We pay our monthly Internet bill to be able to access the Internet. We don’t pay it to give our Internet service provider (ISP) a chance to collect and sell our private data to make more money. This was apparently lost on congressional Republicans as they voted to strip their constituents of their privacy. Even though our elected representatives have failed us, there are technical measures we can take to protect our privacy from ISPs.
Bear in mind that these measures aren’t a replacement for the privacy rules that were repealed or would protect our privacy completely, but they will certainly help.
Pick an ISP that respects your privacy
It goes without saying: if privacy is a concern of yours, vote with your wallet and pick an ISP that respects your privacy. Here is a list of them.
Given the dismal state of ISP competition in the US, you may not have this luxury, so read on for other steps you can take.
Opt-out of supercookies and other ISP tracking
In 2014, Verizon was caught injecting cookie-like trackers into their users’ traffic, allowing websites and third-party ad networks to build profiles without users’ consent. Following criticism from US senators and FCC action, Verizon stopped auto-enrolling users and instead made it opt-in. Users now have a choice of whether to participate in this privacy-intrusive service.
You should check your account settings to see if your ISP allows you to opt-out of any tracking. It is generally found under the privacy, marketing, or ads settings. Your ISP doesn’t have to provide this opt-out, especially in light of the repeals of the privacy rules, but it can never hurt to check….