Since different countries haven’t been able to enact privacy legislation regarding what Internet Service Providers can or cannot do with consumer data, it is safe to say that your ISP knows your every move on the internet and even off the internet. Of course, no one sits down to spy on you the entire day, but ISPs record the most significant pieces of data. Consumers rarely examine that information unless something happens that warrants them to do so.
Long story short, your ISP can collect enough personal data about the websites you visit, who you email, what you search for, and even your bank and credit card transactions.
Why your ISP Tracks You
Your ISP tracks you for various reasons. The main reason is that for them, your browsing history is some kind of revenue stream. Your ISP is more likely to compile your browsing records and sell them to advertising agencies to help them tailor their ads to you. Some ISPs are even going further and making privacy a premium add-on. They use your browsing history for advertising to you; just the way sites do, unless you part with an additional monthly fee.
Furthermore, any government entity like the police department can access the information your internet service provider collects. If summoned by the police, your ISP is obliged by law to avail of any information they may have on you.
How to Stay Private
There are several things you can do to protect yourself from ISP tracking. Let’s look at some of them.
Use HTTPS instead of HTTP
Some sites have HTTPS on the search bar while others have HTTP; always choose those with the former. Every site you visit should have a locked padlock sign and the word “Secure” on the HTTPS’s left side. To make things easier for you, Firefox and Chrome have the HTTPS Everywhere extension to help you encrypt your data and prevent ISP tracking.
Use a VPN with No Logs Policy
What VPNs do is that they let you virtually mask your IP address and send your data through an encrypted subway, allowing you to surf the web anonymously and safely.
However, there are many VPNs, especially the free ones, which log their users without their knowledge. It is just like the ISPs that track your online activity. While such VPNs might help you hide your browsing history from the ISP, the same information will still be seen by the VPN provider, who might also use it the same way. So, ensure the VPN provider you pick is trustworthy and has a no logs policy, meaning that they would not track your activity and connection logs..
Use Tor Browser
The Tor browser utilizes many private servers called relays to encrypt your traffic so that no one will track the websites you visit. By using Tor or any other privacy browser, you will ensure that your web traffic is private and secure, and your ISP will not be able to monitor you at all.
The Internet Service Provider system is made in a way that it logs your browsing history. The ISP can use your personal data for various reasons, including selling it to third parties. However, all is not lost as there are things you can do to prevent your ISP from tracking you, as highlighted above.