With individuals spending over 10 hours of screen time every day across diverse gadgets they own, this amount the number of internet usage. All of this site visitors goes via your ISP, and with the spectre of possible data breaches, this will create real concern about your data and privacy.
Not to say that over within the US, any fears along these lines have currently been compounded by means of the law which was passed earlier this year to overturn FCC privacy regulations, allowing ISPs to legally sell its customer data to the highest bidder because of their selfish reasons. And in the UK we’ve the equally worrying Investigatory Powers Act.
The solution that many folks have turned to is a VPN or Virtual Private Network Sending your data via an encrypted tunnel which has an disturbing and attractive privacy advantage. After all, doing so should safeguard your internet activities from your ISP’s prying eyes, and its ‘Big Data’ mining operations.But, even as VPN is an excellent way in protecting your privacy and browsing history, we realize that it is not a cure to gaining 100% anonymity online. Don’t get me wrong, it’s is safer to use VPN.
- In this section below we’re going to talk about some of the limitations of using a VPN.
- Free VPNs
Everyone wants a good bargain, however a free VPN is one you might want to pass on At least given the aforementioned issues regarding security and anonymity, because with a free VPN, you are basically signing up for a service which simple has one way of making profit: by means of selling your browsing history to the highest bidder.
While anyone has to make a greenback, you are definitely higher off the usage of a VPN which you pay for, which at least has a duty to value your privacy – as it’s actually their commercial enterprise to make certain this is the case.
- VPNs keep track of your data
In terms of a VPN, one of the differentiating points is how long provider maintain your data you have provided. Most VPNs keep information for between 14 to 30 days, and also require a varying quantity of records for users signing up for an account. The truth is, the less information taking from you or provided to them in other to create an account, the better (in case of a potential data breach).
Ideally, an ISP should log as little user data as possible, so select your VPN carefully bearing this in mind. For example, ExpressVPN claims not to collect any browsing activities or site visitors data, making it a standout amongst rival VPN services.
- Geolocation statistics
While visiting a website, often it knows where you’re, using geolocation data. This is useful sometimes, as an example while trying to find a restaurant, like we said earlier they know your location so because of that you will directed to the closest restaurant. This records may be supplied by your pc, even with a smartphone which has embedded GPS capabilities, alongside many other apps asking for permission tobe granted to access data.
However many different apps request permission to acquire this data as well, and not using a direct want for it. They could then easily construct a database of a consumer’s travels, and time spent at places – and the point right here is that this could not get cloaked even with your net surfing going through a VPN service. Your only protection in this case is your common sense, experience and a keen eye when such situation arises.
- MAC addresses
A MAC (Media Access Control) deal with uniquely identifying every device over the network. There are several standards for this, and they all encompass a sequence of digits – as an example MAC-48 addresses consist of six groups of two hexadecimal digits that make up a forty eight-bit number.
A MAC address, via the first three octets which make up the Organizationally Unique Identifier (OUI), indicates the manufacturer of the device. As each MAC address with is unique, it also your ISP to track device’s usage.
A VPN will not offer anonymity from this, and therefore a few folks turn to MAC address with Randomization techniques in an try to offer a cloak or spoof where we change factory assigned Media Access Control of a network interface on a networked device.
- Traffic statistics
Even best situation where all users traffic are encrypted via VPN, an ISP can still know about the person. By analyzing both the volume of data, and the features of the data, the ISP can glean bit of information without the need to break the encryption.
This type of analysis is called ‘side channel’ infomation. Moreover, the instances that the internet is used for also can reveal patterns of internet usage that could be probably useful, as visible in the screenshot above from an Asus RT-1900P router’s traffic Analyzer feature, which can be used to know how much vudeo streaming the user does.
- History snooping
Long before ISPs were selling information to the highest bidder in the US, organizations had come up with methods to spy on users, a practice that has unfortunately persisted. We’ll leave it to the conspiracy theorists to figure out if this is all about making more revenue, working with the NSA, or worse.
Latest examples have blanketed ‘extraordinary cookies’ from the likes of cellular providers Verizon and AT&T, and the Blu phone issues which has raised concerns about data being sent back to chinese servers. stories like these are sufficient to make your angry, especially as a VPN does not protect from history snooping, because the spying is tied so closely into the device.