Are you looking at how long do Internet providers keep history? You could be concerned about Internet searches you’ve practiced or overprotective of your privacy, which could be spied on.
Internet providers can see everything you are doing online on your computer on a mobile screen, but they do not store them for long. Also, remember, even if you have deleted all your browsing history or deleted cache, Internet providers can still access your every data.
The web provider’s log or history records are not the same as the browsing history. If you do any search, even in incognito mode, it is also accessible. However, IPs don’t have much time to follow your every click. So, let’s discuss how long do Internet providers keep history.
How Long Do Internet Providers Keep History?
Internet providers can keep a history maximum of up to 12 months but usually, they keep history for 3 or 6 months. It varies from ISPs to ISPs and Government to Government that makes special requests to hold the data for a more extended period; say 6 months or more.
Internet providers on their own do not store the history of individual users, but yes, they can access any information you search on the Internet. For example, they can access the content you watch, your device, and your geographic location.
It must be noted that ISPs keep history records as short as a day because the removing process is automated. If there is any legal requirement by any government or federal for the retention of data, they possibly store it for 12 months at maximum.
Storing the data for more than 3 or 6 months is neither feasible, pragmatic, nor beneficial. Storing the tons of data for indefinite periods obviously requires a ton of space, and space costs money. So, ISPs look for store records as short as possible.
If any country’s Government asks for tracing records or history from ISPs, they are obliged to provide the information.
For example – In the USA, the Federal Government may ask to retain data for 90 days according to US laws. In the UK, this time is 12 months; in Canada, this time is 6 months. Also, read How To Get WiFi Without Internet Provider? 7 Best Ways
Why Do Internet Service Providers Keep History?
After knowing how long do Internet providers keep history, you might be thinking about why Internet providers keep history. There are different reasons for an Internet provider to preserve the history of an individual or a whole nation.
Commonly, Internet service providers store data and history to sell them to 3rd party advertisers and get paid in exchange. Now, you might argue why advertisers require my browsing history?
For example – A hardware company, X, wants to launch a headphone in California. The company asks for the geographic user behavior data of California to know the user preferences and requirements.
Internet provider keeps all the browsing history you have searched; however, they don’t keep them long until special requirement.
Secondly, Government also employs Internet service providers to learn more about specific individuals. Surveilling Internet users’ online activity can assist authorities in catching criminals, terrorists, and other illegal activities.
Can Internet Providers See Deleted History?
Yes, an Internet provider can see everything, including deleted browsing history. Your deleted browsing history has nothing to do with the history stored by the ISPs. However, as discussed in subsequent sections, you can stop Internet providers from keeping your history by using VPN.
- Also Read – How To Disappear Completely From The Internet?
What data do Internet providers store? How long do Internet providers keep history?
We already discussed how long do Internet providers keep history; let’s understand What data ISP’s store. There are two types of data that an ISP can access; unencrypted data and encrypted data.
Unencrypted data can be easily viewed and accessed by ISPs; on the other hand, while encrypted data can not be stored fully yet, little available data can tell a lot about you.
Not only ISPs but hackers, malware, and other viruses can also track, view, and sell your personal data if it is not encrypted. The websites you visit, your emails, downloads, and torrents can be accessed when your online presence is unencrypted.
Although most Internet providers claim to have a “no-store policy,” yet this is unpredictable if they really delete the history. So it is better to have precautions as discussed below.
Can I Delete My Internet History?
No, you can not delete your Internet history, but you can prevent your ISP from tracking you. Internet providers maintain their own logs, which you can not delete. Even you don’t know when and what information an ISP is storing.
How To Stop ISPs From Keeping History?
Unfortunately, you can’t completely prohibit ISPs from storing your online activity but can limit what they store. While after knowing how long do Internet providers keep history, the following are precautions you can take to stop the Internet provider from keeping your history:
- Use A VPN: A VPN or virtual private network is the best solution to safeguard your history. VPN encrypts all your Internet traffic to and from through an Intermediary server. It means no one, even ISP, can read that data, and it bypasses VPN directly. VPN also masks your original IP address and replaces it with another location. The best available VPN is NordVPN.
- Use HTTPS Websites: If you stay aware, you even don’t require a VPN to encrypt your online data. This is because HTTPS websites are secured and encrypted (not completely, IPs can still browse history) as compared to HTTP websites.
Can I Ask My ISPs For Internet History?
Your ISP keeps records of every website you visit and the files you download. Usually, Internet providers won’t share out your information with anyone or any customer. However, it also depends on the law enforcement of a specific country.
For example, ISPs store information in the US for 90 days; you can’t ask them for the information. As an individual, Internet providers will not share information with you except in rare situations.
I hope you get the answer to how long do Internet providers keep history. Internet providers keep history as short as a day to 12 months maximum, depending on your country.
In most cases, the history logs of IP are deleted in a fraction of a second because the data removal process is automated. It should be noted that ISPs won’t sell your data for illegal activities; they sell them to advertisers to improve productivity.
However, if you are worried about spying on your data or the stored history or you think your privacy get hurts. Then you should use VPN for online browsing and access the websites safely, as discussed in the above sections.