What do ISPs know about your online activities?

In order to connect to the Internet, you need to subscribe to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The ISPs have got the ability to monitor, track and store your online activity. You feel like this is an invasion of your privacy? Check out below, to see what type of data an ISP maintains and what you can do in order to protect your online activities from being tracked by your ISP.

Information collected by ISPs

An ISP gathers metadata which includes information about port numbers and IP addresses. This information can reveal details like the websites you’ve visited, the recipient of an email you’ve sent and more. In order to able to successfully deliver the requested information, the ISP needs to know the current IP address of your device and also what is the IP address of the destination you are trying to reach.
ISPs are private companies and as a result, their internal affairs are not so clear meaning that no one can be really sure about the amount of retained user data and the period of time stored.

If you want to know the minimum amount of information that your ISP retains for each subscriber, then I can tell you it is a log containing the following info: visited sites, date of visit and duration of site browsing. All that information is associated with an IP address, so you might think that this makes it anonymous. Well, this is part true, as the ISPs also retain records of the IP addresses they assign to their clients, so it’s easy for them to track each individual, if they want to.

As recently revealed (Edward Snowden case), some governments follow concerning privacy practices accessing the metadata maintained by ISPs while you should be aware that the law allows the ISPs to deliver “non-content” data to the authorities (your IP address and a list of the visited sites), voluntarily if they feel there is such need.

How can you prevent your ISP from accessing your online data?

If you want to limit the amount of information that your ISP sees, you should know that now there are available options for this. You can make use of an application that offers you such a protection by allowing you to perform anonymous web browsing, block recording of activities like downloading, webpages visited and of course hides your IP address. What your ISP will see is a connection coming from the company that provides you this service which is also encrypted therefore cannot be analyzed.

As a result, you can benefit from the use of a VPN service provider and learn how you can remain anonymous online at all times. There are some truly reliable VPNs that offer a wide range of special features at really affordable cost.

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