What is Browser Fingerprinting and How to Prevent It?

Browser fingerprinting is actually a process of collecting information about a computing device for identification purposes. It can help websites know about an individual’s browsing activity, along with the device they’re using, fonts, etc.

It is a powerful yet a unique method in acquiring all of your information that your device sends to the receiving server about the websites you visit.

Websites then use this information to identify unique users and track their online behavior. This process is referred to as browser fingerprinting.

There are a few things you could do or steps you can take to prevent anyone from browser fingerprinting. In this guide we’re going to discuss the important ones.

How to Prevent Browser Fingerprinting

Here’s a look at the steps you can take to prevent hackers or even websites from browser fingerprinting:

1. Use a VPN to Hide Browsing Activity

A VPN is the first thing that you should do to prevent anyone from browser fingerprinting or tracking your online activity.

It is an online privacy tool that keeps your internet activity private at all times when you connect one of its servers. Actually, it encrypts your internet traffic through encrypted tunnels that keep your data hidden from hackers, ISPs, and even the government.

The particular VPN server that you’re connected to, is also being used by thousands of other VPN users as well. If you visit a website, they won’t know which website you visited because the traffic remains encrypted.

It also hides your original IP address for good and replaces it with a new IP address which is also being used by thousands of other VPN users. This makes it impossible to track what you’re doing over the internet.

One of the best VPNs in the market currently in terms of encryption, speed, performance, and credibility, is ExpressVPN. You can check out ExpressVPN’s free trial subscription to test it before making a purchase.

2. Use Incognito Mode

Another way to prevent anyone from tracking your online activity is by simply using an incognito mode version of a browser.

It is a built-in private browsing offered by every browser nowadays which doesn’t reveal anything about a user or other information like browser, device, etc.

Because many people are using the ‘private browsing’ option and settings, the website wouldn’t be able to distinguish between them. The fingerprints will look similar across all the Incognito users and websites won’t be able to track your online activity.

3. Use a Tor Browser

Using a Tor browser is also a great way to secure your web browsing. Tor, short for The Onion Router blocks JavaScript codes from running on your browser and that is how it prevents browser fingerprinting.

Using a Tor browser with a VPN is an extraordinary combination. But it might be very slow considering you will have super strong encryption.

4. Use an Ad blocker Extension

Ad blocker is another way to block the trackers that are used by websites to track your online activity. They don’t just block ads, but they also block any script that may be used to know everything about your browsing activity.

The extensions that are designed to block these scripts to run on your browser include Adblock Plus, NoScript, Privacy Badger, etc.

Some of the websites that earn money from running advertisements on their page might force you to pause or disable these plugins. In some websites you won’t be able to get a perfect streaming or browsing experience because of these plugins.

5. Disable JavaScript

Websites tend to take information from JavaScript to install cookies on your browser. That way, they get to know which browser you are using, the font, the device, and most probably the browsing activity.

What if you disable JavaScript and none of this would happen? When you disable JavaScript, the website won’t be able to detect active plugins and most importantly they won’t be able to install cookies.

Even though it will help you prevent browser fingerprinting, this has its downside as well. The website will not be able to function smoothly because JavaScript helps a website function properly.

Another plugin that you would want to disable is flash. This wouldn’t cause any problems in streaming or anything else unless you’re visiting a very old website that still runs flash.

Key Takeaways

Every cybercriminal on the internet wants to steal your personal information. They want to know what you’re browsing on the internet, what device you have, which browser you have, and a lot of these things.

Even websites that you visit want to know all information about their visitors so that they can know what exactly you’re looking on the internet so they could market you better.

Despite all of the facts, you can still prevent yourself and browsing history from them. The best possible way is to use a VPN as I have discussed in this guide. Apart from that, you can use a Tor browser, consider browsing on Incognito mode, disable JavaScript, and so much more.

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