January 25, 2021, Posted By John M

Should I be worried about ISP privacy?

isp privacy illustrated

Are you concerned about ISP privacy? If you are, don’t worry, you’re not alone. And you have every right to be.

Internet service providers or ISPs can see almost everything we do on the web. After all, nearly all web traffic flows through ISP networks.

This naturally begs the question: Should I worry about my ISP privacy?

It may be easy to think there’s no need to worry about your ISP monitoring your various online activities.

But at the same time, you might wonder: if they can monitor my movements on the internet, exactly what are they tracking?

Newsflash: It’s not a case of what. That’s because the chances are good your ISP now tracks everyone and everything you engage with on the web.

Like it or not, they’re collecting your data

While it’s unlikely your ISP snoops on you personally, it’s also likely they’re collecting data on your behavior.

Admittedly, this varies from provider to provider. But what they track, when they track it and for how long is anyone’s guess.

Generally speaking, ISPs each have their own unique privacy rules pertaining to the collection of your info.

And when you don’t know what these rules are, your ISP could be saving and even selling that information to the highest bidder.

So, what can you do about it?

Thankfully,  there are several steps you can take to improve ISP privacy and protect your information online.

Take control of your ISP privacy

First, do some digging. Take a peek at your ISP’s privacy rules. They should be fairly transparent. But if they’re not, or you don’t like what you see, consider a new ISP.

Some ISPs are more committed to user privacy than others, so shop around.

Fortunately, you’re likely protected, at least to some degree, by current privacy laws.

However, like anything in life, don’t take this for granted. These privacy laws also tend to vary wildly from country to country, so don’t be afraid to research precisely what the score is for you personally.

Even with laws in place, your ISP is still able to track the websites and their individual pages that you visit online. They can also see what you do, how often, and for how long each time.

And even the most privacy-conscious individuals are likely being monitored in this way. That is, unless they take steps to prevent it. Those who are less concerned may also be subject to ongoing data collection on a daily basis.

That said, it’s best to employ one or more ISP privacy toolsISP privacy services, or ISP privacy techniques.

ISP Privacy Tools

Private web browsers

For most people, accessing the internet in private starts with the web browser itself. Accordingly, it’s important to choose a browser in line with your ISP privacy goals.

Today, even a standard browser like Microsoft Edge may be adequate (with the right in-browser privacy settings). The same is largely true with more popular browsers like Google Chrome.

For a more robust solution, choose a web browser with security at its core (Brave, Tor, etc.). And remember to install the same corresponding browser on mobile devices and not just your laptop or PC.

Online privacy publications

A number of paid and free subscriptions now exist for privacy-focused publications and newsletters.

If you’re really serious about ISP privacy, consider subscribing to stay abreast of the latest privacy news and information.

ISP privacy techniques

Use HTTPS encryption

Now a feature on most websites, HTTPS encryption plays a crucial part in ISP privacy. While your ISP still knows when you visited a particular website, that’s all they can see.

When HTTPS is in place, ISPs are unable to see which individual pages you visit or information you submit. And while this doesn’t provide complete protection, it does help prevent the unnecessary transmission of data. It also stops ISPs from snooping on exactly what you do once you’re on a given website.

Look for HTTPS in website URLs to ensure this all-important encryption standard is in place.

Opt-out of unnecessary tracking

Where the option exists, always opt-out of cookie-like trackers or behavioral monitoring used by your internet service provider.

While your ISP should always offer an opt-in feature, it’s always a good idea to check. This is especially true if you or someone else opted in at some point without your knowledge.

Adjust your domain name system settings

Your domain name system (DNS) settings determine how you and your devices are identified on your own network and on the wider internet.

Instead of using your ISP’s default DNS settings, explore third-party providers such as OpenDNS. By separating your DNS and ISP, you become harder to track.

Change ISP

If you review your ISP’s privacy rules and you’re not happy with how they are using your data, change companies.

Smaller ISPs, in particular, are often proud to promote that they do not collect users’ browsing data as a part of their service.

And because more privacy-focused ISPs are on the lookout for new customers, there may also be a deal available in the process. Look to reduce your monthly ISP cost. If you’re still concerned about your privacy, consider spending the difference on one of the following ISP privacy services.

ISP privacy services

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

Generally available on a subscription basis, a virtual private network or VPN can offer privacy beyond that what’s available with HTTPS encryption and private web browsers.

What’s more: VPNs don’t only protect you and your laptop’s privacy. They also help protect other devices on your network, including cell phones, tablets, and other connected equipment like digital assistants.

By creating a secure connection between you, your devices and the equipment you rely on, you’re largely protected from the prying eyes of your ISP.

This is even more true when your VPN is configured for proxy servers. In this instance, your ISP csan only see you connecting to these servers. Beyond that, they’re completely in the dark.

Internet privacy companies

Many companies now focus exclusively on the internet privacy of their customers. This includes assisting with, among other concerns, ISP privacy.

DuckDuckGo, for example, offers users the ability to more regularly use encrypted connections.

The company proudly empowers users to take control of their personal information online. It also offers a number of applications and web extensions to protect from snooping third parties. These may include Google and social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

On the other hand, digital reputation agencies like Internet Privacy are ready to help businesses and individuals take control of internet browsing privacy, ISP security, and more.

Need ISP Privacy? We Can Help

At InternetPrivacy.com, we provide world-class online reputation and privacy solutions to protect you. We also rid the web of negative information. Employed by clients around the world, we work hard to safeguard against the growing threatscape posed by the internet.

In addition to achieving ISP privacy, we also help to remove negative information from the web, repair search results, monitor your social media presence, and more.

In a world of show and tell, InternetPrivacy.com values privacy at its core. Your privacy and reputation are some of your most valuable assets. And at InternetPrivacy.com, we make sure they get the care and attention they deserve.

For a free, no-obligation analysis of your online reputation and ISP privacy, contact our privacy team today.