ‘Other’ folder.

This can cause issues with some emails not being noticed because they’ve essentially been hidden in the ‘Other’ folder.

To disable the ‘Other’ folder in the Outlook web app (Office 365):

  1. Open the mailbox in the Outlook web app
  2. Click on the cog icon at the top right of the page
  3. Toggle ‘Focused Inbox’ to the off position
  4. All emails (except for ones directed to the Junk Email folder) will now be shown in the ‘Inbox’