With more than 4 billion people currently using the Internet, concerns about privacy have reached a new level. With every possible threat lurking on the web, people have turned to Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers for the rescue. A VPN, simply put, is the safest way of browsing the Internet without putting your personal data at risk.
Recently, the US Congress put an end to an FCC regulation meant to strengthen privacy for Internet users. By doing so, they gave the green light to Internet service providers to collect their customers’ data without their consent.
Some states in the US are working on the enactment of their own ISP privacy. At the same time, private companies, nonprofits, and academics are developing technical workarounds that would make it increasingly difficult for ISPs to eavesdrop on their users.
Studies suggest as many as one in four people use a VPN, but how many of them know what a DNS leak is – or the ways it can be prevented?
When the device you’re using sends protected DNS queries to your ISP’s DNS servers, a security breach, known as a ‘DNS leak’, can often occur. In many cases, the user isn’t even aware it happens. You connect to your VPN and then you’re safe, right? Well, not always. Rather than route your requests through the VPN, they go straight to the ISP’s DNS servers and bypass the VPN entirely. In other words, you’ve exposed yourself to eavesdropping – when browsing is visible to hackers and your ISP. Assuming you’re concerned with online anonymity – on a business or personal level – then this poses a problem. We touch upon the ways to solve these issues further on, but first let’s understand why it happens.