You might have seen detective movies of the 1980s or 1990s. While watching such movies you have observed FingerPrinting. I know you transform yourself into a spy by eagerly picking up clues and searching for proofs (As I do). For a change, let’s think the other way round. What would you have done if you are the one being spied upon? Obviously, you put all your efforts to keep your activities hidden to bury your crime. Sounds “criminal”!
Don’t you think you should apply those “criminal” ideas in this world of the internet? Of course, it is not to escape from crime. Rather, keep yourself safe from the traps of advertisers. If you say “I have disabled cookies. Who can touch my data?”, I would say, “Alas! Wake up bro, you are in the stone age.” So you cannot safeguard your private browsing data only through disabling cookies, you need to do more; you should be secured from FingerPrinting!
FingerPrinting? What is it?
I need not say your fingerprint is unique to you and you alone. It can be used as your identity to distinctly identify you. This very idea is used in this next-generation tracking technology called “FingerPrinting”. But this time it is not your physical characteristics which are considered but of your device (like a resolution of your screen, an operating system running in your device, etc) and your behavior online (like which websites you visit, how often you visit a particular page, etc).
If you are followed for some time to extract these features, a bar-code can be generated which acts as your fingerprint online. This data, your precious private data, can be sold to ad agencies to personalize your ad experiences. Is it not what track is?
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Yes, you are being tracked without your knowledge as fingerprinting is done behind the scenes in websites and apps. About 3.5% of popular websites use fingerprinting technology to track their surfers, that is to say, 63,184,101 websites already use this technology! (Don’t worry looking at the number. You may be using only hundreds of them.)
What you should do to keep your data safe from FingerPrinting?
As of now, you can check which of your data a browser can access. So you can be safe from fingerprinting websites. Speaking of apps, you need to wait and see how you can secure your data.
1. Safari browser / Mac / iPhone users
All you need to do is to run the recent versions of your operating systems. Your OS will take care of everything else. Easy? Peace.
2. Windows / Android users
I know Google Chrome is your favorite, but what to do? It is still working to cope with this issue. There is an alternative. You can always use Mozilla Firefox which has come up with a solution (You need to have the recent versions). It is thinking of blocking fingerprinting by default in its next release. But now, you need to just follow these steps and you are assured of your safety from fingerprinting!
Step 1: Open settings in your Mozilla Firefox browser
Click on the 3 horizontal bars ☰ situated in the top right corner following which a menu drops down. Click on the options.
Step 2: Go to privacy and security page
You can see it in the left column. Just click on it. A number of options will be shown on the right.
Step 3: Select custom
By default your privacy settings are standard. In order to customize, you need to select custom.
Step 4: Check the FingerPrinting box
Check the FingerPrinters box and press reload all tabs button below.
That’s it. Tadaa! You are all set to browse safely now. Happy browsing! Do, comment down below.👇