Are you aware of the multitude of information certain websites you visited can identify who you actually are? Pretty handy for advertisers to target you for their sales pitch even if only through the Internet. This process of identification is called browser fingerprinting.
What is browser fingerprinting? Each browser or visitor to a site has its own plug-in set and cookies are stored in your IE, Mozilla or any browser. This is most helpful for advertising company to track your personal preferences. This has brought the existence of a tool called Panopticlick, which measures how unique and trackable your internet browser is to the last detail.
Henrik Gemal, a security researcher had set up BrowserSpdy.dk, a website that will help you find out which configuration elements give leakage of your personal information and to track browsing habits.
We have listed some of the culprits that give away your information while you are using the internet.
- Google Gears – used by browsers to support outdated software and is used by Google to add new features to your browser.
- Gecko – uses by Mozilla as its rendering machine.
- Geolocation– lets your browser know your physical location.
- Google Apps – used by browsers to independently support customizable Google products using a domain name provided by your devices.
- GZip Support – used to compress amount of data sent to your browser.
- IP Address – technically your own address on the internet, which may be used to gather information about you and your computer. (All of us may have watched crime or police TV shows wherein they find criminals using IP Addresses.)
- Languages – Yes! Any languages install in your computer are also suspects.
- MIME Types – method used to associate files with helper applications that shows files of the same type.
- Mobile – if you are using mobile devices like a tablet or smart phone)
- Object – if your device has many objects like images, layers, forms, frames, links, anchor and the likes.
- Online/Offline – this is for when you have an active internet connection
- Operating System – regardless if you are using Windows, Linux, OSX, iOS or Android
- Plugins – websites can detect what plugins you have, it is truly a solid unique identifier
- PSM – Personal Security Manager consists of libraries that do cryptographic operations on behalf of your application.
- Screen – browser shows info from your screen which includes width, height, color depth, font smoothing and DPI.
- Silverlight – this is Microsoft’s version of Flash
- QuickTime Player, RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, Shockwave, Sound Card, SVG, WebKit – Surprised? That even the most common stuff you find on your computers are part of this?
In this day and age where hacking and other cyber crimes abound, why not play it safe and take action if possible to keep up your computer or mobile safety measures? When you use a VPN connection, you effectively hide your IP, not allowing all these websites to effectively know who they are tracking. Additionally to always using different IPs and hiding your true location, all data is encrypted, hiding it from your ISP and anyone else trying to take it.
So check out our top pick for VPN providers around.