The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to kill internet privacy rules that will allow internet service providers (ISP) to share and sell customers’ information.
Under this law, providers will be able to share personal information including browsing history, financial records and even information on children.
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) passed privacy rules in October under Obama’s administration and were due to take affect later this year. The rules would have barred internet service providers (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, etc.) from selling sensitive information to advertisers without their customers’ permission.
Although this law passed in the Senate and has a likely chance of being signed by President Trump, there’s still a few ways to keep your browser history private.
A VPN (virtual private network) adds security and privacy to the Internet, public and private networks and WiFi hot spots. They’re usually used to protect sensitive data.
VPNs replace a user’s initial IP address with one from a gateway that the service provides. For example, you could live in Texas, but it can appear that you live in California or Washington. This makes it harder for advertisers to target an audience from web browser history.
This service is highly used in corporations, but there are many VPN services available for personal use.
Encrypt your internet traffic
Service providers will still be able to see what sites you’ve visited, but not the individual pages. For example, your ISP will be able to know you visited Amazon.com, but won’t know what pages you viewed while you were on the site making it a little harder for some advertisers to know exactly what you’re shopping for.
Most websites are encrypted, but in order to know, check the beginning of the URL. Having “HTTPS” at the beginning of the URL proves it’s secure.