The House of Representatives finally voted on that regulation that would determine if and how internet service providers can sell your web browsing data. Unfortunately, they voted to repeal the regulation, meaning your ISP does have the ability to sell your browsing data without your permission and also without telling you that they plan to do so. While this is a devastating setback in terms of privacy and personal rights, there are some ways to protect yourself.
A VPN Service May Be Your Best Option
Primarily, employing a VPN service is one of the best things you can do to help protect your privacy. A VPN, or virtual private network, allows you to encrypt the data you send and receive, while disguising your actual physical location. This helps you avoid the issue of your browsing data being sold, because your ISP will never see what you’re doing. They will only observe you connecting to your VPN and won’t be able to access your data beyond that point.
While anonymous browsers, such as TOR, are also on the rise, using those applications can become complicated. Communication is made more difficult out of necessity, making it a far more complex system than the privacy provided via a VPN. For the purposes of limiting the information to which your ISP has access, the virtual private network is probably your best bet.
There Are Risks with Using a VPN Service
However, even VPNs don’t come without risk. If you end up subscribing to a VPN through a less ethical company, they may be the ones selling your browsing data. To identify a good, reputable company, check into their policy on maintaining logs. In most cases, the company will place this policy boldly on their website. The reasoning for this is to notify government agencies that they don’t retain records of the activity of their clients. This way, having their records subpoenaed will bear little or no fruit.
Additionally, take the time to read the company’s Terms and Conditions. This will also spell out what information is retained or collected from customers, as well as explaining the conditions under which it would disclose your information.
Even so, some VPN providers are deceptive in what they say in their Terms of Service and may end up selling your browsing data anyway. Typically, you get what you pay for. Free VPN services are less reputable and more likely to sell your browsing data, because they have to make money in some way. Paying for a premium VPN service may be your best bet.
In searching for the service that’s right for you, keep your ear to the ground and gather as much information as you can. Sites like vpntaiwan.com can help you select the best VPN service for your needs. However, you should be aware that your connections will almost always be slower with a VPN, because of the tunneling and encryption process. Additionally, some sites, such as Netflix, have cracked down on the use of VPNs and will no longer operate with an active VPN connection. This may be a small inconvenience in comparison to the importance of securing your more important browsing data. Whether you just want to keep your browsing activities from being used to help big corporations profit or you’re more concerned about your own personal privacy and security, using a VPN can help you protect your data.