How to Hide Data Usage from Service Providers

The media is filled with one horror story after another about celebrities or high-profile people who have had their online information hacked.

Emails they thought were deleted are suddenly in the spotlight or even used for blackmail.

If you don’t want your personal life out there for the world to see, then you need to get smart. What do I mean by getting smart? You will need to learn how to outsmart your ISP (internet service provider).

Since these guys are responsible for observing and recording your behavior online they could be involved in selling your information without your consent.

But don’t worry; we won’t let this happen to you.

There are various tools out there which can help you to protect yourself. We’ve listed some below:

How to Get Smarter

security written on computer screen

VPN (virtual private network)

VPN acts as an iron wall. It blocks the ISP from seeing anything past the VPN once you enter.

But one has to be careful because now it means the VPN has all your information. It’s a question of which one will be the greater evil here.

For those of you who wonder if this will work on your PC, don’t worry. VPNs can usually run on:

  • Mac

  • Windows

  • IOS

  • Android

You will also be able to find VPN Apps on Google Play Store. There will be a monthly fee involved if you’re considering VPN as a viable option. But it’s quite a reasonable rate so don’t let this put you off.

Here's a list of the VPNs we recommend (updated in 2018).

PIA (private internet access)

PIA is a well-known, trusted VPN product.

How this works is your real IP address will be disguised and an unidentified IP address will be used instead. So websites—and especially service providers—won’t be able to store your browsing behavior or figure out where you’re actually located.

Quite sneaky hey?

This is also a great security tactic for those of you who use public Wi-Fi hotspots often at places like coffee shops. So enjoy your habits in a safer manner from now on.

TOR logo

Tor (The Onion Router)

The next option is Tor aka the Onion Router.

This product uses unidentified web servers to hide and encode your information so that ISPs won’t be able to see what is happening inside a Tor.

But we must warn you that this isn’t a completely fool-proof plan.

You won’t believe how deeply infiltrated your ISP is; you can call them the mafia. Even though Tor will be able to keep your web browsing information a secret, the bad news is your ISP will still be able to see how much data you’ve used.

Unfortunately, Tor can’t hide what happens between the Tor network and the website you’re visiting.

So with this option, you might want to consider also including:

  • HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

  • End-to-end encryption and authentication

You will be happy to know the Tor browser is quite flexible and doesn’t require any software installation.

Similar to VPN it will work on any of the following options:

  • Microsoft Windows

  • Apple MacOS

  • GNU/ Linux

You will find Tor will be quite slow at times but don’t get frustrated. Order more coffee and keep surfing. With Tor’s legacy for maximum web browsing security, you can surf all day. So go ahead sit back and enjoy another cup.

Opera Browser with Server Side Compression

This is a great option for people who aren’t very technically inclined. Aren’t you glad someone thought of you?

A quick download of Opera browser is all you need. The Server Side Compression functions similar to VPN by blocking your online information from the service provider.

A big plus is Opera Browser’s ability to save bandwidth.

Encrypted Proxy Servers

Quite a few online services will provide this option, but you’ll be expected to pay a monthly fee.

There will be connection software provided by the encrypted proxy server for you to use. An encoded substitution server will secure your data usage while you’re surfing via Wi-Fi.

You’ll also get to enjoy some advanced privacy features like Privoxy, which is skilled in fooling your ISP giving you the luxury of secrecy.

a cup of coffee and laptop

Conclusion

In today’s world data is invaluable. You need to give your information a serious thought.

How will it affect you if it got into the hands of a hacker or an identity thief? Your personal information could be distributed, money could be stolen, and your life could be in danger if people find out where you live.

Once your information has been stolen, it will be too late. You can’t get it back or reverse the effects.

While some ISPs simply use browsing data for marketing, to track performance or for security, we prefer maintaining our privacy.

So let’s be proactive and prepare for the worst. Then we can sit back and enjoy browsing.

 

Jonathan

Jonathan has a masters degree in Computer Engineering, loves programming and creating web services that help people perform various tedious tasks.

In his free time, he writes informative articles about networking and routers for RouterReset.com

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