With millions of people logged on to the Internet sharing information to each other, there will always be people looking to maliciously fool or fraud innocent people for personal gain. Normally, these threats are done mostly through email however, some of them develop certain applications such as spyware, Trojans, and other malicious software to attack a person's computer or take the information stored within. Assuming that you were able to catch where the IP address of the email, file, or attack, there are some procedures that you can initiate to find the person behind the IP address. Here are some tips on how to proceed.
Use the Internet. If you already have the exact IP address of the malicious attacker, then you can trace where this person resides by simple searching the Internet for websites that provide free IP tracing services. Normally, these sites will allow you to trace where the IP address is coming from by conducting the search on their website. Using Google Maps, the website will display the exact location of the person using the IP address. Some websites that are really useful for this tracing activity is aruljohn.com and ip-address.com. All you have to do is visit these sites and plot the IP address you want traced, execute the search, and you should know where to find the person who wrought havoc on your online life.
Report the IP Address to the authorities. If the malicious attack is serious and made you a victim of Internet fraud, then you can always report the IP address of the attacker to the FBI or Federal Bureau of Investigation since they have a task force dedicated in apprehending individuals committing Internet crimes. Visit the FBI website at www.fbi.gov and navigate to link located at the left side of the homepage labeled "report Internet crime". This will lead you to a page where you can submit a report of the crime. Include the IP address of the attacker to make it easier for them to trace the person behind the crime. You may contact your local FBI office as well if you feel that you need to talk to them about the experience. The FBI website will have the contact number of the particular local FBI office in your area so make sure to search for it there.
Ask the Internet Service Provider or ISP that owns the IP address. If you can secure legal summons for tracing a particular IP address, then you can request the ISP that owns the IP address to give up the name and address of the person that the IP address was assigned to. To find out the ISP who owns the IP address, do a quick search on arin.net using the IP address you have and it will provide you with the ISP responsible. Contact the ISP and show the summons for the trace. Normally, ISPs do not like this but since you have legal summons, they have no choice. It may take up to a week before the ISP gives out the information so you may have to do some waiting.
It is vital that anyone using the Internet know this facet to protect themselves from various Internet scams and crimes proliferating on the Internet. To avoid getting into these predicaments, you will want to secure your computer and Internet connections with firewalls and anti-malicious software applications and decline emails and messages from people you do not know.