How to Avoid ISP Tracking Your Internet Activity History

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March 27, 2023
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How to Avoid ISP Tracking Your Internet Activity History

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Your internet browsing activity history can be tracked and exploited by ISPs. ISPs can sell the data for their profit.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) is a company or organization that provides internet access to users. ISPs usually provide internet services in various forms, such as , DSL, wireless, and satellite connections.

Most of your Internet activity and data usage can be seen, tracked, and stored by ISPs. They can also see what you buy, the contents of your email, your location, and even your . According to the ISP, this is logged to comply with country regulations and to improve user experience.

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If you don't want your ISP to know what you do on the Internet, there are several ways to avoid or block it. In this tutorial, we will show you how to prevent your ISP from monitoring your traffic and data usage.

Why is your ISP tracking you?

Why is your ISP monitoring you? The commonly stated explanation is to improve the customer experience. However, there are times when ISPs gain from the monitoring data.

1. Store user data under applicable laws.

Some countries have strict data retention rules, in which case ISPs must collect user data for a certain time. This can include user browsing data, location, social media communications, payment card details, and so on. This information is of great value to governments and law enforcement agencies and can be used to combat illegal activity, and terrorism.

2. Set boundaries

In terms of internet access, several countries have quite strict regulations. Certain websites that do not comply with state regulations are restricted by the government. These can be sites for gaming, downloading, or torrenting. ISPs may be required to monitor their users and identify their connections.

3. Selling information for profit.

ISPs can benefit from marketing your information. User browsing data, location, social media communications, and so on have a high selling point. Marketers will spend a lot of money to get that information from ISPs and target you with campaigns and advertisements on sites you visit frequently.

4. Bandwidth limitation

Some ISPs are also sneaky enough to offer “unlimited plans” but then slow down your speed. Many ISPs place restrictions to increase profits at the expense of quality of service. For example, they may limit your connection to certain websites because you play online games or select content from their competitors over theirs. ISPs can take advantage of this scenario to provide more expensive plans with a higher quality of service.

How to block ISPs tracking your traffic and data usage

How to stop ISP spying, tracking your activity and data usage

1. Using a VPN

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technology that allows users to connect to the internet safely and privately. Virtual Private Network is the best method to access the internet without being monitored by your ISP.

VPN works by encrypting data that is sent from the user's device to the VPN so that this information cannot be read or accessed by unauthorized persons. VPN redirects your data through the VPN server and hides your IP address with a new IP address.

There are many VPN applications that you can get on the internet, from free to paid ones. Use a trustworthy and reputable VPN on your device. Apart from that, a VPN protects you from , hackers, marketers, and data criminals and allows you to view geo-blocked websites.

2. Using Proxies

Using a proxy server is a less popular but effective method of circumventing geo-restricted sites and hiding your activity from ISPs. They operate by routing your data through different servers which may be located inside or outside your country of origin.

You must be sure that the proxy service you are using is reliable. If you use a proxy operated by a dishonest business, your data may be vulnerable to tampering and your device may be infected with .

When compared to a VPN, some proxies lack an encryption method and will leave your traffic open to attacks. Therefore, make sure your proxy uses encryption.

Apart from that, Proxy servers also only work on certain apps or browsers, whereas a VPN will protect all your internet traffic. However, one small advantage of proxy servers is that server speeds are generally faster than what you get with a VPN.

3. Change DNS settings

DNS () is a system used to translate domain names into IP addresses of computers or servers connected to the internet. DNS is in charge of converting domain names to the appropriate IP addresses.

The problem is that your is usually set to use your ISP's DNS, which means your ISP sees all your queries. To ensure that you are not using your ISP's DNS, configure your PC to use a third-party DNS service such as OpenDNS.

4. Visit only HTTPS websites

You may be quite familiar with HTTPS, as it appears at the start of many URLs. Each URL that has HTTPS encrypts the content on the page, hiding it from the ISP you use.

This is one of the best ways to protect you from ISP tracking and also your privacy on the internet. HTTPS does not anonymize you on the internet. So even if it can't see what you're doing on HTTPS sites, your ISP can still track which sites you've visited, how much data transfer happened, etc. They won't know what you did exactly.

5. Leverage the Tor network

Tor is an encrypted browser that routes your data through a worldwide network of computers to hide information from your ISP. Your data and traffic are routed through various computers known as nodes around the world. Thousands of these computers (or nodes) work together to clutter and hide the data of the websites you access.

The only drawback to using the Tor network is that your internet speed will be slow and it may take a few minutes to reach a web page. Also, when using the Tor browser, you will be asked to solve the on every page.

In addition, Tor will only protect your information and prevent your ISP from monitoring your activity when you use the browser, not when you use other applications.

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