Make no mistake about it; browser fingerprinting can be used to uniquely identify you and track you online. Come in now read our article on how to prevent browser fingerprinting.
Some people think all they have to do to prevent any tracking attempt is to route their web requests through proxy servers and prevent websites from storing cookies on their browsers and removing any information saved in HTML5 storage.
However, the truth of the matter is, websites have device other means to keep eyes on you, using a technique that is one of the most difficult techniques to prevent – browser fingerprinting. This article will discuss how to prevent Browser Fingerprinting. But before that, what is Browser Fingerprinting?
Browser Fingerprinting is the method of using one’s browser settings and attributes to identify him online. It makes use of the principle that despite using the same browser, people’s browser attributes and settings, system properties, location information differs and can be used as a means of identification.
This means the more unique your browser settings and attributes are, the more unique your Browser Fingerprint. If you do not allow yourself to be tracked physically, why should you allow yourself to be stalked online?
There is a general consensus among standard bodies that Browser Fingerprinting is harmful. Despite this, the practice has gone on for decades, with players ranging from single sites to companies that track Internet users all over the Internet to state-level actions that are kept private for security reasons.
Being that as it may, Browser Fingerprinting is privacy intruding in nature. In most cases, you are not aware you are being tracked. Even when you are aware, preventing it can be difficult.
Why Fight Against Browser Fingerprinting Yourself
Browsers are supposed to be concerned about the privacy of their users and what sites actually do with the information they help them collect from users. When it comes to fingerprinting, not all browsers can be trusted in preventing Browser Fingerprinting.
Take, for instance, Google’s Chrome claim to make use of an anti-fingerprinting system to provide privacy for its users. However, because of its interest in the advertisement, it allows advertisers to still track users. This means while Chrome claim to be anti-fingerprinting, it can’t be trusted.
Even with the numerous browsers trying to prevent Browser Fingerprinting, you still need to go extra miles because some of them can evade the checks of the browsers. There are basically two ways to protect yourself from Browser Fingerprint – stopping websites from getting fingerprints of your browser or spoofing Browser Fingerprint.
How to block Browser Fingerprinting
Use Privacy-focused Browsers
Mainstream browsers like Chrome, Opera, and Firefox have one problem in common – they are not good at protecting your data when it comes to Browser Fingerprint. If you want to protect your browser against fingerprint, then you need to ditch that mainstream browser you are using. Privacy-focused browsers are the best for you. Two popular examples are Brave and TorButton.
They do not allow storing of data and clear cookies on their own after every session. TorButton is known for standardizing browser fingerprint by providing the same browser data for allusers. This makes the fingerprint to be one and as such, useless to the sites collecting them.
Recent development in Firefox is getting privacy concerned individuals to move towards Firefox. Firefox, through a third-party (Disconnect), keeps a list of sites that engage in Browser Fingerprinting and stop them from accessing information that will aid them in generating a fingerprint.
Use Common hardware / browser
The whole idea of Browser Fingerprint makes a lot of sense only if devices can be differentiated. Instead of having the fear of websites getting fingerprint of your browser, you can avoid caring about it all together by making use of hardware and browsers that are common. Because you are using common browser or hardware, you become less unique and as such, you can be grouped among the crowd.
Example of hardware to use is Macbook because a good number of people are using them, So you’re less unique online!
How to Spoof Browser Fingerprint
A Virtual Machine (VM) is a software-defined computer hosted on a server with its own operating system different from the underlying operating system. If you are using a VM, the Browser Fingerprint gotten will be that of the VM’s browser and not your real browsers Fingerprint. In this case, a VM gives out a unique Browser Fingerprint – but it is not for your own browser. Examples of VM includes Parallels Desktop, Oracle VM Virtualbox, and Microsoft Hyer-V, among others.
Use a User-Agent Spoofer
A client’s User-Agent string is one of the attributes used for profiling. If you are able to spoof and fake it, you are a step ahead to make the information collected inaccurate. Chameleon is very effective for this. It comes with User-Agent strings for a good number of browsers. While you can make use of a static User-Agent, I will advise you go for the rotating ones that changes your User-Agent after a specified interval of time.
Spoof your Canvas API
HTML5 Canvas originally meant for graphics has become one of the most powerful fingerinting tools because of the variations in how browsers treat them. You can prevent Canvas Fingerprint by using CanvasBlocker. This browser extension will block the Canvas API or fake your Canvas AP.
Use Multilogin – best browser spoofer for automation
If you have got some budget, the best way to spoof your Browser Fingerprint is by using Multilogin. Multilogin is the ultimate tool for spoofing your browser attributes. It replaces multiple computers with virtual browsers profiles. However, it requires monthly payment and that will keep some people away.
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While there is a general consensus among standard bodies that Browser Fingerprinting can be harmful, there’s no sign that it is going to be stopped soon. Browsers are already acting to prevent, but then, their solutions are not 100 percent foolproof. That’s why you need to apply other methods to prevent sites from generating a unique fingerprint of your browser.