We’ve all had the experience of shopping online for say a new pair of shoes, closed out our internet search, and while scrolling through our Facebook news feed – see the exact pair of dress shoes reappear in a targeted advertisement. The Zappos ad follows you from one web page to the next. If you’re anything like me, there’s a brief moment of thinking Big-Brother-Orwellian-conspiracy theories that someone is watching my web searches. How does Facebook know I was just looking at those shoes on a different website? This kind of marketing is called retargeting and when you visit a website, a cookie is placed on your web browser allowing marketers to create compelling advertisements based on your activity.
This is all fun and games when it comes to buying a pair of shoes online, but what if someone had access to your entire browsing history. They would have an instant pulse on your interests. Whether it’s Google searches on “Best hiking destinations in New England” to Pinterest boards on “how to make homemade Lentil soup” or even Facebook posts on “best online dating sites,” your search history tells a lot about you and the scary thing is – it may become public knowledge.
Your Online Activity Up for Grabs
In October of 2016, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did its part to protect our online search privacy requiring internet service providers (ISP’s) to follow a strict set of procedures before sharing or selling our search data. After an unprecedented congressional ruling on March 28, the very regulation that prohibits the free sharing of information to a third party has been overturned. If Trump put his John Hancock on the new act, ISP’s will have carte blanche on monitoring our online behavior and free reign with regard to selling our internet search information.
If you’re beginning to think you’re living in a real life episode of Black Mirror, you’re right on schedule. Whether it’s Verizon interested in selling batches of consumer spending data to large retail companies or AT&T handing over search histories to government agencies, the new regulation undermines consumer privacy in the United States and is downright unsettling. With absolutely zero consent needed, your entire browsing history is up for grabs. Thankfully, there is a way to protect yourself and it involves getting a Virtual Private Network (VPN). With plenty of high-quality VPN service providers out there, we decided to focus on one that seems to have set itself apart from the competition.
British Virgin Island-based ExpressVPN – the world’s largest premium VPN service provider – is one of the best ways to safeguard your online activity. With over 1,000 servers in 145 VPN locations sprinkled across 94 countries, you can rest assured that your browsing history is protected using state-of-the-art encryption technology. By simply connecting to ExpressVPN’s intuitive companion app, you instantly have an iron-clad network backed by 4096-bit CA, AES-256-CBC encryption TLS v 1.2, SHA512, and strong ciphers. In other words, your online data is stored in the digital world’s version of Fort Knox.
Whether it’s protecting your online activities, accounts, passwords, or any other personal data, ExpressVPN gives you the ultimate freedom online without any concerns around censorship or governmental regulatory restrictions. Since ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands, your browsing history is safeguarded from any U.S. intervention seeking to gain access to your online data. All your ISP sees is encrypted traffic passing through the ExpressVPN servers.