Donald Trump just recently signed a bill that lets American Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to sell its user data to advertisers. What does it mean? With the repeal fully signed, ISPs can now by default collect various personal information about its customers - user browsing history, online shopping habits, financial details as well as healthcare information. All of this data can be used to make different profiles and then the data can be sold to different advertising brands. This way, advertisers can start targeting users by injecting relevant ads into their browsers, leaving Internet users vulnerable.
Moreover, Internet users will not be informed whether their data is sold and if it is - what kind of information is collected. Do not forget that ISPs will know what websites do you log in while using Facebook, Gmail and more. Of course, Google offers the “Incognito” mode. But, while it might help you against the collection of Cookies and some other third-party tracking, your Internet Service Providers will still know what kind of content you are browsing through.
Why ISPs should search through all of the Internet user data? Because the information is very revealing and valuable. Internet Service Providers might make tons of money from user information and habits, even if it means that they will have to put some effort into digging through tons of data.
Tor is a free browser and is a secure option for anonymous browsing. Your Internet activity while using it cannot be tracked. However, be careful when using Tor, as it is slow and the location from which you connect to these services can be seen.
Fear that your browsing history and visited pages can be seen? Don’t want to be targeted by ads? Your privacy can be protected with the help of a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN encrypts your Internet activity and changes your IP address to a one located in another country, hiding you even from your Internet Service Provider. A VPN helps to hide your Internet traffic and secures you from third-parties. Most VPNs have a “no-logs policy” that does not log any of your online activities, so you can surf the web, download files safely and anonymously.
Want to know which VPN service providers are considered to be the best? Be sure to check out our list of the top-rated VPN services right here.
It does not need to be said that Google collects everything. And yes, not needing to remember password, autofill options, everything being connected - from Facebook to Gmail is very convenient, but poses a great risk to your security. Knowing that Google tracks your every move, you might want to switch your search engine. Of course, most of them also track your activity and browsing sessions, but now there are multiple search engines that keep you safe and private.
For example, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that won't track you. It also includes customizable privacy options and features.
Often, when you visit a website, you are asked about whether the website can keep Cookies. Cookies are the ones that remember information and keep data about a website’s user. On the other hand, Cookies track your every action on a certain website - what you’re browsing for, what kind of items are you looking for when shopping online and etc. But the good news is that there are multiple browser extensions and security tools that help to block third-party tracking and data collection.
You can cut down on your data being revealed by using HTTPS. It’s a better option as it adds additional security to your browsing experience. HTTPS encrypts your data and keeps you more private, but it does not keep you anonymous. Also, your Internet Service Provider can see that you’ve visited a specific website, but it won’t know for how long have you stayed on a certain website and what pages of it have you been on.
DNS leaks are a major threat for privacy and not many Internet users don’t even know about it. When you visit websites, a DNS server is contacted as it needs your IP address. Every Internet user is assigned to a DNS server, which tracks and records your activity. The DNS servers are assigned by Internet Service Providers. While even using privacy and anonymity tools, the DNS server might still display your real IP. This means that you’re not certain whether your private data is leaking or not. However, there are multiple websites that test if your information is exposed or not.