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Browser fingerprinting

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What is browser “fingerprinting”?

This is a special technique that tracks small bits of information about an individual user and this information is shared when a computer visits a website. This technique analyses your time zone, screen resolution, interface language, font preference, type of hardware installed and what plug ins you have set up. These settings and preferences may seem rather mundane or unidentifiable but rarely is there another person with exactly the same settings as you. This unique “fingerprint” is what advertisers and other firms are looking for, after they collect this information they can target you as a possible candidate for their products or services. Take a visit here and see what type of information a site will collect from you.

browser fingerprinting


Is this like cookies?

Websites use cookies to learn about certain patterns users will generate. These pattern will aid advertising companies to focus on the target market they are trying to reach. But this fingerprinting goes a step further, and this method can really help determine with a high degree of certainty what type of user is visiting any particular site, and other possible personal information.

This browser fingerprinting is a little harder to fend off compared to cookies. Cookie warnings are at the top of almost all sites which informs users that their site uses cookies to enrich the quality of their site. Users can opt out of cookies and the site will not store any information.
The finger printing may seem rather innocuous but, the question of privacy again rises to the top. It may sound harmless but, is it really?

How do you create a wall of privacy?

First, use a browser that allows you to set up a blocker against this type of browser fingerprinting.
Firefox is a good choice for this type of improvement. When they release their new version 52 it will be even better. Download an extension like Privacy Badger this will help to block your exposure.

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