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.
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?
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).
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