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web spyingWith the Government trying to push through a law that will force internet service providers such as BT and Virgin to keep a 12 month record of your browsing history, The PC Support Group are here to help you to understand what this means and what you can do to protect your data and your security.

 

What data will be stored?

Every time you visit a website your internet service provider will be forced to keep a log file of the site you visited and when you visited it. Theresa May has said that this is the equivalent of a modern day itemised phone bill. The Data will be stored by your internet service provider. This also applies to mobile devices such as smart phones that browse the web via your mobile network.

 

Why might you want to protect yourself?

As we saw recently, Talk Talk have been the target of a well-publicised cyberattack which resulted in the estimated theft of 4 million users’ personal data. Risks such as this have led some people to feel concerned about data security and that the information that will be stored about them could end up in the wrong hands.

 

What can you do?

Whilst clearing your internet history or using your browser in private mode will help to prevent people who might get onto your computer from seeing which sites you’ve visited, that won’t hide your usage from your ISP. The only way to do that is by using a VPN service.

VPN means ‘Virtual Private Network’ and it’s a way to encrypt all the things that come and go over your internet connection and the other side. A VPN service means that all your internet usage comes and goes via their service, and as it’s encrypted your ISP can’t see where you’re going or what you’re doing.

However it’s important to know the facts and to tread carefully when choosing a VPN provider. For instance, if you choose a UK based service they may also fall within the scope of any new law meaning that they will also need to store your records. Some VPN services are very slow and unreliable and some can prove unsafe. Be aware that if a criminal organisation can entice you to connect via their own VPN they’ve they’ll have access to all the data you’re sending and receiving.

 

For advice and guidance on data security and best practice IT systems for small business, call The PC Support Group on 03300 886 116