What is browser fingerprinting?
There are many reasons why a website would want to track your browsing habits. One of these is fraud. Browser fingerprinting is a powerful method that collects information about you, including your operating system, active plugins, screen resolution, language, and other settings. Besides, there is a very small chance that all these details will match the one that’s being tracked. Despite the risks, you should be aware of browser fingerprinting.
One way to protect yourself from browser fingerprinting is to separate your private and public profiles. Use one system for day-to-day activities, and another for personal ones. Or, use a privacy tool, such as NoScript or Privacy Badger. This will ensure a bigger separation of public and private profiles. Yet, keep in mind that this method may not be effective for everyone. As with any type of digital fingerprinting, you must use good operational security to protect your privacy.
How does browser fingerprinting work?
How does browser fingerprinting work? Browser fingerprinting is the practice of collecting information on the web in bulk. It’s like fingerprinting and is impeccably accurate, able to read data 99% of the time. Browser fingerprinting is done by collecting the browsing habits of visitors and matching them with information of known users. Despite its lack of privacy implications, browser fingerprinting is valuable for advertising purposes, since it allows companies to target certain groups of people.
When a website collects the fingerprint, it creates a unique profile based on the browser’s hardware, screen, and audio data. These data points can include the operating system type and version, language, battery life, and CPU details. It then uses this profile to display advertisements that are relevant to the device. Many major media outlets, including Google, rely on this method. Browser fingerprinting is also used to identify the user who is behind a fraudulent web activity.
Also to identify a user, browser fingerprinting is also used to track websites and is done through the use of a database of fingerprints. Every time a user visits a website, they generate a hash code and compare it against existing fingerprints. If fingerprint matches are found, a user is categorized as a regular user. First-time users’ fingerprints are added to the database. Browser fingerprinting libraries include FingerprintJS, ClientJS, and ImprintJS.
Why is browser fingerprinting used?
Browser fingerprinting is a technique used by websites to track the browsing habits of individuals. These websites see your IP address, but fingerprinting goes beyond this. They can also identify you by identifying your preferences, which is why the EFF found that the chances of a 100% match are extremely small. However, the tests still do a lot of work, and they can’t be relied on completely. Therefore, it is important to opt-in to allow your browser to be fingerprinted.
The process of fingerprinting your browser is based on how it collects data about your browsing behavior. Each browser transmits a unique fingerprint, which a web server can use to recognize your computer. The fingerprint is unique to each individual, and a fingerprint consists of random numbers and letters, which helps web servers identify you. As a result, it’s possible for a single website to track your browsing history, which includes what websites you visit.
Browser fingerprinting is possible, but you can minimize it. Generally, the less unique your browser is, the more difficult it is for data brokers to track you. To reduce browser fingerprinting, you should use popular web browsers like Google Chrome or Firefox. These two browsers have very little in common. You should also try to minimize the number of language preferences you have. This will limit the likelihood that a data broker can track your browsing habits.
It will help if you read our previous article, How to Save Money on Subscriptions With a VPN.