Can VPN be Traced? - 5 Ways to Avoid Being Traced
"Data is oil/gold of the 21st century."
You might have heard this sentence before, and here's what it means: Like oil/gold were the most valuable assets of the previous centuries, data/information is of this one. Whoever has the most information (of others), in terms of quality & quantity, virtually rules the world.
And what powers this "Information economy"? Your & others' information! Companies trying to benefit from the information economy tend to care very little about their consumer's privacy. This especially applies to companies that offer free services/access/products.
"If the product is free, you are the product."
Today, giant companies like Google, Facebook, and government institutions trace & collect everyone's information. Even your ISP can be collecting your data to sell it. That's scary! However, there are ways not to get traced and use the internet safely and privately. Here are five of those:
1. Use VPN
Let's start the list by answering the question you opened this article for. "Can VPN be traced?" Short answer: No.
Here's how VPN works: When you connect to a VPN server, that server becomes the client from the point on. Now whatever you do on the internet, all the ins and outs go through an encrypted VPN tunnel. The sites/browser trying to trace you will find the VPN server's IP at the other end, and hence your identity is private.
There's one thing you should remember, though. Yes, VPN keeps you from being traced, but sometimes, the VPN provider itself is the culprit. Especially in free VPNs, your data is collected by the VPN provider and sold to third-parties.
Therefore, try to get one with zero logs policy, among other features. We have done the research, used many VPNs, and compiled a list of the best VPNs if you are interested.
2. Use a privacy-oriented search engine.
We all know Google is the best search engine. No other company can provide the search experience Google manages to. However, Google is perhaps the top company powered by the information economy. They have records of everything you do on their search engine, browser (not counting incognito mode), YouTube, and all their products.
In short, your privacy is the least of their concerns, and therefore have had several court dates regarding the subject.
If you value your privacy, switch to a search engine that respects searcher's privacy. One name that pops right into the mind is Duckduckgo. They don't collect your information, blocks all the trackers, and encrypts your internet activity. It's a private & straightforward search engine, in a nutshell.
3. Change privacy settings
Big names famous for storing data — like Facebook, Google, Chrome, etc. — allow you to change privacy settings because of the court's orders. You can turn off specific permissions, allow limited access, etc. from there.
While you are changing your browser's privacy settings, clear all cookies and caches — and try to do it regularly. Many companies & sites tend to track you for months if you don't do that. They use it for retargeting & selling the product/service you looked at but didn't buy.
4. Remove the already-stored data from data brokers.
You can sign up with services like Safe Sheperd, Catalog Choice, OneRep, Delete Me, Privacy Duck, etc., and delete all the previously-stored information from data brokers. Data brokers or information brokers are companies that aggregate information from all around the internet, categorize it/make sense of it, and sell it to marketers, advertisers, and third parties.
You know how you always get ads of things you never saw before but would love to buy? Well, that's all no-thanks to data brokers!
5. Read Terms of Service
Suppose you know the particular product/site store/track about you, you can decide not to use it or avoid falling in obvious traps. How can you know that? Well, it's all in their mandatory "Terms of Service" agreement.
What can we do then? Well, you can visit Terms of Service; Didn't Read to take a glimpse at what you are getting into. People at TOSDR.com have read all major sites' policies and summarized & classified them for you to look at. Check it to aware of yourself, if nothing else.
Online privacy is a myth. If you don't do anything about it, you end up being a product of the information economy. Therefore, stay aware, use VPNs, remove cookies & trackers, and delete data off the internet to remain sane or get a basic human right — privacy!
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