From time to time on your Report or on a Report that you receive as an Accountability Partner, you may see a series of numbers that do not look like a normal web address. These numbers are an Internet Protocol (IP address). This numerical identifier is assigned to each device (like a computer or printer) that’s a part of a network that uses IP addresses for communication. An IP address has two main functions: identification and location addressing.
Now that we know the basics of IP addresses…
Why do they show up on reports from time to time?
- Network printer: As explained above, a network printer needs an Internet connection in order to communicate print jobs from a number of different computers. One way of communication is the IP address. If you or the person you hold accountable has Covenant Eyes installed on a work computer you might see IP addresses regularly on the Report. There is a strong possibility that the IP address is the network printer.
- Home or work network: Similar to the network printer, home and work networks communicate with your computer to aid it in getting online.
- A website that uses a background server: These can commonly be found in a workplace atmosphere. A company website could have a server running in the background.
If you see an IP address on a Report:
- The best thing you can do is an IP address lookup through your favorite search engine. You will be able to type the IP address appearing on the report and the IP address lookup website will be able to to tell you the city and state of that particular IP address. This can aid you in understanding where and potentially why this IP addresses is showing up on a report.
- Do not assume that the user has or is attempting to circumvent the Covenant Eyes software. The sudden appearance of IP addresses, when there never have been any, can be confusing, but it should not be interpreted as an immediate red flag. Use an IP address lookup to clarify the appearance of the IP address and discuss the activity appearing on the Report with the user you hold accountable.