As in the real world, the virtual world also has bad people
who always try to find holes to gain access to Internet users'
computers to distribute virus, spam, adware, spyware, malware, to
make them little agents for starting an attack to a big company's
server, or to steal their user names, passwords, and credit cards
details. In fact, the potential attackers don't rely only on IP
addresses information to find their targets, they may use e-mail, website's
active element, file sharing and other client-side applications to
cause damage or identify personal information.
Fortunately, you can protect your computer using
and anti spyware. Those tools usually have been integrated into e-mail
clients, Internet browsers and Operating Systems (OS). But to stay
safe, your software must be always up to date. Be sure to update
your protection software and your PC's OS regularly. Software updates
are usually provided by the software vendors periodically or when
there is a new kind of threat.
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If you access the Internet through a proxy server, it's the
proxy's IP address that is seen by the website you visit and other
parties who silently monitor your Internet session. However, your identity
is still known to the proxy server.
If your computer connects to the Internet through a broadband router (or
residential gateway), your computer IP address is hidden from the
Internet because your router's IP address represents you on the Internet.
However, your identity is still known to your ISP who assigns an IP
address to your router.
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The 32-bit IP address described above is IP version 4 (IPv4) address.
IP version 6 (IPv6) address is 128 bits (16 bytes) long, that's 4 times
longer than IPv4 address. IPv6 address is written in eight
pairs of hexadecimal
numbers separated by a colon in between. Each pair of hexadecimal
numbers represents a byte. Example:
IPv6 was originally meant to increase the
number of available IP addresses from 232 (that's more
than 4 billion) to 2128 (use your calculator !)
to anticipate the exponential growth in the number of computers
that will be connected to the Internet. Later on, IP version 6 is intended to
provide QoS support over the Internet and introduce improvement in
routing, security, and network configuration. Many new networking
products support both IPv4 and IPv6 to take advantage of IPv6's
strength while maintaining support for the predominantly IPv4
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Assignment : Try converting back
all IP addresses mentioned in this article into binary numbers
that will consist of bits 1 and 0.
Hint : For IPv4 addresses,
convert each decimal number set to a binary number. For IPv6
address, convert each pair of hexadecimal numbers to a binary
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