Hey Guys,

Not all web browsers are the same in protecting you from being tracked on the internet. Some of them, such as Brave, do a great job, but others, such as Chrome, leave you very vulnerable in terms of being tracked. Here is everything you need to know and instructions on checking your browser.

What is Browser tracking?

Web tracking is a method that collects and shares information about a person’s activities online. It is mostly done through tracking cookies and digital fingerprinting. According to the EFF:

‘When you visit a website, your browser makes a “request” for that site. In the background, advertising code and invisible trackers on that site might also cause your browser to make dozens or even hundreds of requests to other hidden third parties. Each request contains several pieces of information about your browser and about you, from your time zone to your browser settings to what versions of software you have installed.

At first glance, the data points that third-party trackers collect may seem relatively mundane and disparate. But when compiled together, they can reveal a detailed behavioral profile of your online activity, from political affiliation to education level to income bracket. As long as this trove of data about you is linked back to you, your online activity can be logged. Ad networks primarily rely on two methods to maintain this link: cookie tracking, and browser fingerprinting. 

What are cookies?

Cookies are small chunks of information that websites store in your browser. Their main use is to remember helpful things like your account login info, or what items were in your online shopping cart—in other words, they save your place. But they can also be misused to link all your visits, searches, and other activities on a site together. This use of cookies is a privacy violation, and browsers generally allow you to block, limit, or delete cookies.

What is a digital fingerprint?

A digital fingerprint is essentially a list of characteristics that are unique to a single user, their browser, and their particular hardware setup. This includes information the browser needs to send to access websites, like the location of the website the user is requesting. But it also includes a host of seemingly insignificant data (like screen resolution and installed fonts) gathered by tracking scripts. Tracking sites can stitch all the small pieces together to form a unique picture, or “fingerprint,” of your device.’

How can you check if your browser protects you from tracking?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit digital rights group, has developed a simple and free tool called ‘Cover Your Tracks’ that quickly checks if your browser is protecting you from tracking. 

You can run the free test by going HERE

Note: Make sure you enable the test with a real tracking company. 

Our recommendations:

Switch to a free privacy-focused browser such as Tor Browser or Brave. They are just as good as the others and do not leak your browsing habits or allow you to be tracked. 

Let me know if you need any help or advice.

Best regards,

Max Roberts,

Incognito Privacy Care Team