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Posted on May 22, 2017 by in Identity & Privacy, Personal

It’s official. The US government has made it possible for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to sell your personal information, and they don’t even have to ask you if it’s okay. With that ruling, ISP privacy may soon be a thing of the past. If you want to keep your privacy in tact, it’s going to be up to you. What is the best advice I can give you, other than get off the grid and move to a cave in Greenland? Start using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

What’s a VPN?

A VPN is a type of technology that has been around for years, but most people didn’t use them, until now. Basically, these networks make online activities almost impossible to track. How? It scrambles and anonymizes the data.

If the data is scrambled, it makes it extremely difficult for a hacker or an ISP to access your information. Hackers are always trying to access data streams when devices are connected to public WiFi. This includes trying to take usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, etc. ISPs are tracking websites, clicks etc. A VPN can “mask” those searches.

What a VPN Can Do For You

A VPN can do a number of things for you. For one, they will protect you from snoops who are trying to see what you are doing online. They also give you peace of mind when you browse on public Wi-Fi connections. It will also stop ads based on your browsing history, and it will hide your IP address. They can be a great solution for the recent ISP privacy issues.

How Do VPNs Work?

A VPN will encrypt your internet connection, which makes it difficult for snoopers to keep watching you. From your ISP’s side, they will not see any information, except that you are connecting to the VPN server.

Getting Started with a VPN

It is quite easy to set up a VPN. After you create an account, you should download the software. Make sure that every device you use connects to a VPN. You will probably find that there are several servers to connect to, and they are based in USA and foreign countries. This makes it more difficult to find out any information on you. There is a small monthly/annual/lifetime fee for a good VPN, but it is well worth the price. Even if you get nothing else out of it, you will see fewer ads based on your browsing habits. Of course, your personal data will be much safer, too. Be careful with the free ones. There are free VPNs out there, but they aren’t as reliable as the paid versions.

Don’t stop there. A complete, multi-layer approach to privacy also involves anti-spyware, anti-phishing, a firewall, and identity theft protection. And as long as you are actively engaged in protecting yourself, both hackers and ISPs will have a tougher time getting your data.