Here’s How To Plug One Of The Biggest Privacy Holes In The Internet

An upgrade to DNS, the internet’s address book, would make it harder for ISPs to know where you surf, and for hackers to hijack your traffic.

DNS, the domain name system, translates easy-to-remember addresses of websites, like Google.com, to the numerical representations (IP addresses) that the internet uses, such as 172.217.7.196. You’re automatically connected to an ISP’s own DNS server when you log on to a home router or public hotspot, or when your cell phone connects to the network. In the process, the ISP gets a log of everywhere you go online.

But you can plug the IP address of a different DNS server into your computer’s or phone’s operating system. Google, for instance, operates a free DNS service at IP address 8.8.8.8 that’s helped people get online when repressive regimes try to thwart connectivity by sabotaging other DNS servers.

Setting it up

You first need to set your device to use Cloudflare’s DNS servers. The company provides instruction videos on the service’s landing page for the Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS operating systems. Even taking this step will provide a modicum of privacy. In bypassing your ISP’s DNS servers, it won’t be collecting your page requests automatically.

 

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