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What is ISP Tracking and Why Should I Be Concerned?

Did you know that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) knows everything about you? It can use your browsing data to make money from adverts, which essentially means that it’s tracking your every move.

Every website you enter, at what time, and what products you may look at that.Your ISP will always record every browsing activity that you make, just by default. It’s just how their technology is built.

With the net neutrality rule getting removed, there’s even more power to the ISP. So, the question is; how can you stop your ISP from tracking you?

What is your ISP?
Your ISP is your internet service provider – your ISP is the industry term for the company that provides you with your internet.

Data may be transmitted in various ways. For instance, dial-up, cable modem, DSL, wireless, and high speed interconnects.

Many ISPs also provide their customers with internet email accounts, as a way to communicate with each other. They may also offer telephone and television services.

Either way, if you have access to the internet, you will have an ISP.

Does your ISP spy on you?
In short; yes. However, it’s not in the way that you might imagine. Your ISP isn’t eavesdropping on your conversations or stalking you as you search the web.

They do, however, sometimes capture, keep, and possibly sell some of your sensitive data.

Your ISP will have its own set of privacy rules, which will seek to protect your sensitive data. You should always try to read this before you make any changes.

There’s a solid chance that an advertising company won’t be able to get their hand on your personal data, but there are certain things that can be considered a breach of trust.

Why should I be concerned?
ISP tracking is a significant concern for many, especially as net neutrality will be removed.

A company have approach another established online company, like Facebook. They can ask them to market their product towards a specific demographic.

Once the deal is made and terms negotiated, Facebook will use the data provided by ISPs to send personalized demographics.

This means our browsing data is typically sold indirectly. Doing this wouldn’t be possible if your ISP didn’t know which websites you visit, what products you like, and what videos you watch.

You can place firewall-like protection against cookies or other forms of tracking,g but your ISP will still know what you’re doing when you log in.

Also, while many advertisers will say that the information that they use can identify people. The truth is, with enough in-depth data, and a lot of motivation this could hypothetically be true.

What is net neutrality?
This is the idea that all data on the internet should be treated equally by ISPs, corporations, and governments.

There have been many attempts to appeal net neutrality by the government, which comes with contrasting opinions.

Removing net neutrality could also mean that various sites are loaded and run slower than others – creating an unfair advantage for various companies. With this in mind, your ISP tracking and net neutrality might be an interest for you.

It’s something to note down and worth monitoring, as the news for net neutrality changes.

What can your ISP really see?
This depends on various factors – this IP address that was automatically assigned to you by the ISP when you sign up to their service, and the kind of information that you share online.

If you don’t put any kind of confidential information out there (something that is becoming increasingly challenging). If this is the case for you, your ISP address will find data based on the URLs you visit, the pages you frequently visit, when you log in and off, and how much time you spend on web pages.

Conversely, if you’re the type of person to willingly share information online (which many of us are guilty of), then your ISP might be able to get a hold of your data.

Your ISP might be able to know about your specific location, phone numbers, personal relationships, social media data, and your email.

We all often share these pieces of information, without any thought. But you should always consider what you’re doing online, and what you share. Do you really want various companies to have access to your phone number, email address and location?

Why is your ISP tracking you?
Don’t worry, we know it sounds all a little sinister. Your ISP doesn’t sit in a spooky room, tracking your every move. It’s all pretty much automatic, completed using technology.

Your ISP tracking occurs every time that you enter a query into a search engine, or find your way onto any URL.

Your computer always needs to find your IP address, so that they can send you to your favorite websitesor videos. Your browser will then send a domain name system (DNS) query, which gets that IP address to connect to your website.

This DNS is a public directory, and your ISP will see every single request that is made to it. SO, why does your ISP track you? Basically, they profit from it.

You should think of Google as just one big ISP. They always seem to know what you like and push the most appealing adverts your way. This is because they have a record of all your searches online.

ISP works in pretty much the same way. They partner with advertisers and sort you into a specific demographic, which is where adverts can be pushed.

With all the nitty-gritty details out of the way, it’s time to look at ways to prevent your ISP from monitoring your online activity.

There are various ways to hide your internet activity from your ISP, you can try the below:

1. Use a complete online anonymity
The first ways to stop your ISP from tracking you is by concealing your identity online. This will prevent your ISP and other third-parties from monitoring your online moves.

To do this, you should consider encrypting your internet traffic at all time by using a virtual private network.

If you do this, your ISP cannot see your encrypted traffic, and therefore not monitor your activity.

On a more personal note, you can also make sure that you keep a lot of your private information, well, private. Don’t post your email address, location, and phone number online.

2. Make sure to use a VPN with the no-logging policy
The VPN that you use is also incredibly important, whilst it may be able to bring you benefits such as privacy and security.

The rising number of free services for VPN means that you have to be a little more selective when choosing one.

Some VPN providers will log their users, without their position. When you use a bad VPN service, you’re ultimately creating a second ISP.

Whilst you might be able to hide your browsing activity from an ISP, you cannot hide it from the VP provider.

Always look at the terms and conditions, and so an ample amount of research.

3. Keep every website that you visit to use the HTTPS protocol
Did you know that there are tools that you can use that will turn any website into a secure one Basically, any HTTP page that you visit will automatically be converted into HTTPS while you’re browsing them.

This ensures that you will use the HTTPS protocol while accessing any website online. There are two benefits to do this:

The traffic will automatically be encrypted, regardless of whether or not you’re using a VPN or not.
Your ISP won’t be able to track your browsing habits.

4. Use a privacy browser
You can use privacy browsers that will use private servers, that encrypt your traffic. This basically means that every website that you visit cannot be tracked by anybody.

There are many privacy browsers online, which can be used for your computers, tablets, and mobile devices.

Using these browsers is a surefire way to guarantee that your web data transmission is secure and private. This means that your ISP cannot monitor it.

Make sure your VPN is active on all devices.

If you want to make sure that your browsing activity is secure and private, at all times, you need to make sure that your VPN is active on all your devices.

5. Remember, this could also include your router.
It would be wise to make sure that your VPN is activated automatically, whenever you turn on any device. If you don’t do this, it’s possible to leak your private browsing information to your ISP every once in a while.

We hope this comprehensive guide on ISPs, tracking and prevention proved to be useful to you. By understanding ISPs, and what this means with net neutrality, you can start to take necessary measures.

Following these tips above will allow you to stay undercover, and private. This means that your ISP won’t be able to track you.

This will hopefully protect you against hackers and corporations too.