Column: online security practices can limit unwanted snooping

By Hunter Tiberius Zuel, Contributing Writer

As the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Obama-era privacy protections by Congress have been made into law, consumers are scared about their online privacy.

With this repeal, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can now sell your personal and basic information to advertisers without your consent.

One could argue that with this repeal, Congress is impacting one of the fundamental rights a person can have in America: the Right of Privacy.

That privacy becomes threatened incrementally and subtly, so that many may not even realize there is a threat, but it does exist.

Imagine that you are talking on the phone and your phone is being tapped and everything you say and do is recorded without your permission and shared with advertisers–or imagine that online searches are also shared, impacting ads you see.

This is what ISP’s can do without privacy regulations and without your consent.

What is more insulting is that you, the consumer, is actually paying these people—we are paying these advertisers to snoop inside your online profiles and files.

Because of this, many people are looking into protecting their information from ISPs furtively gathering their information.

There are a few things you can do right now to protect your information from would-be snoopers.

First, you need to use secure connections to your computer or phone by not using open wi-fi connections and by using wi-fi that is protected by a password that is encrypted.

In that same note, you should create passwords that include upper and lowercase letters and symbols.

Another way help protect your privacy is to use privacy extensions like HTTPS EVERYWHERE.

HTTPS EVERYWHERE is an extension that forces a Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure connection on all sites so that everything you do is encrypted.

Finally, another way to surf more securely is by having a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a connection that is secured by an encryption using a plethora of different protocols.

That connection makes your connection encrypted so people who are snooping around for your data on an open or closed network get data that is scrambled and not useful.

This is helpful for the consumer and encrypts everything so that only you know what is happening on your own connection.

While these steps may not create a completely secure online experience, it can reduce extraneous eavesdropping from advertisers and scammers.

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