We all are connected to the internet 24/7 and it brings us to the brink of a constantly lurking threat of data compromise. US residents have a new challenge to face as the US Congress canceled the Internet Privacy Laws in March 2017.
How Does it Affect US Citizens?
US citizens mainly receive the Internet Service from Cox, AT&T, Time Warner, CenturyLink, and Xfinity. All of these internet service providers have exclusive rights to sell personal information of their customers and this information also includes the browsing history. No prior consent is required which means that your internet provider can sell your personal info without having to seek permission from your end.
What Type of Personal Information ISPs Can Legally Sell?
Your Internet Service Provider is now authorized to sell any or all of the following information:
- The media content and text of your emails
- Your health records
- Your Social security number
- The information about your children
- Your financial data
- Your browsing history
What Can I Do to Protect My Data?
A Virtual Private Network is the fast, simple, and easy solution to the problem. A VPN encrypts the data of your network and this end-to-end encryption keeps your information safe from the watchdogs.
Setting up a VPN is quick and easy. Most of the VPN services are free and reliable. Yet, you need to go through multiple reviews before selecting a VPN because some hackers have developed fake VPN programs which means that while avoiding the deep blue sea you may end up being a victim of the devil.
|Before you follow the steps below, understand the significantly higher risks of streaming online today. In fact, this applies to any device online as well as your smartphone or tablet. |
Not too long ago users online enjoyed a certain degree of anonymity due to the Net Neutrality laws. However, in 2018, these laws were repealed. This means your own Internet Service Provider can legally sell your personal data (such as health records, security information, and browsing history).
In addition, they can monitor your online traffic to ensure that you are in compliance with their “fair use” policy. Streaming is generally quite bandwidth heavy and you’ll find ISPs often buffer user traffic which drastically impacts the streams and makes them unwatchable.
After you install a streaming app on your device or even if you’ve already installed one – make sure you secure your streaming data with a no-logging VPN like IPVanish. This is your only protection and it’s worth the nominal investment.
IPVanish has servers all over the world which help anonymize your activities online. Also by accessing servers in other countries, it’s possible to bypass any geographic restrictions and with over 6000+ servers around the world, IPVanish makes this simple and easy. Finally, IPVanish supports almost every client imaginable – regardless of the device you’re using to stream, you’ll find that you can use IPVanish VPN services to protect yourself.
IPVanish offers a 7-day money back guarantee which means you have a week to test it risk-free. Please note that StreamingMediaGuide readers save on the IPVanish annual plan. Click here to give it a test drive.
Installing a VPN on Router
Installing a VPN on the router secures your internet connection and personal information in the best way. The price of a VPN-compatible router varies. A general guess is from $20 to $30 and you can purchase these routers from various online sources including Amazon. A VPN-compatible router allows you to insert the VPN information and the router then automatically masks the network information of all the connected devices.
With a VPN router in place, there remains no need to worry about the streaming activities and turning the VPN ON every time you turn ON a streaming app. So it saves you from a consistent source of worry. In addition, a VPN service on a computing device has to reserve some processing power to run the Virtual Private Network in the background. You see the results on the quickly draining batteries of your smartphones with a VPN installed. The VPN router supports all wired and wireless devices.
Working With a VPN
A VPN service performs multiple tasks. It working procedure is as follows:
- It creates a virtual tunnel through which all the information travels
- End-to-end encryption keeps the information safe
- Encryption ensures that your browsing activities remain a secret
- Your ISP can’t access your browsing history
- The VPN doesn’t leak any of the information, be it browsing the history, streaming information, or email data, etc.
- Make sure to use a VPN with No-Logging Policy. This is the VPN that doesn’t keep the log of the browsing history
On one side, the legislation is making things tough for internet users in an attempt to please the big fish of the modern day industry. It is important to protect your information as effectively as you can. As the law is violating the public interest, it is important to take steps for yourself.
Changing the ISP isn’t an option. Even if you do somehow, the ISP also has the same rights of selling your personal information. Generally, an ISP in an area has a monopoly so you don’t find another ISP in the same area. Consequently, a VPN remains the only practical solution.
What’s the Reason behind the Cancellation of the Internet Privacy Laws?
The reason behind the cancellation of the Internet Privacy Laws is the conflict between the website owners and the ISPs. The ISPs hold that the website owners have unfair leverage of harvesting more information.
In simple words, the US government thinks that internet giants like Facebook and YouTube are getting an unfair advantage over Internet Service Providers. Ultimately, the cancellation of the Internet Privacy Laws puts the personal information of US citizens on the verge of unfair authorization. It means that the government thinks that the interests of the corporations are more important than the concerns of the public.
Compromising the Internet Security Laws doesn’t end the risk factor because Congress is now eying on canceling Net Neutrality. The stage is almost set and the ISPs will have the freedom of slowing down the internet speed and putting barriers to access to different websites. It means that the rates of the Internet Service will rise and the speed of the internet connection will slow down in comparison of what you pay today for a certain speed limit. So your ISP will have the freedom of restricting your access to certain online content. So Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are ready to make billions of additional dollars at the expense of public privacy and basic rights to access the online content.
A VPN will protect you from speed limitations as well. As your ISP will not recognize your network credentials, thanks to the VPN masking, nobody will block the access to certain content. The government is clearly helpless at this stage and everything seems in favor of the big giants but a good VPN service can cheer you up!