Your internet browsing history can be viewed by your internet service provider and by trackers present on the social media sites you visit. The ISP is allowed to record all that you do online and then sell the information to advertisers or any other bidders.
In this scenario, is it possible to hide your internet browsing history in a bid to secure internet privacy from the snooping eyes of your ISP? If there is no internet privacy, then users’ search habits and other activities like shopping history could be made public.
When you visit websites and press the “Like,” “Share,” “Tweet,” or“+1” buttons, thousands of advertising companies will collect that data and study your browsing patterns.
Many of these sites have cookies installed and can keep tabs on users. However, there are ways to block them and maintain internet privacy.
Tor consists of groups that maintain servers that route encrypted traffic through the internet, going through complex tunnel paths. It can be considered as a kind of proxy for pointing the network traffic, with the software handling the internet privacy of the user.
Many law enforcement agencies make use of Tor to enable internet privacy and to hide their tracks while making an online search. Millions of ordinary users also make use of Tor, and it’s easy to set it up for use on Android devices.
Issues with Tor
When you use Tor, your internet service provider will only be able to view the connection to a random server, instead of viewing the particular website to which you are connected. Tor enables routing the traffic through various Torhost servers, thereby offering internet privacy.
However, Tor is very slow and it can also go against the regulations of the ISP. The internet service provider will not be able to view the Tor traffic, but it will be able to recognize the traffic and may ban the specific connection.
So, Tor is not a completely secure server; yet, many users make use of Tor for purposes of internet security.
2. Using VPN
A VPN is a virtual private network that offers internet privacy for all the user’s activity on the web, doing so by means of encryption. The VPN hides the IP address, so the physical location of the user will not be revealed.
It also hides the pages that are visited. You can consider the VPN as a kind of secret passage that converts internet data into nonsense, so that any ISP will not be able to view what the user is doing and thus will not be able to sell that information to advertisers and marketers.
When compared to Tor, a VPN is safer and there are several VPNs capable of scanning data on real time basis, when surfing sites that have hidden malicious content.
Issues with VPN
Users have to ensure that the VPN they’re using does not have any records, thereby preventing the VPN from selling data to your ISP. Secondly, VPNs are not capable of blocking the collection of data from any app or service that is installed on your smartphone.
Thirdly, all devices are not capable of using VPNs. There are many fancy gadgets that people use, which will give away a lot of information for the ISP that they can then sell to advertisers.
3. Social Network Tracking Blocking
Adblock Plus is a great means of blocking social media from tracking users. The extension is available for all the major browsers like Chrome, Safari and Firefox.
With it, you can disable social media sharing buttons on websites, block ads, and disable tracking and malware domains. It’s also free for all users.
On the other hand, if users want to block only one particular site, they can use Disconnect. It offers separate extensions for stopping Twitter or Facebook, for instance, from tracking users.
It is also available for most major browsers, and stops sites from storing cookies on your device.