Okay. Now it’s time for the page about IP addresses that I promised.
Rumor Mill Chickenshit Fake Person has determined something that I already posted about quite clearly. I could have saved him/her a lot of work.
In the page on the love letters, I talk about IP addresses and proxies no less than three times.
The love letters, along with the messages from “Jonathan Blakely,” were all sent via proxies. Thanks, Rumor Mill Chicketshit Fake Person, for that information that we already knew and had fully acknowledged.
My name is Sally Davis. When somebody sends me snail mail, they send it to Sally Davis, “address”, “city,” “state,” “zip code.” All those pieces of information are designed to help the postman deliver the letter to the right house, and after it’s delivered, to allow the people living in that house to give it to the right person.
That’s all an IP address is.
It’s a series of numbers like this: 188.8.131.52.
It gets really technical, but those numbers are sort of like the “address-city-state-zipcode” stuff we’re all familiar with.
And each computer or computer network has a unique IP address. So, when I sit at my computer or computing device, and punch in a URL, the computer sends a signal that I want to download the code that will generate the website in my browser. The IP address tells the hosting site where to send the code (data).
If the request came from my IP, then the data is returned to my IP.
So what can we know about an IP address or what can we find out if we know it?
Well, not a whole lot. Not nearly as much as people like Rumor Mill Chickenshit Fake Person wants people to think.
Here’s an IP address. (Mine, actually. I blocked out the actual numbers because my husband, again, asked me to do so.) If I take my IP address to an IP address locator website (Google the term, you’ll get dozens of them), and punch it in, I get this:
There are dozens of them. And you’ll get slightly different results from different locator sites. This one is saying that my ISP is Time Warner Cable (it’s not) and that I am in Monroe, Ohio (I am not). Not even close.
When we were on satellite internet, our IP address had us located in Denver, Colorado.
Why is it so wrong?
Well, it’s wrong because of the way we get internet access. Our provider buys bandwidth (or some other technical stuff that I barely understand) from a company in a nearby town, and they buy it from, I guess, Time Warner Cable out of Ohio. Or something like that.
Anyway, good luck using my IP address to try to locate me.
Sometimes IP addresses are a lot more accurate, pinning the location of the computer or device being used down to a particular narrow area, a city or maybe a couple of smaller towns, but they will not take you to a house at 352 Ivy Lane.
Let’s take the example I gave above.
That’s one of the IP addresses “Jonathan Blakely” used.
Now what in the hell is this?
It’s a proxy. Here’s how it works.
You go find a proxy server (Google the term, you’ll find dozens of them). Go to the website of the proxy server. Punch in the URL of the site you want to visit/view, and you’ll be taken there.
Remember the address thing? You put in the URL of the website you want to visit and the website host then sends the data back to your IP address and into your computer so you can look at it.
Well, every single website that I know anything about on the face of the planet records that shit. All my websites (I manage 6) automatically track and record IP addresses and length of visit, and how many pages the visitor viewed, and how long they stayed, and all sorts of other stuff—and I didn’t have to set any of that up. It came that way when I bought the hosting service (a hosting service is where you store a website so that the public can see it—it’s a monthly or yearly rental thing).
Anyone with a website can view their stats anytime they like.
It’s not about poking into other people’s business. It’s about marketing. It’s about knowing which page on your website is getting the most attention, so maybe you ought to imitate that layout. Or how popular is this sale I’m having, and are my actual sales mirroring the amount of traffic, or is there a problem and I need to fix it?
Or how popular is Nathan’s music in, say, Sweden and should we actively try to promote him there? (Answer: pretty popular, more than I would have thought)
But back to proxies.
Suppose, for some reason—you’re Rumor Mill Chickenshit Fake Person and you want to comment on the blog and taunt me and you don’t want me to know who you are because you’re embarrassed about your own opinions and ideas—you want to hide your IP address from my nasty prying eyes, you can.
Going through the proxy works like this. Your computer sends the request for the data to generate the website you wish to visit (the URL) to the proxy computer. The proxy computer then sends a request to the website. The website responds by sending the data back to the proxy server, and then the proxy server sends the data to your computer.
The website (this blog, for example) only gets the IP address of the proxy, not yours.
Sounds great, if you’re Rumor Mill Chickenshit Fake Person and scared to be yourself, but it has drawbacks. In some cases, images don’t come through correctly. Sometimes links don’t work. And it is lots slower. That’s understandable because the data has to travel all over hell and half of Georgia to get to you.
So, what is all this hoopla about IP addresses, and OMG, Sally tracks them and be afraid, be very afraid?
It’s a oft-used tactic to try to get people to stop commenting. The average person doesn’t know what the damn things are in the first place and hears “IP address” and is just sure they’re in trouble or something.
And then you get some stupid comment like this:
You can see how silly this is. It’s clearly and demonstrably wrong. And exactly how would Love Letter Writer (almost certainly Joe) “link” Lisa’s IP address with authorship of this blog?
Because Lisa has commented here, I have her IP address. I do. Nobody else does.
Fuck Nut is a good name for the Love Letter Writer (almost certainly Joe). A “reverse IP tracker” is just silly. It’s similar to the old *69 thing that you used to do on phones to find out who called you.
The thing is that when you look at this website, you are not looking at my computer. You are looking at data generated by my hosting service. I don’t even know where that is. The computer sending you the data necessary to generate the images that you are now seeing isn’t at my house, nor is it mine.
Okay, so an IP address is nothing scary. The bottom line here is this: Don’t be afraid of IP address threats. It’s bluster and bullshit. If you’re actively writing nasty threatening love letters, just stop that shit. If you’re commenting reasonably on a blog (any blog, anywhere), don’t worry about it.
And Facebook accounts don’t have IP addresses, so people who try to threaten you about your Facebook account are just bluffing and lying.
How can people use them?
Well, they can be used in the way I did on the Love Letter page to show that “Jonathan Blakely” and the Love Letter Writer are the same person. It’s remotely possible, of course, that those are two different people each using the same proxy server that they simply stumbled onto by total accident and both writing insulting stuff to this particular blog, but that’s doubtful in the extreme.
One other thing: If I can positively identify, for example, Lisa with a particular IP address, and if Lisa were to completely piss me off for some reason, and if I were the type of person who just bans people right and left, I could block her IP address and she wouldn’t be able to come here.
Only then she could just go through a proxy. Slower, yes, but it works.
Basically, they are almost useless except as a very broad, general tool to evaluate the success or weaknesses of a website.
So, which is it? Can I see all this great information and therefore know who is visiting here, or am I liar and don’t know shit? Make up your mind.
Yes, I put Statcounter on the blog. The counter number is incorrect though, off by more than 10,000 page views.
That’s because I did not put it on there until after I started getting the love letters and they began to escalate in ferocity. Statcounter gives me a bit more information than the stat software embedded in WordPress, so somebody who knows more than I do about all this suggested that I use it for my own safety. It had nothing whatever to do with trying to find out who anonymous posters are on this blog. I do not have Statcounter on my other blog because even though they’ve been nasty, nobody there has ever threatened my physically. The Love Letter Writer did.
Remember why I was anonymous in the first place? Because my husband was not happy about Joe Naugler’s criminal record.
So how do I know (almost certainly) that Joe wrote the love letters?
A wise woman doesn’t tell everything she knows.
Somebody reminded me of this. Thank you.
I don’t know if that software came embedded in the blog when she started it, or if she added it herself.
Sally Davis Nicole Naugler keeps track of user data on her blessedlittleblog “They Call Me Mom” blog. She is able to view and log various information about users such as your country, state, and city. Who your internet provider is. What pages you view. How long you read the pages. How often you come back. Any links you click on from her page. Any comment you make.
The coolest thing is to see how much of her traffic is generated from this blog.