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Internet connections and speed accelerators

You may have come across offers from companies, sometimes advertised as Internet connection speed accelerators that claim they can speed up your connection. These companies may be collecting your personal information.

Credit union members are advised against using this type of service due to potential security concerns. The companies may also be culling, compiling and selling aggregate user data to retailers and marketing researchers. (They’re also not very effective at speeding up connections, according to independent experts.)

Once you sign up for an accelerator service, your web connection may be routed through the company’s own servers, where your Internet traffic — including visits to sites you need a password and encryption to enter — is stored and analyzed. The service provider could potentially access your usernames and passwords, credit card numbers, PINs, bank and purchase transactions, and other confidential information.

These companies may have privacy policies in place, but users have no guarantee that the service provider — or a subsequent owner — might not change the terms in order to make more intrusive use of the data in future. Moreover, the addition of extra server connections and traffic logs increases the potential for user data piracy by third parties.

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