Our lives have increasingly shifted to the online realm in the past few years. For most of us, all our communication, purchasing, and content consumption is done primarily through the internet. Your browser history and internet traffic can also potentially hold some personal and sensitive information that you would not want to share with others.
Most internet users, however, do not know that their internet service providers (ISP) can have access to that information.
One of the biggest issues with our online presence is the handing over of data to internet service providers. This article discusses which data internet services providers are privy to and the steps you can take to hide your personal information from your ISP.
What Kind of Information Do Internet Service Providers Have Access to?
Before signing up for an internet plan with an ISP, customers agree to the provided terms and conditions.
These conditions outline what type of data the ISP will collect. However, due to the informal nature of such transactions, most people are unaware of what they are signing up for. Typically, ISPs collect the following information:
- Name and contact information
- Browsing history
- Search queries
- Billing information
- IP address
ISPs use this information to provide targeted ads and even sell the data to third-party advertisers.
How to Protect Your Information from ISPs
After finding out just how much personal information ISPs are privy to, most people do not feel comfortable using the internet. However, you can take some concrete measures to hide your information from ISPs. Here are the steps you can take to protect your privacy:
1. Use a VPN
A VPN is a tool that helps encrypt your internet connection and hide your IP address. Hence, your data is routed through a server located elsewhere, which means that your ISP can’t see what you’re doing online. Highly reliable VPNs like Express VPN and Nord VPN are excellent for all your privacy needs and also help with accessing geographically restricted content.
2. Use Only HTTPS Sites
Using only websites with HTTPS in their URL is the simplest and most straightforward way to give yourself some protection from spying ISPs. Any URLs with HTTPS encrypt the page’s content, keeping your ISP from seeing it.
Information is generally delivered from a server to a user using HTTP, which stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. Secure Socket Layer, or SSL, is indicated by the letter S at the end of HTTPS. This indicat