What is Fingerprinting and How to Prevent It

Browser Fingerprinting Basics

Online privacy and anonymity over the internet are of the utmost importance to many web users today, with proxies and VPNs functioning as the two top solutions to arriving at these needs. A predicament arises however when these two solutions are partially ineffective against browser fingerprinting, since the technique creates a distinct set of elements which identifies and tracks an online user for every website accessed. In this blog, We will go over what browser fingerprinting is and its main functions. 

Browser Fingerprints - what is it

Browser fingerprinting is effectively a technique used by websites to track and identify internet users that access their websites, by way of collecting and storing data belonging to a user. This can be done for various purposes such as targeted (localized) advertisements by companies. These fingerprints can recognize and monitor users' (along with their devices) browser activities even when they have cleared their cookies/supercookies and browser history, or use anonymous browsing tools like VPNs or incognito mode. Browser fingerprinting as a result violates people's privacy (and in some cases, even civil liberties), even when a person configures their browser settings to not be tracked at all. The type of information actually gathered is numerous: display monitor size, screen resolution, language preferences, OS, browser type  (Google, Mozilla), all plugins/extensions, GPU/CPU, even audio stacks. The aggregate data values form the unique digital signature belonging to a particular internet user and their devices. 

Browsing fingerprinting has become the most effective way to track internet users online, working 99% of the time including you reading this right now on our Spider blog page. To see your own unique fingerprint, you can use this resource tool, which regardless of any protective barriers you use (VPN, proxy, private browsing mode), will still accurately gather all your information. Now while browser fingerprints cannot get your physical facial identity, it gets all other data belonging to your device, targeting a user’s HTTP requests (needed to access any website) by employing JavaScript codes which capture all the browser characteristics to create the digital fingerprint. 

Purpose of browser fingerprinting

Most of the time, the technique is used by companies to deliver targeted advertisements which they use based on your tracked online activity stemming from the fingerprinting. The biggest websites in the world use this data collection method, from Google to Facebook or Instagram. The process involves both 3rd party (outsourced) companies who compile all the gathered data on an individual (including age and physical location) , popularly referred to as data brokers, and then sells this information to large corporations who in return advertise products you will be interested in. Without this double-process, online marketing would be almost impossible especially the employment of local or personalized advertisements. Of course, there are crucial benefits to browser fingerprinting as well: protecting online banking info from hackers, securing email logins (authentication procedures don't exist without fingerprinting), and so on. 

Can I prevent browser fingerprinting? 

Most people might get scared that all of their data and social identity is being tracked online and would justifiably want to prevent such trespassing actions, however it is nearly impossible to achieve unless you want to essentially be able to only visit websites on the deep web, because the two most effective solutions are deactivating JavaScript and using Virtual Machines. Both options though  are unrealistic for 99% of internet users who use the most popular websites in the world and rely on convenience and speed wherever traversing the web. Therefore, the most efficient answer is not trying to prevent browser fingerprinting, but instead giving a false version to websites through the use of Spoofing.

Minimizing online fingerprinting 

Data protection is one of the most important elements for internet users today, as everyone wishes to secure their privacy/anonymity. Over time however, this vital feature has become increasingly difficult to attain or maintain, especially with elaborate data information tools that identifies and tracks online users--  a scary indictment. The most popular products used for security against these techniques  are proxies and VPNs, but even using them can prove to be difficult against new data gathering techniques, such as device fingerprinting. It is not impossible to avoid, as one effective method to avoid fingerprinting is multilogin. 

If you are curious and worried about online fingerprinting, you can check if your data information has been collected and tracked, using this online resource: https://coveryourtracks.eff.org/  < you may be surprised at the results! 

How to defend against fingerprinting
  • Spoofing - used for multilogin

Before explaining how multilogin can help defend against fingerprinting, it is important to understand the term spoofing. Spoofing is a common method used in cybersecurity for individuals to successfully identify as another person or program, usually a trusted source, by falsifying data. Spoofing, which is commonly associated with cyber attacks from scammers, can be used beneficially in this context to help protect online information. It should be noted that there is no one method that can entirely prevent fingerprinting since it is a routine procedure that is used whenever a person accesses any website. Given this, something like spoofing can be used to deceive website fingerprinting. 

  • Multilogin - powerful answer against fingerprinting

There are multiple methods for implementing multilogin, from browser extension to software plugin applications, however this requires time, knowledge and vetting to ensure the multilogin tool is effective. To avoid these obstacles, there is a much easier solution that short-circuits them-- Multilogin software application. The app does not attempt to prevent fingerprinting, because the process as aforementioned is futile, rather, it allows websites to collect data but this data is supplanted with a different artificial one, thereby hiding the real user’s identity. The Multilogin app also contains its own two unique in-house browsers, which further supplements their main anti-fingerprinting solution through added abilities in its management. Furthermore, different accounts can be created that form distinct virtual environments, to which various browser parameters from cookies to local cache are separated for each browsing profile (each with their own artificial digital signature).

Now while Multilogin is an all-encompassing software instrument, some people may feel it is inadequate alone and may require additional protection. These add-ons can include online user spoofing which rotates different browser parameters every session for the user, reducing the fixed set of identifying elements. Another add-on is canvas identification, which prevents websites' JavaScript codes from attaining a user’s information, or tricks a website’s JavaScript API using unique random values when displaying its browser parameters. One last helpful add-on are anonymous-centric browsers, whose entire goal is to completely safeguard an internet user’s identity whenever they surf the web. The most effective of these browsers are Tor and Brave

With all these measures online fingerprints can be drastically reduced, but there are still some ways in which hackers or websites can track and store user data. In order to completely, 100% avoid browser fingerprinting (which for the majority of people there is no need to), one can start to look into Virtual Machines which mimics an entire 2nd computer system virtually, and here is a great place to begin


With all these solutions present - the most advanced and efficient being Multilogin - an online user like yourself can minimize the scope of browser fingerprinting, in order to ensure greater safety, security, and a peace of mind whenever surfing the web.  

If you rather take the easier rout and just go the proxy route, Spider is the premier residential proxy provider, which can be utilized for these purposes

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