My guess is I’m not alone in not wanting another company (in this case, the big telecomm companies) profiting off of my personal data. Thanks to Congress, though, that door has been opened. Earlier this week the House of Representatives voted to reverse regulations that would have prevented internet service providers from selling personal web-browsing data without an individual’s explicit consent.
I’m already inundated with enough advertisements every time I go online, thank you very much. And I certainly don’t care that future ads will be “more tailored to my shopping habits” because my personal browsing data has been sold to the highest bidder. Call me repressed, but I don’t want someone buying data relating to the type, size and color of whatever I buy, and where and how frequently I make a purchase.
To help keep your private information private, you could start by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Lily Newman posted a great article in WIRED earlier this week with basic information about VPNs and their pros and cons.
In a nutshell:
– You need to confirm the VPN is trustworthy. Check whether or not they keep logs of user activity.
– Keep in mind that even this indicator isn’t foolproof. Scams are common, especially among mobile VPNs.
-Paying for a VPN will increase the likelihood of keeping your private data private.
– Choose, if you can, a small company. Using a VPN based in a different country helps too.
– Vet the company as best you can, do not rush to the first Google result.
– Downside to using a VPN: slower connections, and some services (like Netflix) no longer work on most VPNs.
Overall it was an informative and timely article, well worth the read. Should you choose to do so, you can find it here.