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Companies Can Now Buy, Sell Your Internet Browsing History--Without Your Permission
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25 Mar 2017 02:01 AM EST

If the thought of your internet browsing history and habits being put up for sale without your consent sounds like a scary thought, it could become a reality. According to NBC News, the Senate passed a joint resolution on Thursday, which bars the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing rules passed last year that would ban internet, cable, and mobile providers from selling your data without your consent. So, how do you keep your internet activities private? Robert Siciliano is CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com. He told NBC News the best way to protect yourself is by installing a VPN — that's a virtual private network. A quick Google search will lead to some VPN options, which range from free to a few dollars per month. You'll also want to start paying attention to cookies — those little pieces of data sent by a website and stored on your browser. They're designed to make your life easier, letting you skip certain steps, such as re-entering your login information. However, they can also be clever tools for keeping tabs on everything you do on a site. Siciliano also advised taking advantage of any 'incognito' or other private browsing technologies. In Google Chrome, you can do this by clicking the icon in the right-hand corner showing three lines, then opening a new window to browse anonymously. While Thursday's vote doesn't mean there are any immediate changes, the measure has been slammed by online privacy advocates.