Understanding Device Fingerprints

As of today, the younger generations have a hard time comprehending the rapid development of the internet and the entire field of information technologies. The youngest computer science students did not have the chance to experience the internet in its infancy and early stages. What started as a communication tool for the military has blossomed into a massive digital world that manages to connect people all around the globe.

While severely lacking in many features we love and cannot imagine our lives without today, the number of internet users was scarce, and the structure of websites and connections made it far easier to remain private. Today, the web and its most significant segments are centralized around the most successful tech companies. From tech giants like Google and their search engine to massive social media networks like YouTube or Instagram, for many users, the majority of their time and existence on the web is spent on these platforms and interactions between them. You can check out the Top 10 Best Social Media Marketing Tools to enhance your networks.

Steering clear of digital devices is near impossible in today’s world. Unfortunately, competitive companies prey on dependence and addiction to these tools, deeply rooted in modern internet users. To compete with other businesses or squeeze as much value from the average consumer, tech giants have created new tools for tracking and surveillance, to extract as much private information. Seen as the necessary resource for software and hardware improvement, as well as the foundation for machine learning and artificial intelligence, large businesses gorge upon sensitive information and mask these implementations with new functions to improve convenience. But the question arises — was it worth it to sacrifice internet privacy for more comfort?

Unfortunately, an average consumer today did not influence the matter, and the number of complaints about the inhumane, even creepy use of technology has not arisen until it has become too late. In this article, we want to highlight the significance of device fingerprinting — a set of information used to determine software information about your gadget. In the 2010s, tech-savvy individuals manipulated this data to fake accounts and operate social media bots. Today, constant tracking helps web server owners profile repeated visitors and use collected information to control our browsing experience. To avoid these problems, we will also discuss proxy servers — tools that create a different access point for traveling information and mask the user’s identity. Proxies are mostly used to change an IP address, and other identities have unique physical locations assigned to them. For example, you can contact a reliable provider and use a US proxy to see the internet through the eyes of a local user and compare it with your unaltered connection. To get yourself a US proxy or learn more about these services, click here. 

Why Tracking Internet Users Is Easy?

The benefits, such as comfortable communication and endless sources of entertainment, have made these segments of the digital world an irreplaceable part of our lives. Only accessible through smart devices, the dependence created by such software has turned computers, tablets, and mobile phones into essential tools that could even be seen as modern, detachable body parts.

With the concept of device fingerprinting, every user transmits information about the used browser and an operating system during connections to these frequently visited websites. At a first glance, the presented data is not precise and therefore should be significant — with the newest version of a popular browser the most frequent smartphone model, businesses could never use this information to profile unique users. However, when connected with visited social media websites and a reappearing IP address, recipient servers have everything they need to determine your identity and track you for advertisement and other profitable tasks.

Covering Your Tracks

While the connections between the most popular websites and social media platforms keep every user under a microscope, we still have a chance to reduce digital fingerprints, even if complete removal is near impossible. Here are a few tips you can use to minimize your tracks online.

Change Your User-Agent

A segment of information that informs the web server about the type and version of your browser and an operating system, user-agents help website owners present the data on a page in the most comfortable and readable format. Not every device is capable of displaying new features therefore such knowledge helps to ensure a more comfortable browsing experience. However, the repeated use of the same user agent helps web server owners track your activities. Use a user-agent switcher to diversify your connections.

Hide Your IP Address

Just like your user-agent, an IP address is an essential part of every HTTP connection request, as it determines a unique network identity for each device supplied by an internet service provider. You can use proxy servers and a large pool of addresses to hide your main IP and preserve anonymity on the web. With a constantly changing IP address, tech companies and website owners will have a harder time connecting the dots and assigning your visits to the same person.

While the concept of device fingerprinting offers convenience and speeds up interactions between users and web servers, some argue that the harm to online privacy is a greater loss than the benefits of comfort. We believe such practices are invasions of privacy and they should be regulated.

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