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itsbriana

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 31, 2016
5
1
okay, so I need help. I was recently in a chat room and there was someone claiming that he has my IP address. I'm scared that he can do something with it because he said he's done this before. He said he can make my life a living hell and even put my parents in jail. I'm just scared that he can some real damage with my IP address.
 

AFEPPL

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2014
2,644
1,570
England
Unless you have something silly (and illegal) on your laptop, then you're pretty safe.
Can you be hacked? sure you can be. Can "he" do it? no idea.
 
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aesc80

Cancelled
Mar 24, 2015
2,250
7,144
okay, so I need help. I was recently in a chat room and there was someone claiming that he has my IP address. I'm scared that he can do something with it because he said he's done this before. He said he can make my life a living hell and even put my parents in jail. I'm just scared that he can some real damage with my IP address.

It's actually really easy to get anyone's IP address, especially off a chat room. When you connect with someone directly (say Omegle), you're allowing someone to make a connection to your computer using an open port provided by the browser. It would be a simple "netstat" just to see what IP address you're connected with.

That being said, IP addresses are very much meaningless. In most cases, you're using a temporary IP (in otherwords, your IP address only exists for a small period of time. It doesn't mean that IP address always leads to you). All because someone has your IP address doesn't fully provide proof that you or someone you know can commit crimes with it and get you in trouble. It would take something bigger to take control of your Mac and make it do things. Even then, it would more than likely noticeable.

Sounds like the guy was simply trying to scare you with computer jargon and wanted to get something out of you. Rest assured you're safe. And stop talking to people like that! :p
 

itsbriana

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 31, 2016
5
1
It's actually really easy to get anyone's IP address, especially off a chat room. When you connect with someone directly (say Omegle), you're allowing someone to make a connection to your computer using an open port provided by the browser. It would be a simple "netstat" just to see what IP address you're connected with.

That being said, IP addresses are very much meaningless. In most cases, you're using a temporary IP (in otherwords, your IP address only exists for a small period of time. It doesn't mean that IP address always leads to you). All because someone has your IP address doesn't fully provide proof that you or someone you know can commit crimes with it and get you in trouble. It would take something bigger to take control of your Mac and make it do things. Even then, it would more than likely noticeable.

Sounds like the guy was simply trying to scare you with computer jargon and wanted to get something out of you. Rest assured you're safe. And stop talking to people like that! :p
Believe me I have stopped talking to people like. I've even stop using my computer completely because I'm scared. But my sister used my Mac just a few minutes and now I've been getting emails from some random person. I don't know what to do.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
4,334
3,006
Between the coasts
Believe me I have stopped talking to people like. I've even stop using my computer completely because I'm scared. But my sister used my Mac just a few minutes and now I've been getting emails from some random person. I don't know what to do.

It's easy for someone to tell you to be brave, it's not always easy to take the advice.

The problem with the person in the chat room is he/she's a garden-variety bully, and he already knows he has you scared. You can ignore him. Maybe he goes away, maybe he makes even scarier threats. But in all likelihood, whatever threats he made or may yet make are empty threats.

Hacking something like a MacBook can be really, really hard. It's not the kind of thing done to a random person on the Internet - it's done because the target has something of real value - confidential business plans, substantial wealth, potential evidence of criminal activity, etc.

Making threats and trying to scare people, however, is very, very easy. Often, it's plain old social bullying - the bully's only goal is personal satisfaction (bolster his own self-esteem, social position, etc.). Other times, it may be an attempt to fool the target into doing something (like paying hundreds of dollars to remove non-existent computer viruses, or divulging credit card information).

Computers had the Internet have given people with bad intent all sorts of "new" ways to scare and scam people. But the thing is, they're not new methods at all - some have been around in predator/prey interactions for hundreds of millions of years, or more. They're the same techniques that have always been used, adapted for new circumstances. They're based on lies, and as always, successful lies depend upon the victim's ignorance, gullibility, fearfulness, etc. Most people don't know how computers or the Internet work, so it's easy to make up lies and prey upon that ignorance.

Another thing to keep in mind is that people try to connect unrelated things to find patterns, conspiracies, etc. Coincidences happen all the time, and most coincidences are pure, unrelated chance.

People get email from "random persons" every day of the week. It's junk mail. It may look like it was written personally to you (or your sister), but it's not. Before you encountered this bully's threats, you may have ignored it as meaningless junk. Now that you've been threatened in that chat room, you think that maybe that junk mail is related to the threats. There's a huge probability that there is absolutely no connection. Your heightened awareness simply means that you're noticing something that has been there all along.
 

aesc80

Cancelled
Mar 24, 2015
2,250
7,144
Believe me I have stopped talking to people like. I've even stop using my computer completely because I'm scared. But my sister used my Mac just a few minutes and now I've been getting emails from some random person. I don't know what to do.

Yup, its just spam. No worries about that. No need to fear, its all good. I take it you're looking for more than just reassurance. :p
 

itsbriana

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 31, 2016
5
1
It's actually really easy to get anyone's IP address, especially off a chat room. When you connect with someone directly (say Omegle), you're allowing someone to make a connection to your computer using an open port provided by the browser. It would be a simple "netstat" just to see what IP address you're connected with.

That being said, IP addresses are very much meaningless. In most cases, you're using a temporary IP (in otherwords, your IP address only exists for a small period of time. It doesn't mean that IP address always leads to you). All because someone has your IP address doesn't fully provide proof that you or someone you know can commit crimes with it and get you in trouble. It would take something bigger to take control of your Mac and make it do things. Even then, it would more than likely noticeable.

Sounds like the guy was simply trying to scare you with computer jargon and wanted to get something out of you. Rest assured you're safe. And stop talking to people like that! :p
I've stopped completely going on there ever since that threat. But just something about it made me feel uneasy, so I had to be sure if this was serious or not.
 
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