Searches for VPN services on Google have experienced a wild surge over the last 24 hours – and the trend is likely here to stay.
In a move that could only be described as a vile disservice to all American citizens, Congress yesterday voted to kill all restrictions stopping your local internet service providers from selling your personal browsing history to third-party buyers. Now people are seeking ways to fight back and protect their privacy.
TorrentFreak reports searches for VPN services in the US skyrocketed in the immediate aftermath of the vote, setting a new high-point for the last five years. Here’s a graphic showing the search frequency for VPN from April 2012 to March 2017.
As the publication speculates, yesterday’s bill is likely the cause for the immediate surge in VPN-related searches.
The scandalous bill, which House of Representatives voted to pass yesterday, will essentially invalidate the internet privacy rules that were introduced by the Federal Communications Commission under the Obama administration and designed specifically to protect consumer privacy from opportunistic ISPs.
The Trump administration first voted to repeal the old bill last week, but yesterday’s events make this travesty official.
While concerned netizens swiftly rushed to seek for VPN solutions to counteract snooping ISPs, the approach might not be as efficient as everyone seems to think.
As The Register notes, not all VPN services are devoted to strictly protecting your privacy. While you could safely resort to using a VPN your employer pays for to browse privately, using freemium proxy tools might not be a smart move as free providers have even more incentive than ISPs to sell your browsing history.
So unless you can borrow your work proxy tool for use at home: Better invest in your own paid VPN subscription before your ISP starts closely monitoring your online activity.
For some more helpful tips on how to protect your privacy in the days to come, check out this piece.