Your ISP knows everything about you, like;
- Email and passwords
- Your visited sites logs
- timings to stream and torrenting stuff
- your destination & physical address
- You social security number
And if you are unfortunately living in “Free” Country like USA, then you’r ISP can sell your personal information to promotional companies. Hows that feels? Yeah that happened after Ajit Pai the chairman of FCC passed the Net Neutrality Bill.
Your browser is playing the biggest part of gathering your information and sending to ISP.
In my opinion, you can not tweak enough to secure your regular browser and prevent tracking. You need strong encryption like VPN provides from the behind.
Let’s discus this more deeply.
- 1 About Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- 2 What User’s Data Can be Collected By ISP
- 3 Can you Choose or Change Your own ISP?
- 4 How To Hide Browsing History From ISP
- 5 How To Check Your VPN Credibility
- 6 Some Other Ways to Hide Browsing History (Used but not verified)
About Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Following the controversial ‘sold out’ voting of Congress members in favor of ISPs power to sell subscribers information to the highest bidder, President Trump has signed on the Anti-privacy bill to alter the previous rules set by the FCC.
The giant ISPs like AT&T, Time Warner, and Comcast who were previously bounded by the rules to ask their customer before selling their information now have the freedom to sell the user information without any prior consent.
The action has outburst the debate of privacy all over United States between the partisan and the privacy advocates. While the Congress House is divided into two groups, the question for us still remains now with much more importance that how to Hide Browsing History From ISPs to protect your privacy?
What User’s Data Can be Collected By ISP
After all of this: FCC Privacy Rules, ISP can now sell your data to any advertising company they want. Well, following are things which they collect from you and reason why they do so.
- Browsing history and activities: they will sell your browsing history to advertising companies to target you with relevant ads like Google or Facebook already do.
- Personal Detailed: they can now store and provide user’s personal information such as email address, phone numbers, payment data, security number and other logs.
- Internet Devices: will provide you device which is already configured with their own spying software.
- Cookies Injection: Can inject hidden and untraceable cookies into the browser, and retrieve data.
If you are thinking as I’m thinking right now, yeah that’s bullshit. Bad news for USA Guys!
Can you Choose or Change Your own ISP?
There are many ISP’s which are still in good hands and signed the bill against FCC rules. You can find the list here.
Keep in mind that it is not sure that these ISPs do not sell user data. Because, the net neutrality rules had repealed afterwards and these ISPs signed the opposing letter proposed by the EFF before the law was finalized.
How To Hide
Browsing History From ISP
The fact is, your information is exposed in the wild, and
you have two options;
- Either you change your ISP to a more
privacy-friendly one which might be not possible depending on which area you
are in, or,
- You follow the privacy measures to hide browser history and other
online activities by encrypting your Internet data packets.
This guide on How to Hide Browser History will
help you render your ISPs inoperative in tracking your activities on the web.
You can encrypt your Internet traffic to hide browser
history and other online activities by using:
1. Use HTTPS Everywhere
The HTTPS browser extension is
a feasible option you can use to hide browser history from ISPs. It works by
preventing your browser from disclosing any online activity.
HTTPS browser extension protects you from various types of
surveillance and censorship by automatically switching many websites from
vulnerable “HTTP” to secure “HTTPS” sites. Hence, it encrypts almost every
website you visit.
Although your ISP would know which site you visited, they
can never gain access to the exact content of your online activity.
2. Use TOR Browser (disadvantages)
TOR is a volunteer service, and
it provides both anonymity and privacy against your ISP monitoring and the TOR
network itself. You can connect to the TOR
network using the TOR browser which works like other browsers. It also helps
you to hide browser history from your ISP.
- The anonymity and privacy are limited to the TOR
browser only, and the rest of your
Internet traffic is still exposed.
- Since TOR is a volunteer service and has different gateways (nodes) to pass your
Internet through; therefore it is most of the time slow to browse the web.
If you want to use TOR without the TOR browser, you can opt
for NordVPN which
provides TOR-over-VPN functionality in its service to completely hide
browser history and rest of the Internet traffic.
When BeEncrypted asked
Marty P. Kamden of NordVPN about the TOR, he said, “We understand the power of decentralized structure
and the anonymity that TOR provides. NordVPN offers a unique solution, Onion (Tor) over VPN that encrypts user
Internet traffic before entering the TOR network, ensuring additional privacy.”
3. VPN Is The ultimate Solution
If you are looking for the immediate solution to this
epidemic situation, then you should opt
for a commercial VPN service.
Some of the industry leading VPN services trusted by users
around the world are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and PureVPN mainly
- They are outside
the jurisdiction of FIVE EYES member countries.
- Follows strict
NO LOG policy (which means as soon as your information is generated on
their servers it is immediately sent to /dev/null directory – as pointed
out by NordVPN as Black Hole).
- All of these VPNs
encrypt your Internet traffic with 256-bit
AES encryption and OpenVPN security protocol.
- They have a vast majority of servers to choose from.
- These VPNs posses advanced security features like Kill
switch, Split Tunnel (PureVPN) and Tor-over-VPN (NordVPN).
- They hide browser history and other Internet
Virtual Private Network or VPN encrypts your Internet
traffic with 256-bit AES encryption algorithm which takes 1 billion years to
break using brute force attack according to researches made. Moreover, it
cloaks your IP address to make it harder for ISPs and third party advertisers
to track you on the web.
These two basic functions of a VPN help you hide browser
history and overall Internet traffic. However, you should be cautious while
as you are turning your information to the VPN provider.
How To Check Your VPN Credibility
This is most important thing to check if you are behind any VPN router or network, and assuming your browsing history hidden.
1. Check IP Leak & DNS Leak Test
IP leak and DNS leak
are the prominent vulnerabilities through which user
privacy gets exposed while they are behind an encryption tool like Tor or VPN.
An easy way to check
IP leak and DNS leak;
- Get a non-affiliated/non-promotional tool like
- Run the test (one-click test if you know your
Testing method for
- Open the IP leak tool page.
- On the left, your real IP and network
information will be displayed.
- Now connect your VPN and click “Run.”
- After a few
seconds, your VPN server information will be
Result: If your VPN server information is different from
your real IP insights, then your VPN is working great with No IP leak.
Testing method for
(Keep in mind, your real IP insights found in the previous
- Connect your VPN and open the DNS leak tool
- Click “Execute Test” button.
- After a few
seconds, a detailed DNS result will be displayed.
Result: If the DNS results are according to VPN server (i.e., location and IP) to which you are connected and has nothing similar to your real insights then you VPN is not leaking DNS.
Some Other Ways to Hide Browsing History (Used but not verified)
Does Browser’s Privacy Mode Help?
To a certain extent, this process could be helpful as it restricts the browser from developing and maintaining your online activity, search history, and cookie information. Due to such restrictions, it may become difficult for ISPs to track you but they will still be able to access your online activities.
Could Altering Browser’s Setting Be Helpful?
However, altering the browser’s setting could be helpful in obscuring your online history. Yet, it’s not a fully secure and guaranteed method to provide you with complete anonymity from ISP’s snooping. Such methods are;
Stop Cookie Tracking
Almost every site track your preferences through different techniques from which cookie tracking is most helpful for them. Through placing these cookies in different locations such as ads, comments, and sponsored links, web pages collect data. This provides an ease to the internet provider who could access and gather data any time in the future.
To avoid such tracking you could change the browser privacy settings and switch on the ‘Do Not Track’ option. Also, the Network Advertising Initiative and Digital Advertising Alliance could stop such tracking activities.
Restrict Social Sites Tracking
Most of the social networking sites have detailed information about the user’s personal interests and sensitive data such as photos, passwords, and other stuff. ISPs find these websites as a useful link which could help them to access an individual’s detailed information.
To avoid such tracking you could stop advert tracking which is the main cause for collecting a person’s personal data.
Browser Extensions Could Also Enhance Privacy
The privacy extensions enhance security features of your browser which could be helpful for you to keep your online identity safe from internet providers to a certain extent.
Browser extensions such as Privacy Badger from EFF, Disconnect and other are some popular add-ons for efficient privacy enhancement.
Anti-privacy bill in USA and surveillance laws in other
countries are creating privacy urgency. To
hide browsing history, VPN is a complete solution with free and paid options.
However, to remain calm and confirm about security, you
should select reliable VPN which are available at low prices and also have trial periods so that you can test
everything before making the final