How To: Keep Web Surfing Private

How To: Keep Web Surfing Private

Sonia Zjawinski
Jun 24, 2008

You're not paranoid if they're really after you. A recent New Scientist story brings our attention to the fact that more and more internet service providers are selling data of what sites you're visiting to companies who then crunch the data and sell the information to advertisers so that they can tailor ads to each user specifically. One such company, NebuAd based out of Redwood City, California has partnerships with 30 small ISPs, which amounts to about 100 million broadband subscribers.

Different privacy groups are asking congress to stop NebuAd, and other companies like it, from snooping, but in the mean time they may be watching and analyzing your every click. After the jump we give you tips on how to keep your clicks to yourself...

  • Ask your ISP if they sell data to advertising firms. If they do,they should allow you to opt out. If they don't, take your business elsewhere.
  • Download free software like Tor, which prevents ISPs from seeing what sites you visit.
  • Run an online test that can detect if your ISP is using a device like Data Alchemist, used to monitor browsing and deliver targeted advertising. [via New Scientist]

Photo: Alias via Squidoo

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