Lemme preface this with a few basic concepts. Everyone has something to hide, even if it's not obscene or illegal. (we all know it probably is.) Stuff like bank & paypall information, embarrassing hobbies (my family is not very supportive of my anime hobby, so I've kept it a secret in recent years), or anything else.
The senate have recently passed a bill that if passed in the house and not vetoed by trump (both likely to happen) would repeal the FCC's rule that your ISP cannot sell your personal data without your explicit consent. This post is not about that specifically, but it has provided the motivation for me to get up off of my butt and actually write this thing.
First things first, what can your ISP see when you're online?
in short? everything. All of your data is routed through their servers when you access the internet. They keep logs of this information, including: page title, page IP, page url, and a summary of the content viewed on that site. Let's start limiting what they can see, without resulting to a full VPN that would limit your connection speeds.
First things first, hiding that content from your ISP. The easiest way is to make use of HTTPS. Many sites use this by default, but let's make sure it's turned on everywhere. The extension called HTTPS everywhere forces the use of HTTPS where possible. HTTPS encrypts the data between the server you are specifically acessing (the website) and your own computer, bringing the list of things the ISP can see down to the title, URL, and IP address.
Next, let's hide those pesky URLs and titles from the ISP. I personally make use of the program simple DNScrypt to achieve this. This routes all of your DNS traffic (the accessing of DNS servers to retrieve the IPs associated with URLS) through an encrypted proxy, meaning that the URL and title of the sites you are accessing are hidden from your ISP. Remember, this is not a full proxy, this is simply a DNS proxy. you are still connecting directly to the IP of the site. There is no easy way to hide this, short of a VPN or TOR.
A quick note on TOR. using tor is no longer reccomended. It immediately flags you as a national security risk, meaning that you are at a higher risk of being "investigated" and put on a no-fly list.
Lastly, I would reccomend that you don't rely on google so much. Bing and yahoo are even worse, as Microsoft and Verizon are even less trustworthy.
I personally use duckduckgo for my searches, for just a little more security online.
Thank you for reading my guide, if you have any additional tips or questions, leave them below and I'll do my best to answer them or add them to the OP if I think they are useful.