If you are reading this, I assume you have heard of or at least heard of a VPN. A VPN is a tool that can be used to secure your connection while using public Wi-Fi, or to create a private network within your home that is completely isolated from the rest of the world (kind of like a DMZ). Many people use VPNs to keep their personal information private and secure when surfing the web or using various apps (like WhatsApp, Skype, and more).
But did you know that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may be able to see your activity even when you are on a VPN? Here is what they can see:
Your ISP Can See You Are On A VPN
Yes, if you are using a VPN they will see you. Your VPN will give them the IP address of the computer or device you are using, and they will know that you are not directly connected to the internet. Your ISP will see that you are connected to the internet through a VPN, and they may even know that you are connected to a specific server (if you are paying for their service).
If you are on a public Wi-Fi network, then your ISP will have no problem seeing you. They will simply see a user that is on a VPN attempting to access the internet. There is also the possibility for them to tell you that they have seen you, and could give you a chance to logout of your VPN before you go any further.
Your ISP Can See What Apps And Services You Are Using
With the help of a few tools, your ISP can see everything you are doing on your device. They can see when you are launching each app, what types of data you are sending (including your personal information), and even the sites you are visiting. Many people use Google Analytics to track the sites they visit regularly, and use a VPN to keep those sites secure. However, if you are using a public Wi-Fi network then your ISP can easily see what sites you are visiting and what apps you are using. They can even see your device’s IP address, your browsing history, and what sites you are looking at. If you are using a VPN on a public Wi-Fi network, then it is highly recommended that you do not use any Google services or visit any of Google’s websites as this will put you at risk of having your activity recorded and stored by Google (and potentially by other companies that are part of the giant corporation).
Your ISP Can See What Websites You Are Visiting
Your ISP can easily see which websites you are visiting (and which ones you are trying to avoid). If you have a public Wi-Fi network connection then they can easily see which sites you are visiting. They can also tell you which ones you should be visiting and which ones you should avoid. If you are using a VPN on a public Wi-Fi network, then your ISP will know that you are attempting to hide your activity by visiting random sites, which will result in them flagging you as a potential security threat. They will then have the opportunity to educate you on the many benefits of a VPN and show you how to properly use it.
Your ISP Can See Which Files You Are Opening
If you have a file stored on your device (like a PDF, XLSX, or DOCX file), then your ISP can easily see which ones you are opening. They can tell you which ones you should be opening and which ones you should be avoiding. If you are using a VPN on a public Wi-Fi network, then your ISP will know that you are attempting to hide the fact that you are opening these specific files, and will have the opportunity to educate you on why this is a bad idea.
As you can see, your ISP can easily see everything you are doing on your device (provided you have a public Wi-Fi network connection and you are not hiding your activity with a VPN). This can place your personal information at risk, and it is highly recommended that you avoid public Wi-Fi when you can and use a VPN whenever you need to connect to a secure network or save a file that you do not want your ISP to see.
Hopefully, this article answered your question about what your ISP can see when you use a VPN. If you found it helpful then please feel free to hit the like button. You can also leave us a comment with further questions or try out one of our other amazing blogs.