The browser is more like your online platform to surf the web; it knows how long you have spent online, your search history, and your visited websites. As a result, before you head off to the web and start surfing whatever you want, you need to know that some browsers collect your data to track your activities or send you targeted ads based on your search history and clicks.
That’s why it’s suggested to use only a browser that you trust and know for sure it won’t collect your data or share it with any corporations or third parties, besides bearing in mind to follow some steps to maintain a secure connection to the internet.
But how do browsers track you? The following part will answer your question.
How Do Browsers Track Your Data?
When thinking about it for a minute, you’ll realize that we provide much when using the web, such as email addresses, passwords, personal credentials, and other information. It means, if a browser uses your information, it will be able to track your activities, clicks, personal preferences, and much more. The question is: How do browsers track you using your data? Here are the most common ways:
- Browser fingerprinting: It’s one of the most common ways browsers use to define users even If they don’t provide any personally identifiable information. The browser’s fingerprinting looks at your device’s characteristics, such as the time zone, the model of your device, the plugins you’ve installed, and your device’s model. The surprising part is that your browser has the right to collect similar information, and it’s totally legal; it uses similar information to optimize the websites to your device’s characteristics, your device’s type, for example, is used to provide the correct screen and font size that work with your device the best.
- Cookies: You must have come across a message that pops up once you visit a website that asks you to accept the cookies. Once you click on the “Accept” option, you give permission for that certain website to identify you as a user and track all your clicks on the website, besides the shopping preferences, activities, and any other information you might provide.
Statistics refer to Washington Post show that Google Chrome, for example, gathers roughly 11.000 trackers every week, which is not a very pleasant fact if you ask the internet users who surf the web using Google Chrome as their default browser.
Steps to Stop Browsers from Tracking You
Sharing your data with third parties to send you targeted ads or use it in their marketing campaigns might sound frustrating. So let’s find out what you can do to stop browsers from tracking your data.
- Use Incognito mode: It’s a built-in feature that prevents your browser from saving your search history, the websites your visit, and the information that you provide when visiting a website, such as credit card information or bank accounts.
- Use a VPN: Despite the fact that using Incognito mode helps you make your web surfing anonymous, it won’t prevent others from tracking you. Thus, you’ll need to use a virtual private network (VPN); it encrypts all your data traffic across the network and hides the real IP address to fake your geographical location and make it impossible to track any of your data. However, it’s suggested to check the VPN laws in your country (Are VPNs Legal?) and make sure that it is legal to use it in your region.
- Use the guest mode: Based on Cybersecuirty experts, Several.com, It’s a good option if you’re surfing the web from someone else’s device; with the guest mode activated, you’ll prevent cookies and search history from being saved. To activate the guest mode, click on the person icon on the top right corner of your window, and select “Guest.”
Finally, being online is never totally private. Still, you can follow some steps to guarantee that your data isn’t used by third parties as marketing material or tracked for any other reason. Let’s not also forget that the database of similar corporations is an inviting opportunity for cybercrime; that’s why we suggest using more private browsers, such as DuckDuckGo.