Britons have started questioning their online privacy rights and the “staggering lack of transparency” regarding the secret online surveillance by the Home Office, which is tracking users’ web browsing history. People lack information about the Internet trial, like what data is collected, how it is used, and what the retention rules are, all of which leads to the search for online privacy solutions.
“Internet service providers (ISPs) can collect massive amounts of data from your online activities, like what pages you visit, how much time you spend on those and when, apps you use, your geo-location, shopping habits, information about your devices, activities you’re engaged in, and more,” comments Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
How to become less traceable by ISPs?
Staying completely anonymous online is almost impossible. However, there are ways you can minimize your digital footprint:
- Use a VPN such as NordVPN. VPN stands for “virtual private network” — a service that protects your internet connection and privacy online. It creates an encrypted tunnel for your data, protects your online identity by hiding your IP address, and allows you to use public Wi-Fi hotspots safely.
- Use privacy-oriented browsers, such as Edward Snowden’s endorsed Tor or Epic, which deliver on their promise of “extreme privacy”: no auto-syncing, no spell-check, no auto-fill, and no plug-ins.
- Ditch Google for more private search engines, such as DuckDuckGo. This search engine is a popular choice and serves around 10 million searches a day. However, even though it’s a great tool to limit tracking, it doesn’t guarantee complete anonymity.
- Usa a proxy. Some internet users might choose to route their traffic through a proxy. Proxy servers can help you access geo-restricted websites and hide your browsing activity from the ISP. However, proxies don’t encrypt your traffic, leaving you vulnerable to other attacks and forms of monitoring.
- Be careful about what you post online. The information you reveal about yourself can be a goldmine for snoopers.
What else can track you?
Malware and stalkerware are another great threat. If you accidentally download malicious software, it can track your online behaviour and steal sensitive information directly from your device. Stalkerware can also be installed on your device by someone you trust.
“Your internet activity can also be tracked by cookies — small text files containing data about your interaction with a website. When you visit a website, it gives you a cookie that recognizes you as a user. These are used by most websites and services to log users’ online habits and tailor the ads. Do not forget to occasionally clear them from your browser,” says Daniel Markuson.
“It’s extremely important to be conscious of what information you’re giving away and limit or stop it wherever possible. Luckily, there are a number of tools to help you fight for online privacy and digital rights,” Daniel Markuson adds.
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