What is Browser Fingerprint?

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What is Browser Fingerprinting?

Privacy in the online setting has been an issue for quite some time now. The question of “how to stay anonymous” while protecting your data remains valid. How do we actually make it private? Even though most of us have a general understanding of VPNs and proxy networks, making our lives safer remains to be an actual challenge. Nice thoughts, but how do we actually get it to work in our benefit?

VPNs and proxy networks provide the essential wonders for hiding your IP address, yet they can’t mask your unique browser fingerprint, nor can they explore what it consists of, nor give us a detailed explanation of who and for what purpose is using our fingerprint.

What is My Browser Fingerprint?

In its true form, browser fingerprinting is a technique that clearly identifies internet users and utilizes the information gathered to track their online activity. The fingerprint consists of various elements, namely your browser and device data that was initially used for websites to display correct screen resolution, operating system, language settings, information, adaptations and much more. In other words, simply deliver a smooth experience. 

A collection of these settings and data traces delivers a unique browser fingerprint.

What is actually Browser fingerprinting?

When classic tracking cookies started becoming less efficient, a new way of tracing activity online was introduced. The very moment when browser fingerprinting was born and proved itself to be one of the most accurate trackers available. How accurate you may ask? Well, not to scare you off but a 99% accuracy seems relatively terrifying, don’t you think? 

Having this level of specific data gathered, tracking becomes so accurate that fingerprinting literally gives away the things, which at times you would like to keep for yourself. Worried? You should be since you are being tracked as we speak.  

Does it not sound realistic? Here – check for yourself, the wonders of your fingerprint in action. Want to bypass it? Give it a try, turn your VPN/Proxy, enter incognito mode and hide as well as you can, witness how anonymous you really can be. 

Fingerprint – What’s inside? 

Fingerprint is not about your face or name, it does not consist of information as such. Instead, it uses various Javascript and HTTP variables, ranging from some of the usual attributes (general information about software or hardware that you use) to some of the more unusual stuff that just blows your mind with questions like: “What for?”. The additional data includes fonts, styles, emojis or perhaps screen resolution that you use.

The canvas hash remains to be one of the most interesting characteristics, created by what developers use to make 3D graphics. Nevertheless the fact that the code used for canvas image will look the same to the human eye, on a pixel level it differs dramatically. Whenever the rendered data of the canvas is sent through the hash function, the final ID result will be unique on each and every device.

Fingerprinting – What, Who & Why?

Fingerprinting is commonly used by third parties so that they could display relevant ads accordingly to your online activity. Practically every service that we use such as Google, Facebook, Bing, Instagram, and other major media outlets heavily rely on a targeted advertisement. Where cookies would crawl, browser fingerprints would fly.

To elaborate, your browser fingerprinting gathered information is often used by data brokers. Third-party providers that track your activity and information as such, to build up your online profile and create a “persona” portfolio based on your daily internet-consumption. Once such a portfolio is created, you will be assigned with a profile (persona), so that a marketer can target you, and of course, deliberately sell products or services you may be interested in. Quite an ironic shade assigned, an expression “the rest is history” gets a salty twist. 

Nevertheless, the facts listed above, without this information gathered, digital marketing simply wouldn’t work, which would indeed change our observed state of affairs. 

Don’t quit, it is not that bad. How cynical it wouldn’t sound – in everything bad, there’s always something god. Thankfully to browser fingerprinting we can protect ourselves from different types of malicious users and fraudsters. For example, banks can see whether the person trying to log in to your bank account is actually you by the assigned devices and common historical access. In case suspicious behavior is detected, guess what? Guess what, welcome to the “banned-land” or perhaps additional authorization will be asked, before sending them directly to the limited area as well as the ones blocking sunlight and internet-access too. 
Most likely you have experienced accessing your Gmail from a new device when Google freaks out about the fact that your account is being hacked? That is exactly where browser fingerprinting shows it’s shine. 

Fingerprinting – Prevention.

In order to eliminate the question of “how to stop from being tracked” without cutting your fingers off, we will dig deeper into the prevention possibilities. 

Whenever browser fingerprinting seems to be tricky, there are various ways to dodge the trackers and ensure your anonymity. Proxy-Cheap can guarantee that in every technicality there is a flaw, therefore we will introduce you to the topic of “How to mislead the trackers by feeding them wrongful information”.
Like a modern cyber-ninja does. 

Augustas Frost

Support Manager

Augustas Frost is a valued contributor at Proxy-Cheap, specializing in proxy-related content. With a knack for simplifying complex topics, he's your go-to source for understanding the world of proxies.
Outside his work, Augustas explores the latest tech gadgets and embarking on hiking adventures.