President Donald Trump signed the bill to repeal the consumers’ Internet privacy related FCC policies on Monday, April 3, 2017. The new policy doesn’t require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to obtain the consent from users to sell or share data of their browsing history. This could turn into a major security and privacy concern for millions of users who use the Net for activities ranging from banking to entertainment.
The new rule insists all home internet and mobile broadband providers to take an explicit opt-in consent from consumers before selling and sharing the private information with the advertising and marketing agencies.
Senate repealed the privacy bill passed in Obama’s administration that had forbidden the ISPs to collect the information of your browsing habits and other personal content. Now, this new bill has overturned and empowered ISPs to collect and sell your personal browsing information and your geolocations to the highest bidder.
FCC chairperson Mr. Ajit V Pai had been wanting this amendment since it was passed first in October 2016. According to Mr. Pai, ISPs should not face stricter rules than websites like Google, Twitter and Facebook.
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The new policies have bifurcated the private information into two parts i.e. sensitive and non-sensitive. The sensitive information would fall under opt-in consent which includes a user’s Social Security Number, financial information, geolocations, content of conversation and health records etc. whereas non-sensitive information would be under opt-out system which consists of IP addresses, region of residence, app usage and web browser history.
Prevention of your privacy is in your hands. The foremost step is to opt-out from sharing of your sensitive and non-sensitive information. However, most of the ISPs have long procedures to let you keep what is yours and some of the ISPs won’t even tell you the correct stratagem.
What’s The Solution?
Every cloud has a silver lining and when it comes to privacy breach, Virtual Private Network (VPN) is going to be your best buddy. VPN is going to save your private information. A VPN server may be placed out of the country and it encrypts all the incoming and outgoing requests that your computer sends in order to get to a particular webpage or communication.
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VPN has been the best thing since the sliced bread as it establishes an encrypted connection regardless of which type of network you are using. VPN provides your online requests a tunnel to let them pass securely without anyone looking at it. People use a VPN connection to be secured from being spied on or be noticed and traced by their ISPs. Whenever you request a webpage using VPN, the encrypted request reaches to a VPN server and then goes to the providing server carrying the IP address of that VPN, this way your ISP can not trace your browsing activity.
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Implementing VPN to your online searches may sound very secured and relieved; however, VPNs may also keep a track of your private information as your ISPs. All the request which go through your VPN gets into your search history for that tunnel. In this case, you have to be extra careful in selecting a VPN server.
Also Read: 7 Ways to Protect your Online Privacy
There are numerous free and paid VPN providers available online. The free VPNs may not promise you a secured passage through the tunnel and may compromise your private information along with the browsing speed. The paid VPNs are relatively more secured and provide you with a service level agreement.
Altogether, opting-out from sharing your information should be the first thing to conceal your privacy; however, employing a VPN is going to ensure the safety by disguising the IP address of the requester.