Complete Guide to Web Tracking (and How to Avoid It)
Complete Guide to Web Tracking (and How to Avoid It), Behind your carefree surfing of the Internet is an intricate underworld of spies following your every move. Virtually all companies use web tracking technology to learn your behavior and preferences… and turn that information into money. Find out how website tracking works and how anti-tracking tools can thwart these crafty spies.
What exactly is tracking?
Web tracking is the collection and sharing of information about a person’s activities on the Internet: what they do online and how they do it. Web or Internet tracking also called tracking, allows companies to better understand a person’s preferences so they can customize their content accordingly.
Companies use different software tools, such as website trackers, beacons, and other tracking files, to observe how you interact with their websites (a process known as website visitor tracking ) and follow you around the Internet to see What other things does he do? And what exactly are these trace files? These are commonly referred to as cookies and we will learn more about them shortly.
Some people use the terms website tracking and web tracking interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same. In contrast to the definition of web tracking just given, website tracking is simply the practice of monitoring changes to a website over time. Browser tracking and other techniques described in this article are examples of web tracking.
Some companies deal directly with data collection, but there are also so-called ” data brokers “, companies dedicated to collecting and selling data for use by others.
Own follow-up and third-party follow-up
Self-tracking is done by the website you are visiting. Website visitor tracking of this type monitors your behavior to remember your preferences, such as the type of content you prefer, your language settings, your location, and other information you have shared. In general, you don’t have to worry too much about self-tracking your preferences, since you probably want your frequently visited sites to load in your usual language, for example. (Though the situation gets muddied if sites decide to sell access to their data to different marketers.)
Third-party tracking occurs when someone other than the website you are using also tracks your activities on the site. For example, let’s say you visit a news page to read its content, not knowing that that site downloads a package of third-party cookies that track your behavior not only on the site but on other sites you may visit in the future.
We’ll take a closer look at why companies track you online and what they do with the information they get later. Complete Guide to Web Tracking (and How to Avoid It)
Common Web Tracking Methods
Now that we know that these websites track your every move, a question arises: how can the sites track you across the Internet? Most user tracking by websites can be divided into broad categories, depending on the procedure used. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most widely used web trackers and website tracking systems.IP address tracking
Your IP address is a series of numbers by which your device or network is identified on the Internet. Every device online—not just computers, phones, and routers, but also the servers that host the websites and services you use—has an IP address. IP addresses are an integral component of the Internet’s fabric, as they ensure that web traffic is delivered to its intended destination.
Many network administrators use IP monitoring software to monitor the devices connected to their networks; It is very likely that your school or company has implemented such a system. There are also IP address trackers for “everyday users” who want to find out their IP address automatically at any time.
Because the IP address points to your general physical location, websites use IP tracking to learn where their visitors are coming from. They can also use it to identify patterns of behavior and determine whether or not a repeat visit originates from the same person. This kind of information can also be used to predict your preferences, although cookies are much more efficient in that regard (as we’ll see below).
By using web beacons, another tracking tool, companies can see the IP addresses of those who open their emails. This is one of the methods by which companies judge the effectiveness of their email marketing campaigns.
IP tracking only works if your IP address is visible. If you hide your IP address through a proxy or VPN, this tracking method is much less effective against you.
Cookies are perhaps the best-known type of browser tracking. A cookie is a small code that is stored in your browser when you visit a website that uses this technology. First-party cookies are created by the website you visit and are often used to help the site remember what you like and what you are doing.
For example, when you shop online and add an item to your basket, a session cookie tells the e-commerce website to remember the action you have taken. Without a cookie, you would not be able to easily navigate through the various purchase confirmation screens to enter shipping information, payment details, etc., as the site would lose track of your items as soon as you clicked through to another page.
A first-party persistent cookie saves your preferences for the long term, such as the time zone you live in or your login credentials. In most cases, first-party cookies are necessary for a site to function, or at least help improve the visitor experience.
Third-party cookies are created by someone other than the website you are visiting. These are tracking cookies that track you as you navigate from one site to another. Website analytics and advertising are two of the main uses of tracking cookies. In fact, a recent study found that 99% of all cookies are tracking and advertising cookies. Some browsers, like Avast Secure Browser, block third-party cookies, and any that don’t should give you the option to enable or disable cookies from the settings.web beacons
Websites and emails use web beacons, often in the form of a single-pixel transparent graphic image, to record user behavior. These beacons are like tiny hidden cameras: they are invisible and monitor what you are doing.
On websites, beacons function like cookies, in that they are used to track users for advertising and site analytics purposes. Beacons monitor how you use a site or scroll through a series of pages, information that companies use to tailor their services and offerings to your behavior and preferences.
The Facebook pixel is a virtually ubiquitous web beacon that provides site owners with vast amounts of data for use in Facebook ad campaigns. This data allows advertisers to show you ads for products that you may have added to your basket but then abandoned after deciding not to buy. By controlling when, how much and how often you shop, the Facebook pixel allows advertisers to target people who are most likely to buy again, as well as people with similar behaviors and preferences to existing customers (what is called a similar audience). The pixel even knows if you’ve seen a Facebook ad on one device but switched to another to visit the advertiser’s website.
Beacons also make it easy to track the IP address in the email. When you open an email that contains an embedded beacon, the beacon records the exact date and time you open it, as well as your IP address. These beacons also know if and when you click on any link in the message or download an attachment. benzene price