An Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides internet access to people and organizations. One should be aware of what their ISP will know about their online activities before using the internet provided by ISP.
ISP can know everything you do online. Your locations, search histories, websites that users visit., and the amount of time spent on particular websites or online applications are all visible to them. They can also see your uploaded and downloaded data.
When you visit some websites on your device, the IP address is sent to ISP by the router, and then the ISP of that website will send data to our ISP which will forward them to the router and then to your device. So when your ISP got the data from your router, it will keep the information received such as sent and received files, downloaded files, etc.
What does ISP do with your information?
With the information kept by ISP, you will get advertisements according to your online activities as ISP makes deals with online marketers. ISP also track the bandwidth usage of their users and throttle the internet speed. The data kept by ISP can also aid in the resolution of criminal cases. ISP can also censor prohibited websites in certain locations with the help of the data they collect.
Does incognito mode prevent ISPs from seeing your online activities?
The answer is no. By using incognito mode, history and cookies are not saved on the devices. But still, ISP can see the history and websites users visited using the internet provided by the ISP.
How to stop ISP from tracking your activities?
By using the VPN on your mobile phone or Laptop, your entire data traffic is directed over an encrypted virtual tunnel so that your ISP cannot see your online activities. While utilizing a VPN, your location is also hidden from your ISP.
By using the Tor browser, your entire data traffic is directed to random servers so that your online activities and location are hidden from your ISP.
While using VPN and Tor browser still some of the information will be known to the ISP such as the IP address of the server, the time you joined, and the amount of data you are transmitting or receiving.
Are VPN and Tor browsers legal?
VPN and Tor browsers are legal in most countries including Nepal if you use them for legitimate purposes. But cases of cybercrime are increasing in developing countries like Nepal because of VPNs and Tor browsers.