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I live in a large apartment building that provides a wireless service for residents. All of that traffic goes through a proxy server, and the domain name on that server contains the name of the apartment building and the city.

So, when I load a "what is my IP" service in my browser, it lists not just the IP I'm connecting from, but also something like "the-ritz-altoona.example.com".

I can see no reason for revealing such information. It's not advertising: who's going to see it? It's of no value to the authorities: they can get the same information directly from the ISP.

However, I can see it of being use to stalkers, criminals responding to Craigslist ads, hackers, identity thieves, and so on.

Am I right to be concerned?

P.S. I use a VPN but that isn't allowed with some sites.

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Have you read the about page? –  Lucas Kauffman Jun 17 '13 at 18:09
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To expand on what @LucasKauffman said, please avoid asking "What do you think?" questions like the plague. StackExchange is not a discussion forum, it is for high value content created by practical answerable questions. –  Deer Hunter Jun 17 '13 at 18:13
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I've replaced the "What do you think" with language that's less likely to bring to mind the solicitation of opinion. –  Xander Jun 17 '13 at 19:03
    
Instead of wondering about "security risk," wonder about a certain kind of threat. I can't think of any common threats that would value an IP->address lookup. Perhaps if you anger an actual psychopath on IRC? But a spear phisher, carder, and other common threats don't have your IP, they have other more identifying info. –  Stephen Bachelor Jun 18 '13 at 11:18
    
How exactly would hackers identity thieves get your ip address? That information is not easy unless your a service provider. Even if they get your ip address there really isn't a good valid database for this sort of information. You could always use a VPN service if you wanted. This would force all connections through the VPN service instead of your ISP. –  Ramhound Jun 18 '13 at 14:33
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2 Answers

If it only narrows it down to an apartment building, it probably still isn't that big of a risk if it is fairly large. The reason that it happens is that the apartment itself probably has a static IP tied to their domain or perhaps an IP range. It's no different than when you use a traditional ISP and it says that your are connecting from 123_234_12_34.nycap.rr.com. It's a sub-domain of the IPs controlled under their particular domain and so it shows up in a reverse lookup.

IP addresses in general already generally narrow it down to cities and anyone connecting from an office or school can generally be tracked down to that level. Having a similar level for a large apartment building isn't significantly different from knowing someone was connecting from a community college or a public library.

In certain high risk situations might it be unacceptable? Perhaps, but in the general case, I wouldn't be too worried about it personally unless there are only a dozen or two people in the building. The more important thing to realize and remember is that you are almost never really anonymous on the Internet unless you go to a lot of effort to try to be.

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Thanks for the reply. However, my concern are situations like someone posting an ad selling a car, and then a criminal resolving the IP address in an email and deciding to steal it (something like that happened recently). The same could happen over the phone too, but most people aren't expecting to be revealing their addresses just from sending an email. –  user27333 Jun 18 '13 at 0:35
    
Also, root domain is of the internet service that the apt building uses. It could be changed to something generic like 123_234_12_34.nycap.rr.com, which is what I want. –  user27333 Jun 18 '13 at 0:37
    
@user27333 - Unless the crimnal is hosting the website they would NOT have access to your ip address. If you are really worried about that situation don't visit fly by night websites. –  Ramhound Jun 18 '13 at 14:36
    
There are non-criminal but hostile hosts to take into account. For instance, what if a SE admin didn't like me? They could try to embarrass me by saying, "Ha ha, you're from Altoona!" or something like that. That could happen with "mainstream" sites, such as political blogs. –  user27333 Jun 20 '13 at 16:28
    
There are ways to get someone's IP address even if you aren't a site owner, such as by getting them to send an email to you, or getting them to visit a 3rd party site where you can place an image, or asking a site owner. –  user27333 Jun 20 '13 at 16:30
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I would simply try to give you an analogy. let us take your phone number. It is not something that you want the world to know but at the same time you are not going to keep it as a well protected secret.

Basically if somebody is determined to target you, Finding out your phone number or in your case,the address of your apartment is not going to be a "highly technical" task and like Mr. @AJ Henderson said the name only identifies a building and not an individual resident.

In case you are still worried you have an option of using free proxy websites. They hide your IP address and provide you a certain level of online anonymity.

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