We’re always talking about protecting our privacy in this blog, and most of the time we invite people to adopt VPN solutions like HideMyAss, ibVPN or PureVPN so as to add some layer of anonymity to your internet connection. Learn how to protect your online privacy when connecting from home.
In this article, I’m more interested in the home-user case that usually connects to the internet through an ISP. I think this is the most “dangerous” situation if you really want to protect your privacy. Why is that?
Let’s first compare it to the situation where you’ll be connecting from a public Wi-Fi hotspot. At least, all that is asked from you on those Wi-Fi hotspots is to pay for some credit then you can surf: you’re not asked to provide personal information as long as you are willing to pay. Well, yes, your computer will keep some other personal information that can be “shared” online, but that’s another story that we’ll cover in a different article.
Back to the home internet connection, let’s see how dangerous it can be.
First, let’s see some practical example. Most of the time, your computer will try to be more permissive when it comes to the sharing feature once you set it into “home network mode”. I know for example that whenever you add a new network connection on a Windows machine, it asks you to set if it’s a public or a home network connection.
Most users would choose “home connection” when they are actually working from home, but do you know that this will set your firewall as well as some privacy features to be a bit more “open” so as to allow your computer to share things with other devices you have at home. Supposing that your computer is updated, it’s not sure that the firewall rules actually prevent your personal data to be spread on the internet.
Your ISP knows a lot about you
Now, as if that threat weren’t enough, there’s another more important threat: your ISP knows a lot about you. When you signup for a contract with them, you usually have to inform them about your current physical address as well as some other sensitive information (contact, payment information, …).
I do admit that that information is harder to break through while they are stored in your ISP’s database – but the fact is: you can be tracked should the ISP be obliged to reveal that information. Coupled with the fact that your ISP always knows the IP address associated to your account whenever you use the internet, it’s just a matter of asking your ISP which user is associated to an IP address and then couple that with the ISP’s customer database, and one can know exactly where you are.
How to protect your online privacy when connecting from home
Now, since a lot is revealed about your browsing computer when you are surfing, it’ll be easy to know that you did some “prejudice” from your laptop rather than from the desktop (I’m oversimplifying but this is more than feasible)
So, indeed, if you want to get some privacy online while doing some specific things, it’s a good idea not using your home-based internet connection. And if you are really obliged to do so, use VPN solutions. We’ve used a lot o them and we recommend you choose from HideMyAss, ibVPN, NordVPN or PureVPN.
How do you protect your online privacy when connecting from home? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.