Protecting Your Privacy On-Line
I wanted to write a little about the necessity of having a VPN. I always recommend using a VPN whenever you are connected to the Internet. This is especially true if you have a jailbroken Amazon Fire TV device, Android Box, PC or Mac computer that you are using as a streaming media device.
I normally stress the importance of a VPN as a matter of privacy, but today I want to talk about some of the things the U.S. government has done that make it an absolute necessity to protect yourself.
Always use a VPN when streaming media online
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Stop your ISP and your government from spying on your activity. Use a VPN to protect your privacy. A VPN is an essential tool when you are using any free or low-cost streaming application or service. Especially if you are using a jailbroken Fire TV or Fire Stick or Android box. ALWAYS use a VPN if you want the best streaming experience, the best selection of media and don't want your ISP to slow you down or shut you down. I recommend IPVanish VPN for all my clients and I use it on all my devices.
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Always use a VPN when streaming media online
Many people don’t realize that the U.S. Government recently passed a resolution to repeal regulations that were previously enacted that required your ISP to obtain your consent before using your Internet usage for marketing purposes. Before this resolution, you could feel somewhat safe knowing that you have not given consent, and that is that. The repeal of these regulations basically gives your ISP the right to do whatever it wants with your Internet usage data. Your ISP is a company, and it needs to make money. It used to be that they made that money by selling you Internet service. But with margins tight, and with stiff competition, they need to find other revenue streams. So, they are selling your data.
Many people are outraged, and rightfully so. A service that you pay for usually works in your best interest. Considering that we use the Internet for most everything these days, this is an alarming situation. All day long we are connected via our mobile devices. At home, we surf the web, study online, chat, send emails, use Internet telephone, etc. Can you imagine the amount of data the ISPs have on you? In the past, we at least felt like we could trust them to protect our privacy because we pay them. But now they can throw our privacy out the window and do whatever they want with all that data, such as sell it to a third party.
The reasoning behind the repeal of this law is simple. When you go to a website, they collect your data, and they sell that data. We have always known that, and that has always been one of my primary arguments for using a VPN. The good news is, that, these websites don’t normally have all of your data. And, since the data they have is fairly limited, the data isn’t as valuable as what your ISP has.
Your ISP has argued that it is unfair to them to allow these websites and other Web-based properties to sell your info, but to restrict them from doing so. This is ludicrous on its face, because not only does your ISP have ALL of your Internet usage data, they can actually tie it to your name, physical address, phone number, credit card number, etc. The websites you visit can glean some of this information, but they can’t really tie it to a person in most cases. With your ISP, they are selling your life for a profit. And it is unclear if they would even have to tell you they were doing it.
You could always switch your ISP to one that promises to protect your privacy. But most people just don’t have that many choices when it comes to Internet access. Because the big cable companies often operate monopolies. And cable Internet is prevalent in most parts of the country. This is especially true in rural areas. In some cases, it can be a choice between giving up your data or not having Internet service. That certainly doesn’t seem fair.
The answer is to use a VPN. I have written a few articles about the need for a VPN.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a tried and true technology that has been around for a long time with very little change. It was very well designed to do one thing and to do it very well. A VPN is designed to provide a highly encrypted connection from one computer to another. I use the pipe in a pipe example a lot. Imagine your Internet service is a pipe. Your ISP owns the pipe. They can look inside it any time and see what’s there and, in essence, what is flowing through that pipe. Depending on what you are putting through that pipe, they may slow down your flow or otherwise change it. Now, further imagine that you put another pipe inside their pipe. You own that pipe. No one can see inside it except you. Now, your ISP can still look inside THEIR pipe, but all they will see is YOUR pipe. So, they can’t ever know what you are sending through the pipe. That means they can’t collect data on your usage. They also can’t slow you down, etc.
See the infographic below for a brief overview of how a VPN functions.
I continue to recommend IPVanish as my VPN of choice. I install IPVanish on all of my devices as well as the devices of my clients. It never fails to be the best choice for any type of Internet usage. Whether streaming movies using Terrarium TV or Kodi or surfing the Web, IPVanish is always the fastest. They also do not store any logs, so there will never be a trace of your activity. You can do whatever you want and go wherever you want on the Internet with the peace of mind that your privacy will be protected.
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