Yes, your Internet Service Provider can see everything you do online.
Whether you binge-watch your favorite shows on streaming platforms, buy any gadgets from Amazon, or even talk privately with your friends on Facebook – your ISP knows it all.
Have you noticed that recently the ads you’re seeing got way too specific, as if they would be able to read your mind?
Well, in a way, they do.
One of the main reasons your ISP loves to spy on you is that they can learn about your habits, hobbies, and other interests and sell them to third parties.
As unfortunate as it sounds, you are being sold as data without any of your knowledge or consent.
In our current age of connectivity, it is crucial to think of online privacy.
Studies show that as of 2022, people tend to spend 147 minutes online a day on average, and the numbers are still growing.
And that’s a big part of your life your ISP knows about.
But why do ISPs track you, and is there any possibility to stop it?
In this article, we’ll explain a bit further why your ISP tracks your every move and how you are able to protect your data by remaining private online.
Why do ISPs track you?
There is no one specific reason why ISPs want to know you that well. However, these are the main three reasons why:
Basically, your ISP sees you as an opportunity to make more money, and they use it wisely.
They create characteristics from your actions online and sell them to a third party, usually a marketing agency.
Considering the huge amount of user data an ISP knows, these data exchanges are widely popular.
That is why sometimes you might feel like being spied on while browsing the net. It’s actually a great algorithm; who knows what you like, how you want it, and when.
Yes, ISPs and governments work hand in hand. If the government restricts access to specific websites, your ISP will definitely block such pages.
For example, you cannot use social media in China, Turkmenistan, or even India, and your ISP will make sure you won’t be able to access it.
Governments quite often employ ISPs to enforce such censorship.
As your ISP already tracks everything you do online, it’s quite easy for them to restrict your access.
Data retention laws
The government also plays a big role in other laws. Even if you live in a country where no geo-restrictions apply, you can still be spied on.
For example, some countries have mandatory data retention laws. The law itself requires your ISP to track and gather data about its users.
Usually, this information is collected to prevent any crimes; however, why should you be watched if you’re not planning to do anything wrong?
Privacy is something that every person should have, both online and offline.
How to prevent your ISP from tracking you
If you want to take your privacy back into your hands, one of the most accessible solutions to do so is to use a VPN. A VPN, short for a virtual private network, encrypts all the data of yours by creating a tunnel between your device and another network.
This way, no ISPs, or even hackers, are able to see your real IP address; thus, they do not know anything you do online.
For example, if you use a VPN, your ISP will only see some encrypted gibberish, which will not be useful for them at all.
Indeed, sometimes the government, if suspicious of any illegal activity, may contact your VPN provider and ask for additional information.
This is the reason why we advise you to research before choosing a specific VPN provider.
Make sure that they have a “no log” policy, meaning they don’t track and collect your data.
Also, always choose a paid/premium VPN provider. Why free VPNs might look desirable, they sell your data as well. How do you think they earn money?