FINGERPRINTING: THEY ARE WATCHING YOU

In this article we will speak about a relatively new way of tracking Internet users — fingerprinting.

MARKETING MANAGERS STAY ON GUARD

Seeking your money online marketing managers as if put a glass shade above all Web users: otherwise, how will they know what you really want and then sell it to you?

HOW DO THEY DO IT?

It’s quite hard to fight fingerprinting, as the number of fingerprinting methods is constantly growing and methods vary more and more.

BROWSER PLUGINS

For instance,

  • QuickTime Plug-in 7.7.3
  • Default Browser
  • Helper
  • Unity Player
  • Google Earth Plug-in
  • Silverlight Plug-In
  • Java Applet Plug-in
  • Adobe Acrobat NPAPI Plug-in, Version 11.0.02
  • WacomTabletPlugin.
  • Your motherboard ID and other hardware IDs
  • Real MAC address
  • Real IP-address even if you are using proxy

BROWSER ADD-ON ENUMERATION

This method is based on enumeration of add-ons on your browser and is a part of a broader set of methods called “JS behavioral tests”. Every enumeration kit turns to be unique and helps identifying you.

SYSTEM FONTS ENUMERATION

Websites can use Flash or Java Applet plugins to get information on your system fonts list.

USER-AGENT STRING

User-Agent string reports to websites what browser version you are using. It also takes into account your type of device — this knowledge helps websites to display their pages properly on your screen.

SCREEN RESOLUTION

Sites can read two variables: the screen resolution reported by your browser and the size available for the web page to be displayed.

JS.NAVIGATOR PARAMETER

Speaking again about JavaScript — this plugin has a full access to a lot of data via JS.Navigator: your time zone, browser language, DoNotTrack variable, platform, AppVersion variable and even the number of CPU cores.

SUPERCOOKIES

Some cookies saved in non-typical places and hard to delete, are nowadays called “supercookies”. Before this term used to stand just for any Flash cookies.

CANVAS WebGL & Audio Fingerprint

These three techniques are not the same, but they are aimed at one thing: to read the information about your specific device and the way it fulfills different tasks compared to other machines — but not the predetermined values in your computer.

HOW CAN WE FIGHT IT?

It is quite hard to fight fingerprinting, as the number of its techniques is constantly growing, all methods have different basis and are connected with different elements.

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