Digital fingerprints are often a controversial topic amongst tech-savvy internet users. While a casual web-surfer may not be too worried about the tracks left behind, the growing amount of user surveillance is definitely a cause for concern.
Because online tracking is masked under the promises of convenience, and what you don’t know won’t hurt you, right? Internet anonymity advocates would strongly disagree. Digital fingerprints leave constantly increasing amounts of personal information for third parties to prey upon. Without regulation, privacy will remain a thing of the past. For now, we must learn to operate the tools that help us preserve anonymity and maintain some degree of internet freedom.
Understanding how digital fingerprints influence our lives helps us mitigate or eliminate some of the tracks left behind. Recognizing the tools that collect this information also helps us see their necessary, convenient features. Finally, staying aware of the main beneficiaries of our public data shows us why the pushback is so big, and why our privacy is in jeopardy.
Together with all types of online tracks, this article will gloss over some of the tools that help us preserve online anonymity. For example, if you want to access websites or mitigate connections from the US, you can do so with the help of a USA proxy. Smartproxy is a great provider that provides informative guides for beginner users yearning for privacy and safety. Let’s discuss digital fingerprints, whose livelihood depends on them, and what we can do to prevent invasive tracking.
Protect your IP address
Even casual internet users somewhat understand the importance of an IP address. Protecting your network identity will help you avoid attacks from cybercriminals. However, every time you connect to a website, your IP is exposed to a third party, and you can get a lot of information from it.
By knowing your IP address, a website can determine your location. Hold on, don’t start to panic yet! Geolocation tracking only gets your preliminary region and city, and it is still not always right. While you may disclose your country or state with every connection, most of the time, the information will be fairly used to improve a presented service.
Some websites need multiple versions of a website for users connecting from different regions. Of course, you can always mimic a connection from the US with a USA proxy, but if you use your IP address, the server will load a proper page according to your geolocation.
The uncomfortable browsing experience may occur when marketers use your IP to squeeze as much information as possible for targeted advertising. The most popular websites, social media pages, will run specific ads based on your IP that are tailored to your location and average earnings of the region. Some may find this tracking convenient, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. Marketers use every possible digital fingerprint to personalize the advertisement, leaving many internet users disturbed with such invasiveness.
The good and the bad of web cookies
Web or HTTP cookies are great helpers that speed up our browsing experience by saving passwords, settings, and other preferences for recurring visits to the same website. While this information contributes to your digital fingerprint, such static data does not pose a threat to your privacy and makes your browsing efficient. The only danger that occurs if hackers manage to get their hands on cookies and read your browsing history.
These cookies play a big role in making our beloved internet so fast and efficient. However, big tech companies understand the value of our data and find ways to undermine our privacy for profit. Third-party cookies allow marketers to essentially follow and identify you on most visited websites. Even if you might not appreciate online tracking, an advertiser will find a way to recognize you and bombard you with personalized ads.
Adjusting your privacy and security settings can help you minimize cookie tracking. Also, you can use a USA proxy to take that extra step and minimize your digital fingerprint. Tech companies and social media websites will set up default settings that favor the advertisers, but an increasing awareness towards user privacy and security allows us to tweak those options.
What is a user agent?
A simple string of code that is a part of an HTTP request, a user agent identifies the browser type and your operating system. It helps web servers choose the best version of the page for every visitor.
User agents can be used by marketers to identify recurring users and their devices. If you want to diminish this fingerprint, you can use a user agent switcher. Pair it with a USA proxy to reduce your digital footprint.
At first, internet tracking tools were discrete enough to offer the best browsing experience. While additional information today still helps to improve these services, most of the personal data collection exists for selective advertisement. The customer becomes a product and the main source of income for these companies, and improvement gets replaced by exploitation. Internet users stay aware of this injustice and favor smart marketers that respect boundaries and present good products without too much tracking.