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How Does Browser Fingerprinting Work?

How Does Browser Fingerprinting Work

What kind of information hides in your digital fingerprint? Why do websites collect it, and how can you prevent that? Let’s dive straight into the working mode of browser fingerprint identification.

About Browser Fingerprinting

Browser fingerprinting is a method of identifying website visitors via a collection of data points about your device, internet connection, and software preferences.

Think of it this way: a traditional fingerprint consists of aligned lines, right? Now let’s imagine that each line and curve is a specific data point. That would include operating system type, browser type, browser version, time zone, fonts, browser extensions, language, battery level, keyboard layout, OS language, user-agent, CPU class, navigator properties, and screen dimensions. And much, much more. Together, all these data points form a digital fingerprint.

Why Should You Use Browser Fingerprinting?

Cyber Security

Cyber Security

Naturally, you may ask: What do websites use these fingerprints for? A popular example is cyber security.

Websites can identify bots or malicious actors based on certain parameters within a visitor’s fingerprint. They can prevent hacks, attacks, or other harmful activity. But this goes beyond websites wanting to protect themselves.

Have you ever received an email about a suspicious login? Keeping track of fingerprint details such as device type and time zone helps companies keep their accounts safe.

Good Network Experience

fast Network

Another way browser fingerprinting benefits you is by making your web browsing experience nice and smooth. That’s done by looking at things like your device’s language and automatically matching it to the website you’re visiting.

Customized Advertising

Customized Advertising

Fingerprinting is also used by advertisers. The data your fingerprint reveals helps to tailor ads specifically to your needs. For example, by knowing the type of graphics card you have and your screen dimensions, advertisers can start showing you targeted ads when a new computer model comes out.

How to Prevent Browser Fingerprinting?

Prevent Browser Fingerprinting

Apart from personal privacy, fingerprinting prevention is also very relevant for businesses managing multiple social media accounts for their clients. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram restrict the number of accounts created from one IP. The catch tho is that even with changed IP, they can track you down and block you based on, you guessed it – your fingerprint. So, is it possible to prevent browser fingerprinting?

Really the only way you can prevent browser fingerprinting is by disabling Javascript on your device. This works since websites create your fingerprint by collecting data through Javascript. So yes, by disabling Javascript, you can prevent fingerprinting. But by doing so, you’ll also stop almost all websites from working normally and make your browsing experience extremely painful.

However, there are ways you can increase your privacy without preventing fingerprinting altogether. That is by making your fingerprint less unique. When it comes to digital profiling, the more basic you are, the better.

How Do You Achieve This?

Unusual extensions make you stand out from the crowd

Well, first, use a popular browser. That would be Chrome or Safari. Also, things like atypical fonts or unusual extensions make you stand out from the crowd. So try to minimize those. But not all solutions to better online privacy require sacrifices.

Understanding fingerprinting reveals that there is more to online identification than just tracking down your IP. That’s why, if you want to hide, you should use a combo of a VPN service and an antidetect browser.

VPNs give you a new IP address and can make it seem as if you’re connecting from a different country. Antidetect browsers change your fingerprint to a less unique one by spoofing your browser information, hardware, and software settings.

Suppose your needs are bigger, for example. In that case, you manage multiple accounts on Facebook. Just switch out VPN for a proxy service. For more detailed tips, check out how we manage multiple Facebook accounts.


William Parsons

William Stafford Parsons is a leading expert in web data extraction and proxy services. He pioneered innovative techniques for large-scale data scraping and management over the past decade. William founded Eightomic LLC which provides customized data mining and web scraping solutions to Fortune 500 companies. He also created the popular GhostProxies residential IP network used by data professionals globally. Earlier, William co-founded - one of the first web data companies focused on gathering online data at scale. His technical expertise and entrepreneurship has been instrumental in driving innovation in data extraction and network anonymity. With over 15 years of experience, William continues to explore new methodologies and technologies to harness web data smoothly and reliably. He is renowned for building tailored systems that leverage proxies and data scraping to meet critical business needs.