I would argue that it’s healthy to be a little concerned about the people who follow you around online. Be it the government unscrupulous advertisers or maybe your crazy ex who swears she’ll never love another man.
Hmm… but even if you’ve taken all of the obvious precautions including hiding behind seven proxies browsing. Only in the incognito mode, hole drive encryption and stationing, there can be an attack dog outside of your computer room.
Unfortunately, there might still be in the insidious hole in your defenses that could expose a fair amount about you. I’m talking about DNS leaks and how it works?
But simply put is the system that matches web addresses. For example, You enter like youtube.com to numerical IP addresses so that your web browser will know which site to bring up. Now, typically whenever you try to visit a new website your computer will ask a DNS server maintained by your ISP for its IP address.
So, this means that your ISP knows which site you’re visiting which normally wouldn’t be an issue but if you’re doing something sensitive you may not want your ISP to have this information. Especially, if they’re logging it indefinitely or much worse, such as selling it to third parties.
Oh but come on John, that’s amateur hour stuff. I use a VPN that I pay actual money for so I’m totally safe. Right, well maybe not.
Check VPN Configuration:
Depending on how your VPN is configured it might be using a securely encrypted toll to connect you with the websites themselves but the DNS requests to help you navigate to those sites might still be going to your ISPs DNS server.
Now, this is because some operating systems and windows are notorious for this and it will rely on whatever DNS server it is saved as the default. So if this is your ISPs, it might completely ignore the fact you have a VPN running and send all of your browsing requests to your ISP anyway.
They won’t see exactly what pages are visiting or the contents of a message you type but they can build a shockingly robust profile of your online life based on just this information alone.
So how can you plug these pesky leaks?
Well if you are using a VPN you trust the most, straightforward way is to enable its anti-DNS leak which will encrypt and route all DNS requests to their servers instead of your ISPs.
After turning this setting on. You can test it at a site that checks for any remaining leaks to see if it’s functioning properly and even if you’re not using a VPN you can still route DNS requests through different servers.
If you don’t trust your ISP, there are a number of public DNS servers out there that you can find with little research. Two of the more notable ones are run by Google and CloudFlare to set this up just to bring up your ipv4 settings.
Under Ethernet properties and windows and enter the IP addresses of the DNS servers you’d like to use through Windows 8 and 10 users should note that a new feature called SMH and are that’s a mouthful anyway.
Well, it could still route your request through your ISP so we’ve linked a plug-in that can disable it in the video description.
If you’re using a VPN and well-regarded public DNS servers can have other benefits. For example, Google claims that their service only keeps logs of user’s IP addresses for 48 hours before deleting them provide speed improvements in many cases and encrypts your DNS requests as well, of course, no matter who you use you’re still trusting essentially some R and just not your ISP to be respectful with your privacy.
So read their privacy policies thoroughly, if you don’t want to spring a leak somewhere else. Or else your requests for privacy will end up feeling kind of like a boat ride and a pasta strainer.