Home Privacy What Is Your ISP Snooping On, and How Do You Protect Yourself?

What Is Your ISP Snooping On, and How Do You Protect Yourself?

Government online surveillance via ISP

An ISP (Internet Service Provider) acts as the middleman who connects your computer with the internet. In order to provide you with online access, however, your ISP is able to see the data you obtain from whatever websites you visit.

So, how much does an ISP actually monitor when providing you with internet? Would it surprise you to know that your service provider actually stores all the information you come across while you browse the web? What’s more, would you be worried to find out that it actually tracks your activities?

The following article will teach you exactly what you need to know about your ISP, as well as how you can protect your online privacy from these prying eyes.

Your IP address is your identity

ISP snooping on IP address

Your ISP requires an IP address to successfully forward online data to you, as well as the web addresses you wish to visit. The metadata, which includes your IP address and port numbers, might seem like vague terminology to you, but this piece of information can actually reveal a lot more about your identity than you’d imagine. Basically, your ISP has access to all the websites you’ve accessed, who you’ve been sending emails to, which websites you are downloading from, etc.

ISPs deny that they actually take a look into the content of your metadata, as their main goal is to simply provide you with online access. We can’t be sure whether they keep to this claim or not, but the fact that they have the full capability to snoop on your activities is still unsettling.

Stored metadata

ISP snoops on user metadata

Since ISPs are private companies, it’s next to impossible to figure out the amount and length of the data they actually store. In a sense, subscribers are blindly trusting their service providers by assuming they keep to their claims. What we do know is that ISPs must keep a log of all the websites you visit and how long you browse them in order to properly do their jobs.

Many people assume that the simple sets of numbers in their IP addresses will allow them to remain anonymous. However, ISPs keep specific records of which IPs are assigned to their customers, and therefore, your identity is extremely attainable. On top of tracking your personal identity and online activities, your ISP may store your metadata anywhere from six months to two years.

Government monitoring and your ISP

ISP snooping on online users

The Edward Snowden leak showed the public that the government employs some shady practices when it comes to accessing ISP data. According to Snowden’s information, the NSA has the power to obtain metadata from any computer in the world. This revelation brought on a tremendous amount of worries concerning how much cooperation ISPs provide the government with.

Currently, law enforcement are only allowed metadata from the last six months, and only with a valid search warrant. Anything from longer than that time period requires a court order or subpoena. This, however, doesn’t stop them from obtaining the data they want, as there’s no law against ISPs volunteering “non-content” information themselves. Unfortunately, IP addresses and logs of website access fall under this category.

Can you keep your privacy intact?

Privacy protection concept file folder with chain

It wouldn’t surprise us to know that right about now, you aren’t feeling very confident in your ISP’s ability to keep your privacy intact. However, there is a way to bypass its ability to track your online activity, and it’s quite easy!

Before you learn how to protect yourself, you should know what won’t help you at all. For instance, your browser’s “incognito” option will prevent the websites you access from storing and tracking your information, but it does not give you full anonymity from anyone looking in on your data at all. Regardless of whether you turn on this mode or not, your ISP is still able to record your online activities.

The question is, how do you completely hide your online identity from your ISP?

The solution lies with VPNs (Virtual Private Network). A VPN assigns a completely new IP address to you, and will force all information you try to access on the internet through their encrypted servers before forwarding it to you. None of your browsing or downloading data will be stored by your ISP because to the service provider, your IP address shows no metadata. Without your secured IP address, your ISP has no way of connecting you to whatever content you access online. Instead, it only sees encrypted information being sent and received from your computer or other device.

PureVPN offers high speeds and incredible security

PureVPN logo on world digital map

The vague nature of ISP policies make it difficult for us to know how private our online access really is. However, we can say with certainty that even the minimum amount of metadata our ISPs collect is enough to compromise our anonymity. Fortunately, private network services like PureVPN offer a great solution to individuals worried about being tracked by their internet providers.

PureVPN offers full access to all online content while ensuring the safety of your online privacy. With over 300 servers in 22 countries, it can provide you with a number of IP addresses that will successfully prevent your ISP from spying on you.

Its 128-bit encryption might not be the highest currently available, but it is completely safe and secure enough for even military standards. In fact, this lower rate allows PureVPN to provide faster connection speed while browsing.

Check out our detailed review of PureVPN here.

You can utilize PureVPN on virtually any device, as well as a number of different operating systems. On top of the versatility it offers, this VPN provides several features that reach every need you might have in terms of your online security and anonymity. Using PureVPN for your online needs will guarantee that you are hidden from any prying eyes (even the government!).

PureVPN offers excellent customer support, including a 24/7 live chat and 3-day money back guarantee. This, on top of its various features and speed, makes PureVPN a constant contender among the best VPN services available on the market.

Try out this easy-to-use VPN and browse the web in private today!