ISP Privacy Issues and ways to Avoid Them
By Christine Margret 6 minutes
The privacy issue is one that continues to rage on within many circles today. And hackers are constantly getting a bad image.
It all boils down to the issue of privacy. There is absolutely no one who wants privacy to be taken lightly. However, it is quite unfortunate that many companies continue to disrespect people’s privacy.
This behavior of disregarding user privacy is usually because to gain wealth or power. Sometimes, the privacy disregard may be good if the intent is to stop terror attacks.
However, the aim of disregarding privacy is usually more profit-oriented than altruistic. Mostly, Internet Service Providers seem to favor disrespecting user privacy for profit-making. But, the question that arises is that how are they invading your privacy?
Here’s How Your ISP Creates Serious Privacy Issues
- Record of browsing activities: For many internet users who innocently keep on browsing online sites without taking precautions, many ISP companies install cookies into the person’s device that tracks and monitors the internet activity of the person. For instance, if you have had a web history of checking through gaming websites without any natural caution taken, you can be assured that your ISP has compiled a dossier of you. The issue with this is that that dossier is then sold to some gaming companies who will automatically begin to show you ads even if you are browsing on other websites.
- Selling your data: This was one of the problems that Facebook faced in the past because they were accused of selling user data to Cambridge Analytica. It is quite terrible that ISP would stoop low in order to gain profit, and what is more appalling is that many legislative and executive arms of many countries are not doing much to counter it.
- Bandwidth Throttling: Many ISPs track users’ online activities and throttle their bandwidth, it’s one of the biggest privacy issues today. Bandwidth throttling results in slower connection speeds that ultimately disturbs your overall internet experience. In short, you pay for the internet service but fail to get access to the speed you paid for.
Ways to Avert ISP Privacy Issues
Pick an ISP that respects your privacy:
There are so many ISPs that engage in the respect of the privacy of their customers to a large extent. In order to efficiently identify them, you can engage in a mini-research of your own and then check the reviews that people have left for the ISP company you intend to choose. If you are not tech-savvy, you can request help from tech experts who will explain how to spot better ISP companies.
Opt-out of supercookies and another ISP tracking:
When you are engaging in your browsing, you have the option of choosing to retain supercookies or opting out. Some companies put those supercookies in order to allow them to continue to spy on your activities online. If you have been ignorant about this, you can choose to opt-out by asking a tech person to help you out.
Visit websites and services that offer secure connections:
Many times, people forget to check the validity of the websites they visit and this opens them up to potentially devastating attacks from hackers. In the same way, without browsing through a secure connection, the ISP company can easily monitor your browsing history and continue to keep the dossier without any hassle. The general question which novices ask is this, how am I able to recognize a secure connection? The answer is that secure connections make use of HTTPS rather than other letters. When you notice that the website is not using it, you are exposed.
Use Tor Network:
Tor is a safe and encrypted browser that routes your traffic from multiple servers to keep it secure, and hidden from your ISP. Tor is a popular choice to hide personal information, but it has some downsides. You cannot know which servers are routing your data. Your traffic might also pass through any servers belonging to a hacker, government agency or another ISP. Tor will also impact your browsing speed.
Use HTTPS Websites Only
If you don’t want your ISP to snoop on your data, then the best bet is to use HTTPS websites only. When you browse a website, you can see its URL that starts either from HTTP or HTTPS.
Websites with HTTPS URLs are more secure, and encrypt the page content and hide it from your ISP.
However, your ISP cannot see the content of the HTTPS sites, but it can easily track your visited websites.
In short, your ISP can still gather quite a lot of information about you without looking at your activities.
Make use of VPN
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network that has become important lately due to the fact that ISP companies and some country governments seem to be unrelenting in their aim to spy on citizens and customers alike. Simply put, a VPN gives you the opportunity to cloak your initial address and browsing history as well. However, it is vital that you follow through with some basic advice when choosing a VPN, which this review can help you with. First, make sure that you choose one that is not free. There are many free VPN out there that claim to perform the same tasks that normal ones do. However, what they end up doing is that they collect personal information from the users and proceed to sell off that information. The second very important tip that should be known is that the person should go for a VPN that has been in service for a long period of time. The more popular the VPN is, the stronger it is and the more trustworthy it has become. It is also important that you go for a VPN that does not log traffic at all. Those that log traffic may end up building dossiers of your online activity and selling them off for profit.
Your privacy is a valuable thing that should not be invaded by any means. If you want to reduce your ISP privacy issues then follow all the outlined security measures. HTTPS sites and a VPN will encrypt your information and will keep you protected on all devices that you use.