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What is browser fingerprinting and how to avoid it [Tip]

fingerprint-328992_960_720Browser fingerprinting is something that every Internet user should be aware of and learning how to avoid it is equally important to protect their privacy online. Protecting yourself while you are online is everyone’s concern. Here, we will be discussing what browser fingerprinting is and how to avoid it.

What is Browser Fingerprinting?

Browser fingerprinting is a technique used to identify the user based on the information available when a particular system visits a website. That is, when a user using the system visits a website, the fingerprinting technique collects this information and stores it for identification purpose using Javascript, Flash script or cookies. The information includes details about the browser used for browsing, operating system information, and details about screen resolution, fonts used by the system, plug-in details, and location and time zone details. The main issue is that though the identifiers look generic, one in a million users will be having the same configuration as yours. This allows third-party organizations to identify you, attack your system and track you. Therefore, it is very important for you to understand the problems that can be caused by fingerprinting and plan how to avoid it.

Browser Fingerprinting – How to Avoid It

You can avoid fingerprinting and other tracking activities by following the tips given below.

  1. Installing Tor browser: Tor [1] is a free software application that allows an open network. It is the most powerful application that is currently available to protect user privacy. Tor helps in protecting you from fingerprinting and tracking, thus making your browsing completely protected from third-party trackers. Tor consists of two parts, one part is the software that you need to install and another is a network of computers that allows you to connect to the software. The Tor browser works well with operating systems such as Windows, iOS, and Linux.
  2. Installing Privacy Badger: Privacy Badger [2] is an add-on service for your browser. It helps in providing security for your browser and protects from third-party trackers and browser fingerprinting. When someone is trying to track your activities online, Privacy Badger blocks that person/application from tracking and helps you to continue with your browsing.
  3. Disabling JavaScript and Flash: Most browser fingerprinting use JavaScript and Flash to collect information about your browsing details. By disabling JavaScript and Flash, you can protect the browser from fingerprinting. Flash can be disabled easily, but disabling JavaScript can create some issues with your browsing.

Installing Tor browser is the best option compared to the other options that are available to avoid browser fingerprinting. One thing you need to remember when using Tor browser is not to install any additional plug-ins as Tor browser does not support it.

Conclusion

Maintaining browser security is a very important concern for everyone. Even though we have many good browsers available, no one provides 100% security. To protect your browser from tracking and browser fingerprinting, follow the instructions given above. Knowing about the various tracking methods and how to avoid it helps in protecting your system from third-party attacks and makes your browsing secure and safe.