Privacy-focused internet usage 101

Are you new to the belief that your data should be owned by you and you only? That censoring content on the internet isa breach of a basic amenity? Well, fret not. Here we have prepared the definitive resource you will need to brush up your information on the best ways to protect your privacy online.

There are several components to democratic and free internet usage. And nearly all of them can be materialized by using a decentralized virtual private network, or a dVPN. More on that a little later.

Unblocking entertainment services

The first enemy of internet freedom is blocked content. There are various motivations behind blocking and censoring content in specific regions. Chances are, it has only come to your attention in the case of Netflix or YouTube. But many organizations, corporates, and government agencies display content selectively.

We can’t have free internet that’s the same for all if these practices continue.

For now, the way around this is to spoof your geo-location.

Streaming without throttling limits

Internet service providers (ISPs) –companies you buy your internet subscription from – usually throttle internet speeds in specific cases.

·      If a lot of traffic is going towards something that they have been directed to make slower by authorities, they will do exactly that.

·      When you stream a TV show or movie on a streaming service while paying for a lower internet package, they will throttle or limit your speed, thus conditioning you to buy higher packages, even if your speed is sufficient to stream said content without buffering.

·      ISPs can choose to decongest certain routes in order to make it faster for their wealthier clients or companies to access content using those routes.

These are just a handful of examples. AnISP controls your internet speed. They can send you to a congested route or cap your upper limit. Their motivations behind these actions are purely financial.

The only way to avoid this is to make theISP oblivious of what type of content you are accessing by sending your signal to another IP address, which then does the bidding for you.

Protecting your privacy and data

Last but also the most important on the list, you need to be in control of your data. Information that can be used to personally identify you or gather your physical location should only be in your hands. Organizations that use this data to predict behaviors, track you, display “relevant” ads to you, or simply to learn more about you as a part of a major profiling operation are strictly illegal.

This includes corporates as well as government agencies.

You can go off the grid by spoofing your IP address. Once you do that, all that you browse cannot be associated with you personally.

Getting snoopers and trackers off your back isn’t easy for the everyday internet user. Everything from the software and apps on your devices to your hardware itself can send information to servers once connected to the internet. And not every source can be trusted. Quite ironically, corporates acquire data even from companies that build security apps for end-users.

How do you do all this, and more?

There are a few ways to protect your precious data online:

·      You should fine-tune your browser privacy settings.

·      Always keep a good ad blocker installed on your browser.

·      Use an anti malware tool to keep away from malicious software.

·      Keep your antivirus updated.

·      Don’t install stuff you don’t understand.

·      Don’t reply to Nigerian princes asking for your bank account details.

However, all this is pretty much general knowledge.What’s not general knowledge is the fact that most of these tips fall short of delivering any remarkable online protection. Your data will still be scraped and you will still be tracked.

For example, do you know that Facebook can keep tracking you even after you have left it? Many websites, especially those new e-commerce startups, have embedded Facebook code that can track you beyondFacebook. That’s just one instance. Google and many other media companies and advertisers are tracking you without your consent.

The only true way to free yourself from companies and agencies knowing your IP address and what websites you open is to use a VPN. Everything we discussed can be done by simply setting up a VPN and not using your ISP’s unencrypted network.

VPNs are the need of the hour. They allow you to browse privately, change your IP, block snooping attempts, and ultimately to control your digital footprint.

However, there are also a few drawbacks to using VPNs.

·      Most free VPN services are sluggish. The Tor network is also sluggish.

·      Free VPN services, as well as paid VPN services, are controlled by companies. They have centralized servers that can be attacked.

·      These centralized VPN services can also log your browsing data and have also been known to sell it to third parties.

Then what can you do? Is it the end? Is there no true freedom?

As it turns out, there is a way. It’s to use a decentralized VPN. It has all the benefits of a VPN we discussed so far, minus the centralized part. As decentralized VPNs are not centrally managed by a company, there’s no risk of anyone logging your browsing history and therefore, selling it.

So, how do dVPNs work?

Instead of company-managed servers that facilitate the connection, they depend on the users themselves. Users set up software on their devices that allows them to share their unused bandwidth.These devices are called nodes. Thousands of nodes make up a dVPN network and allow those seeking VPN services to choose from this list and connect to any node, thereby accessing from any location (of course, by paying them directly).

Mysterium VPN is the best decentralized VPNas it comes with several perks for its users.

Happy browsing, and here’s to hoping we could be strangers forever!

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