In today’s technology world, privacy is what everybody is concerned about how internet applications like Google, Facebook, and many internet giants misusing your data. 

It’s important to have antivirus software in the system, as it will protect from known malware is created by the attackers and sent to victims through Phishing attacks etc. But when it comes to internet browsing it is critical to protect your online privacy from ISP (Internet Services Providers). 

Yes, ISP is tracking your browsing history data they are misusing your data and selling the browsing history to online irritating ads and Spam mailers around the internet. 

What data records ISP are spying into?

ISP tracks everything you browse on the internet, ISP vendor assigns the IP address to each of the users who opt for it and it easy for them to monitor and log the daily online activities. Here are few things ISPs can see, 

  1. First of all monitoring the websites you are visiting and keeping a record of them. 
  2. They can monitor your browsing pattern using the browser session’s cache of the websites visited. 
  3. They can also monitor the duration of the website visits, and identify the online streaming movies and torrent downloads. Also, they monitor unencrypted websites which contain the only HTTP. 
  4. And physical location and geo-location can also be monitored using a Laptop and Mobile devices etc.,
  5. Your relationships through your social media sites.
  6. Email ID, Phone numbers, personal details like your DOB, city living, Places you moved around. 

How ISPs are using your data?

This is important to know why ISP is using your data what is benefit they might get, 

Data Retention – Every countries government requires ISP to monitor and store the customer’s data for some time to monitor any terrorism or Criminals activities performed. But whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden wants to reveal that online sensitive information has no such tools to hide from being spied.  And the ISPs are responsible to provide the data to the government which might help them to impose new policies, rules, and restrictions online. 

For example, most of the popular ISPs can sell the data to organizations, which in turn returns with the pop-up ads even after you have logged off from the shopping websites. 

Profit – Today we might see multiple advertisers running their ads on any websites you visit, ISPs are tracking the browsing data and popular advertisers to see post the ads based on your browsing patterns. 

For example, Google ads push the right kind of ads to the website like YouTube and few websites. In few countries like the US, it’s legal to sell the data to advertisers. 

Bandwidth Throttling – Few ISPs might offer you unlimited bandwidth but slows down the speed gradually. This process is called Bandwidth Throttling. Sometimes they can boost the speed when you’re streaming videos, downloading from P2P platforms like torrents sites, to check whether you’re using ISP vendor or competitors’ content. 

How to hide from ISP tracking?

Now we all know that ISP is tracking every online data we browse, there are few ways to keep your ISPs away from spying on your online data. 

HTTPS Browsing

Always need to check whether the websites you visit are HTTPS links, as it’s a secured website which ISP won’t be able to monitor your browsing data. If the websites you visit if not protected with SSL then data is not safe. To confirm the secured website consciously check for HTTPS with lock sign in the site as below, the data is safe here. HTTPS (443) secure port for web browsing. 

Tor Browser

Use tor browsers to hide from the internet which uses virtual network tunnels that allows you to browse the internet without leaving any traces of your browsing history. HTTPS will secure the data encrypted through this channel, but whereas in the Tor browser we can browse anonymously around the internet which multiple IP ranges which is impossible to trace us back. 

Change your DNS

As we all know that DNS will change the IP address to domain names like infohaunt.com, Google.com, etc., instead of numeric values. And usually, we connect through ISP DNS which is set in your computer by default. But DNS can be changed manually to third-party trusted DNS IP like OpenDNS   (DNSIP address: 208.67.222.123 & 208.67.220.123). 

Use a VPN

Using VPN is better than Tor browsers as it doesn’t slow down your browsing speed and downloads. VPN assigns a random IP address from VPN servers, which makes you hide from the ISPs. As they track you with IP which is assigned by ISP. VPN uses a tunnel to transfer your encrypted data to the destination address with secured and normal bandwidth speed. And it has become necessary for today’s modern technologies to use them. Even Corporates use them to connect when we are working from the home network for remote employees.  

By Michael

Writer of Infohaunt is an Cyber Security Professional have experience in SOC operations, Threat Management, Incident Response, Threat Hunting, Digital Forensics.

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