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what is the browser fingerprint and how to have more privacy

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Let’s face it, privacy on the Internet has ceased to exist, if it ever was present. And it is that through our fingerprint we offer clues to companies about our habits on the networksomething highly valued when it comes to suggesting advertising, and basically, making us spend money, which is what this society in which we have had to live is based on.

However, despite this somewhat pessimistic entry, we have multiple ways of hide our digital footprint on the net, or at least part of it. Of course, more and more proactive effort is required on the part of the user. In this article we have wanted to focus on explaining what the fingerprint consists of, and the methods available to the user to avoid this invasion of our privacy as much as possible.

Differences between cookies and browser fingerprint

Advertising companies and information brokers are in charge of monetizing their knowledge about our online activity and habits on the network. Through various techniques it is possible to obtain information about our behavior on the Internetwhat we buy, and based on this, create a digital profile to continue suggesting advertising to the user about related products.

In addition, the data provided by our browser helps them expand our digital footprint, something that, unlike other techniques, leaves no trace on our equipment, since the information is extracted by the browser itself and there are no installations of any kind.


We should not confuse this digital footprint generated with the use of cookies. And it is that the pure objective of cookies is nothing more than to make the web pages we visit remember our behavior on the page without having to store a gigantic database of all the users who enter it. Each cookie is a text file that is stored on our computer or device, so when we access a web page, it is in charge of reviewing that file to offer a “personalized experience” on the page.

The digital footprint generated by browsers on our system and usage trends is something that does not alter our equipment or device, but is information that is extracted as a result of regular functions included in them.

However, cookies are also essential for companies engaged in e-commerce, since generally, the websites we visit have advertising to survive, and these third-party advertising companies, also store cookies on our equipment to recommend advertising to us. If the advertising company provides its services on multiple web pages, it can generate a digital profile of you based on the pages you have visited.

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As we have mentioned, cookies and similar Technologys depend on files stored on the computer or scripts, something tangible, and therefore can modify the behavior of our computer. However, the digital footprint generated by browsers on our system and usage trends is something that does not alter our equipment or device, but is information that is extracted as a result of regular functions included in them.

In addition to our IP address, the browser’s fingerprint can extract useful information such as the operating system with which we are accessing, screen resolution, plugins that we have installed, and much more. Some of that information is summarized in the element headers known as user agenta text string that includes multiple data from our system.

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An example of that text string, for a user who is accessing from Firefox and with Windows would be the following:

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Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:64.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/64.0

This information can be modified. It occurs in the case of browsers on mobile devices, which modify that user agent to be able to view a web page as if we were accessing it from a desktop computer, for example.

Privacy

The information that can be obtained through the fingerprint of the browser can be quite extensive, and it is of great help for the mechanisms that are responsible for tracking our activity on the network. Also, it is unusual for two computers to contain the same fingerprint. Although this changes according to the configuration of your system, it does not matter for the trackers if they lose your fingerprint temporarily, as long as they can continue their mission on other computers.

If you want to check your browser fingerprint, you can easily do so by accessing websites such as Cover Your Tracks or AmIUnique. Here we can obtain information about the data that browsers extract from us and compare it with the rest of the users who have shared it on said websites.

How to improve our privacy online

Hiding this digital footprint today requires a proactive effort on the part of the user. The solution most often used by users is the use of a VPN. This kind of tools allow us to mask our IP addressalthough today they are more versatile, since they also offer options to block ads and some protection against malware.

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There are those who also make use of browsers with built-in protection. This is the case of examples such as Brave, Vivaldi or Firefox, among others, which provide the user with various techniques to improve the user’s privacy on the network. Brave, for example, makes use of ‘Shields’ to block ads, cookies, scripts, and so on, being a very useful option to, at least, protect part of our privacy on the web.

Among other examples of protection in browsers, it is worth noting track and trace prevention in Edge, Firefox, or Safariwith options to block some of the tracking techniques used by websites.

In Chrome we also have related options to block cookies, although somewhat less complex than in other browsers and that we can see in the ‘Privacy and security’ tab of the configuration menu. However, a few years ago they announced their project known as ‘Privacy Sandbox’, with the aim of ending third-party cookies.

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There are those who use even stricter means of privacy through browsers such as TOR (The Onion Router), where all our web traffic is routed through the TOR network and adds more layers of privacy to our browsing.

On the other hand, there is also software that we can install on our computer and that automatically modifies system settings to try to hide that fingerprint. Some examples are Avast AntiTrack or Norton AntiTrack, focused on offering solutions to improve our privacy by blocking cookies, ads, or modifying the fingerprint with random data to mask our activity on the network.

It is worth noting that, making use of the incognito or private mode of your browser is no more useful than not storing your browser’s search historyso we should not confuse this method as a solution to increase our privacy on the Internet.

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this streamer ruined 11 years of career on Twitch by a deepfake website of other streamers

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That a content creator ends up accidentally leaking some personal detail is something that happens more than it seems. However, when it involves and hurts other people, it is something that cannot be ignored. This is what has happened to Brandon “Atrioc” Ewing, a popular Twitch streamer who has been caught live with an open page of deepfakes of other streamers with pornographic content.

Atrioc has been active since it started in 2011 on YouTube. Since then it has been gaining more and more popularity, establishing a large community. Nevertheless, decided to throw it overboard at the time you clicked on that page.

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The website has already been removed, but the damage has already been done

Although all the clips are being deleted, Dexerto was able to make a catch of this event, where you can see how the content creator has the web open in your desktop window list.

The page offers paid artificial intelligence montages of streamers with pornographic content. According to Kotaku, the website is similar in structure to OnlyFans, requiring the user to subscribe to access the content.

In his broadcast where he apologized to the public and to his partner for what happened, Atrioc affirms that he entered one night around 2 in the morning, clicking on an advertising banner that he had supposedly found on PornHub. His happy curiosity caused the web to end up leaking in one of his last live shows.

“It was 2am and I was reading so much shit about artificial intelligence, deepfake music, deepfake art and I’m on all those fucking Discord channels. It’s all so embarrassing. I was on fucking Pornhub, on a normal website, and there was an ad, it was that ad on every fucking video – so other people must be clicking on it because it was on every video.”

According to the content creator, in his community he has always campaigned against sexism, prohibiting any similar behavior at the moment. Atrioc insists that he is the “most normal” person and that he would “never do something like that again”.

Her partner, who was apologizing on her live broadcast, affirms that she does not feel like a victim, but that she deeply regrets the damage that this has caused to the streamers that appear on said website, since they echoed that they appeared on the page through this fact. Although disappointed, her partner accepts the apology.

Several content creators show their regret on the networks

The website has been withdrawn thanks to the impact caused by this commotion, but above all due to the work of QTCinderella, a streamer who was involved when she saw that there was explicit content about her on the web. In one of her last live shows, she deeply sore and disappointed, she mentioned that I would do everything possible to sue the author of the website. Atrioc also assured that he would be in charge of covering all the costs for the closure of the web and that he would offer financial help to all women who needed legal help.

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Among those affected and who have publicly expressed their regret in addition to QTCinderella were other popular streamers such as Sweet Anita or adept.

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This map shows the profession with the most interest in each country. In Spain she is the influencer

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Remitly has published a global map that shows which are the most searched professions on Google, according to each country. And that map published in Various social networks have caused some controversy when seeing the most sought-after profession in Spain: is the influencer. Specifically, what is analyzed is the search “how to be a…”.

Although Spain is the only country in Europe interested in being an influencer (it must be said that in other countries like Hungary they are interested in knowing how to be YouTubers), in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina or Uruguay and in Central American countries.

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Writers and developers

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It is noteworthy that in many countries of the world, people look for information about being a writer. Especially in Eastern European countries, in South Asia, the Nordic countries and in Central and North Africa.

In Poland, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina people feel very interested in knowing how to be a developer or developer. Macedonian people show a lot of interest in being programmers. Of all Europe, only Italy shows interest in being an entrepreneur. In China, the profession that arouses the most interest is dietician.

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In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, the United States and Australia (i.e. the majority English-speaking countries) they have great interest in being airplane pilots.

Debate in networks about being an influencer

The fact that in Spain there is great interest in being an influencer has created a debate on various networks such as Twitter or Instagram. There are those who criticize the labor market is so precarious that people no longer want jobs that may have more value.

Others remember that We are not going to look for how to be a doctor or a lawyer because we already know what to dobeing a more traditional profession, but people may be interested in knowing how to be an influencer, since there is no university for it or professional training.

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the API will have a cost to develop

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The profitability of Twitter is an obsession for a Elon Musk besieged by the need to start repaying the loans he requested to buy the social network… which, by the way, is also facing lawsuits for non-payment of rent for some of its venues. So part of the drastic changes he’s implementing at Twitter are aimed at increasing the company’s profits.

And the last one is bad news for users and, above all, for developers. And it is directly related to the news from a few days ago about the sudden ‘failure’ of access to the Twitter API by third-party clients…

…a ‘glitch’ that we later learned was an intentional block that the company attributed to non-compliance with unspecified standardsand that from one day to the next turned the official Twitter client into the only way to access the microblogging network.

“As of February 9”, Explain today the official account of the development division of Twitter, “We will stop offering free access to the Twitter API, both in its v2 and in v1.1. Instead, a basic paid level will be available“.

And the thread goes like this:

“Over the years, hundreds of millions of people have sent more than a trillion tweets, and billions more every week.

Twitter data is among the most powerful data sets in the world. We are committed to allowing fast and complete access so that you can continue to develop with us.

We’ll be back with more details on what to expect next week.”

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Elon Musk is just making a mistake that Twitter has already regretted

A little over a year ago, the founder and former CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, acknowledged that The most wrong thing the company had done up to that point was to vastly limit access to its API., a decision that was made during a period in which he was not in charge of the company and that he later strove to counteract. “The company has worked hard and will continue to fully reopen access.”

That decision to close the API forced the closure of many companies based on alternative Twitter clients (in many cases, better than the original), as users abandoned them once they saw how limited their functions had been. Now history is repeating itself, as the new generation of third-party customers will be doomed to disappear or become paid applications.

So the creators of twitterrific has already announced its abandonment of the application stores, and the other major client of the Twitter ecosystem, Tweetbot, has announced its conversion into a client of Mastodon, the open social network that aspires to take over the throne of Twitter (although for that there is still much).

But it is that, in addition to all that, many things will break on the Internet with this new decision by Musk: Twitter’s many bots (the ‘good’ ones, the very useful interactive bots connected to web services) will stop working, as will the services that connected Twitter with other platforms, and a multitude of extensions.

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