Trust Your ISP? They May Not Be Worthy of It.
Most people don’t think twice about whether or not their Internet Service Provider (ISP) is spying at what they look at online. But maybe it’s you step back and ask yourself if your really trust your ISP?
Most of us figure that our ISPs (companies like Verizon, Comcast, or AT&T in the U.S) have more important things to do than to track our online behavior.
That is, of course, there’s money it.
And guess what? There is.
And there’s something else.
It’s about privacy.
Think about this.
When you send and get letters packages in the mail, the postal workers see your mail, but don’t inspect it. We count on that. All we care about is that our mail comes and goes.
It’s a little different with your ISP. Why? Because your ISP is your connection to the Internet and the world.
- When you’re online at home, your ISP is the one you pay each month for Internet Service.
- When you’re on the road (hotel, coffee house, airport) and using a free hot spot, the ISP is whatever company that chain pays for Internet service).
In both cases, all your Internet activity runs through the Internet Service Provider you’re connected to.
All of it.
And because the Internet is so full of both helpful and controversial content, it’s easy to find yourself looking at whatever content tickles your fancy or fantasy.
But are you being watched by your ISP?
In reality, there’s probably no one at the ISP who is monitoring your activity as it comes back and forth from your computer or device. Your ISP really doesn’t care what you’re looking at.
That’s good to know.
But not so fast. Here are a few facts to keep in mind.
They know who you are.
Here are reasons people don’t really trust their Internet Service Providers anymore.
- Your home ISP knows who you are. Let that sink in. You can visit any website and be anonymous, but your home ISP knows who you are and where you live. It’s not likely to happen, but if you were suspected of doing something illegal, your ISP would be forced to tell investigators who you are.
- Your home ISP knows where you’ve been online. They may not care what you’re interested it, but they do take note of it. Why? Because they are free to collect profile information about their subscribers and sell it to marketers and advertisers. That shouldn’t surprise you. Advertisers know that ISPs possess valuable information, which is what websites or interests their subscribers have—and they’re willing to pay for it.
- If you’re breaking a law, your ISP would know. In the same way that a bank looks for suspicious transactions, your ISP is on the lookout for illegal activity, such as pirating movies or downloading illegal materials. They certainly don’t want to seem like they allow or even promote that activity.
- It’s not illegal for ISPs to provide information to third parties. To be clear, your ISP isn’t compiling a file of your online activity—by name and date—and selling that to the highest bidder. That would be a violation of your privacy. However, they are able to collect data on which of their subscribers (identified by their IP addresses) visit certain sites or have shown interest in certain topics, and they do sell that to third parties.
And while almost all ISPs have privacy policies in place to protect you, oftentimes you have to let them know what you’re okay with or not okay with when it comes to sharing information about your connection and online activity.
How about switching Internet Service Providers?
Maybe you would like to switch to a different ISP who promises to protect you.
That’s easier said than done.
If fact, switching ISPs at home is next to impossible. Most have a monopoly by state or region. And when you’re on the road and using free Wi-Fi, there’s little choice. (In fact, aren’t you just glad you found a free hot spot?)
So, is there anything you can do to stop or thwart an ISP when it comes to sharing information about your online activity.
Indeed, there is.
Start using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when you go online.
Get a VPN: It’s simple, safe and smart.
A mask or maybe glasses and fake moustache can help hide your face and physical identity.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) masks your real IP address from the Internet and hides your electronic identity from everyone online.
It’s as simple as that.
Here are the top five things you need to know about a VPN.
- A VPN is a service you sign up for over the Internet. When you open a VPN account and connect to the Internet with your VPN “on,” your Internet activity is protected.
- You keep your current ISP at home: when you use a VPN, your ISP may know it, but it doesn’t care and can’t do anything about it.
- Using VPN is 100% legal and is no way illegal. Think of it as a protective layer you add to your Internet when you go online.
- The internet activity you run through a VPN is encrypted, which means no one can read it and hackers cannot get to it. It’s more secure than your regular ISP service.
- Last but not least, when you use a VPN at home or on the road, your actual IP address is hidden to the world. Oh, it’s still there. But the world sees a different IP address…one that your VPN quietly loans to you and is untraceable back to you.
You may have NO choice of Internet providers, but you do have the ability to keep your IP address hidden from the world.
Here’s more good news.
And it does all that for just a few dollars a month.
Get a VPN now.
Through a special arrangement, WhatIsMyIPAddress.com has made it easy for you to get a great deal on a great VPN.
Click here for details and take advantage of this opportunity to secure your IP address and stay safer online.
- Easy Prey Podcast
- General Topics
- Home Computing
- IP Addresses
- Online Privacy
- Online Safety
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