Have you ever seen movies where the protagonist’s side-kick is an IT geek who loves to hack into large corporations’ websites for fun? Let us tell you that that’s all it is: fun. No one can find out where you live with only your mobile number or IP address, so you can stop worrying now.
If you run a small business and someone is commenting fake information on the Google reviews section of your business’s website, we understand what you’re feeling. But it’s not smart of you to directly think of tracking down their IP address because that won’t help matters in any way.
The best way to solve this issue is to flag those comments to Google. You can also send them a kind reply asking for more specific information or even connect over a call to discuss the issue at length.
But in case you choose to go with your first thought, read on to learn what’ll happen if you try to trace an IP address from Google review.
Can You Trace an IP Address from Google Review?
Let’s get straight to the main topic: Is it possible to trace an IP address from a Google review? Well, technically, the answer’s yes. But if the question were whether or not you can trace an IP address from Google reviews, the answer would be a big no.
This is because, unlike what’s shown in your favorite action movie, an amateur coder with a laptop cannot find the world’s every mystery in under five minutes.
Very few people who aren’t from an IT background know what an IP address even means.
An IP address is a number given to your device (laptop, computer, smartphone, tablet: any electronic device with an internet connection), which connects it to the internet. It changes every time you change your internet connection.
Let’s say you go to a café or a restaurant or a hotel or your friend’s house. Your IP address changes when you turn off your mobile data and connect to their Wi-Fi. You can check out this theory right here: https://whatismyipaddress.com/.
Just check this address at your house, and then again at your friend’s.
Anyhow, that’s what an IP address is. Google has your IP address. If you’ve ever signed up for anything on the internet, that site has your IP address.
However, these companies cannot look at your IP address to track you to your house. That’s impossible for a myriad of reasons.
Let us say, hypothetically, that you want to trace the IP address of a person who’s written a Google review. Here are the various hypothetical hoops you’ll have to jump through before you ever get to that person.
Obtaining the IP Address from Google
The IP address records you’re talking about are all confidential information, even for Google. So, to get them to go digging into private records, you’ll have to involve some crime enforcement, at the very, very least. But that’s not all.
The crime enforcement unit will have to bring a subpoena, or Google won’t budge. For the warrant, there will have to be a court hearing where a judge will decide whether this all is worth it, which it probably isn’t.
Since we’re talking hypothetically, let’s say your issue was big enough that law enforcement agreed to treat it as a case. The judge granted the subpoena, and Google handed over the files. After several hours, even days of poring over those files, you find the IP address.
You head over to the law enforcement team, triumphant at last. But what comes next?