We all want to feel secure when using our personal devices, and want to ensure that our private searches remain private.
If you are using a cell phone and someone else is able to view the bill, you may be wondering what exactly they’re able to view.
For example, can they view your search history? What about the websites that you visit? And does using Wi-Fi make a difference?
In this article, I’ll be answering all of these questions and more!
Can You See Search History On The Phone Bill?
No. Your search history, nor the websites you visit will appear on your cell phone bill in any fashion.
Although your cellular provider can see this information, it will not be included on the bill. This would not only be a violation of privacy, but it also serves no practical purpose for the customers.
This has been confirmed with several different large carriers, including T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T.
That being said, there is some information that does appear that you may want to be aware of, and the situation is entirely different for Wi-Fi as well.
So, read on to discover what people can find out, and how you can ensure that your privacy is protected.
Here’s One Thing That Does Appear On The Phone Bill, However
Although the websites you visit and things you type over the internet won’t appear on your cell phone bill, there is one piece of information that still does – your total data usage.
Depending on your situation, this may or may not be a big deal.
However, it does show a rough estimate on how frequently you use the internet, as well as what kinds of things that you do on there.
For example, loading a web page may not use that much data.
However, streaming HD video uses significantly more, and video conferencing with others uses even more than that.
Cell phone bills do not break down what the data was used for.
In fact, other than the total amount of data used, the only other information they’re likely to show is your usage relative to other users on the same plan as you, if you have multiple phone numbers on your plan.
What About My Wi-Fi Usage? Do Sites I Visit Over Wi-Fi Appear On The Bill?
So, how does Wi-Fi usage differ from mobile data usage?
First of all, it’s important to note that your browsing history, nor your search history appear on your internet bill.
Just like your cell phone however, your internet service provider can see what websites you visit, unless you take steps to hide it. This is true even if you use Google Chrome’s incognito windows, or Firefox’s private browser.
Additionally – and perhaps more importantly, anyone with the router login information can likely view your browsing history.
Again, this is true even if you use private windows, or clear your browsing history from your computer once you’re done.
This is because most routers keep a log of addresses that the internet has connected to, which can be reviewed by anyone that can access the admin control panel.
Additionally, because each device on your network has a unique identifier, they may be able to see the exact device used, and the exact time the website was accessed.
Therefore, you may want to take additional steps to hide this information, which I’ll share below.
If You’re Worried, You Can Always Use A VPN
Although your search history, nor the websites you visit will appear on your cell phone (or internet service provider’s) bill, you may consider using a VPN to mask your activity further.
With a VPN, you accomplish an additional two security benefits that you wouldn’t get without one.
First things first, if you use a VPN then the websites you visit won’t appear within your router’s logs, even if someone were to view them.
Instead, it would show you connecting to the VPN, but that’s it. Once you’re connected, the list of websites that you view will no longer be visible.
Secondly, nobody else that you’d typically worry about will be able to see what websites you visit either – your cellular provider (mobile data) or internet service provider (Wi-Fi) couldn’t see the websites that you visited, even if they want to.
Heck, even the websites you visit won’t know who you are, unless you tell them, or log into an account with your info tied to it.
Therefore, VPNs go a long way towards protecting your privacy.
If you want to learn more about how VPNs work, watch this video!
Thankfully, the websites you visit will not appear on your cell phone bill, in any form.
However, your cellular provider will be able to see this, and your total data usage will likely appear on the bill. While this can show how much data you’ve uploaded or downloaded from the internet, it cannot reveal what websites you actually visited, or what you’ve searched for online.
For maximum protection, consider using a VPN to further mask your activity.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that it’s answered all of your questions.
If you have any other questions about your cell phone bill – or what can be viewed, please ask them below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister