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In 2018, the US officially ended net neutrality. This meant that ISPs, in particular, were given the ability to regulate network connections however they willed.
While there has been a lot of fuss created around this issue with a lawsuit by a coalition of net neutrality defenders being prepared for a review after a court initially turned it down last year, ISPs continue to have unlimited power over how they provide internet services to those who avail their respective networks.
Today, we will discuss the role of ISPs and how a VPN for Windows is effective in limiting their power to spy on users.
What is an ISP?
An ISP or Internet Service Provider is the local service that handles your network connection. Most household and business users are connected through a Local Area Network (LAN) where all the systems are connected to a central ISP. Whenever a user enters a URL in their browser to access the internet, their IP address and that of the intended website is sent to the servers of the ISP where it is processed and then sent forward.
How they regulate the internet?
The ISP receives the IP address of the user as well as that of the website which they are trying to access. This means that they know where the person is located and what website they are trying to access. An IP address is like a virtual location beacon that pinpoints where a particular device is. It is by default public. You can simply find it out by typing “what is my IP location” in Google’s search bar. Since the access request goes through the server of the ISP, they have the power to handle it however they want.
Dangers of ISP spying
It is evident that an ISP has the ability to monitor, store, and furnish data when requested by the authorities. Unfortunately, these service providers understand the importance of the data that they hold. Some ISPs go above and beyond by selling the information that they collect on users to independent third parties. Not only is this unethical but it puts a lot of the internet users at risk. Moreover, this is just one danger of ISP spying.
ISP servers are by no means secure or encrypted. They have minimal security and other protocols to safeguard user data from being leaked. This means that any hacker or cyber-criminal can steal data from the server or even siphon it off while it is being sent to the website which the person is trying to access. Since ISPs store data on a regular basis, a cybercriminal can get the information they need right from them without having to break a sweat.
Nowadays, each and every activity, from information gathering to accessing bank accounts can be done online. This means that the amount of sensitive information that is held by an ISP server can easily enable a hacker to steal the identity of many people connected to the network. What’s even more dangerous is the fact that some of this information like date of births or social security numbers can’t be changed like account passwords so once lost they are a continuous threat to the person.
Invasion of privacy
On top of all these consequences, ISP spying is a breach of a fundamental human right. There are certain boundaries that indicate personal spaces and it is immoral to cross these at any cost. We are pretty sure that no internet user is ever comfortable with entities like ISPs peeking into what they do on the internet.
Increased risk of cybercrime
ISP spying opens a number of windows for cybercriminals to exploit various situations and harm internet users. Hackers can’t just steal information from ISP servers but he minimal security on these encourages them to be a step further and initiate attacks like phishing, man-in-the-middle, and sending malware to the devices being used by their victims.
How a VPN stops ISP spying?
A VPN is one of the most effective tools to stop ISP spying among a host of other cybercrimes. VPN services work by masking user IP addresses. This means that the main source for ISP spying and all other cyberattacks is plugged. VPNs also make data traffic anonymous by rerouting normal internet traffic to go through a secure server owned by the service instead of going through the ISP. This ensures that the internet service provider can’t look into our activities online.
How to pick the right VPN
VPN usage has grown extensively over the last few years. The increased demand has led to hundreds of new services flooding the market. This makes it very hard to pick the right ones and this is important because a VPN is like a substitute to the ISP and if you choose an unreliable one, the results can be quite significant. Therefore, it is important to research before picking a VPN service to make sure that you get an effective level of service.
Ratings and reviews
The most credible way to tell the level of reliability that a VPN offer is through the ratings given to it by third-party reviewers and by the customers too. These are unbiased parameters by which a VPN is tested. The top VPNs can boost large client bases and some incredible ratings from platforms like ProPrivacy, VPNRanks and other relevant ones.
Once you’ve established the trustworthiness of a VPN it is then time to take a look at the features that it offers. A good idea of how effective the features of a VPN are can also be made through the ratings and reviews because once again, the un-biasedness comes into play. A leading VPN offers an extensive range of servers, AES 256-bit encryption, public Wi-Fi security, advanced threat detection and prevention, secure DNS and safeguards against a host of cybercrimes.
Internet connectivity has spread to a range of devices and ISP can monitor them all so it is important to have security for them all. In this regard a VPN needs to offer dedicated applications for all kinds of platforms and devices. Smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles and even smart TVs need to be protected by the VPN.
Scott is a cyber-security professional. He’s been writing in the internet privacy niche for a while now and has churned variety of informational pieces to educate his audience. Connect with him on Twitter.
Originally posted 2020-03-17 18:50:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter