Your digital fingerprint: what it is and how it is used to deanonymize you

26 october 2022 EXPERT OPINION PRIVACY & ANONYMITY
We are not alone when browsing the Web — websites monitor us. But how do they do it, and is it possible or useful to hide from their prying eyes?

How websites track and identify users

Let’s start by talking about browser fingerprinting. Many websites and services try to identify their visitors (even those who are not logged in) using additional parameters not directly connected to a person’s identity. For example, they analyze data about the device, browser, and connection that a person uses to visit a website.
Let’s say you use an Intel Core i5 laptop running on Windows to go online, like so many other people. Taken by itself, this information is almost meaningless and cannot be used to identify you. But there are several dozens of parameters like this, and, taken together, they form a much more precise dataset that can be found only once for every hundred thousand or even a million users. Combined together, these parameters are known as your digital fingerprint.

What kind of information is found in a browser fingerprint?

The following is used to create a fingerprint:
  • IP address
  • User agent and client hints
  • Screen resolution
  • Installed fonts
  • Language settings
  • Time zone
  • Device configuration
  • OS
  • Browser extensions
  • and many other parameters.
Would you like to know what your browser fingerprint looks like? You can use such services as Pixelscan, BrowserLeaks, Whoer, and Creepjs. These services will also highlight the parameters that look suspicious to website owners.

Why evading tracking is hard

Fingerprinting doesn’t require any data to be kept on the user’s side, and that makes it hard to notice and evade. Unique properties of your fingerprint cannot simply be turned off like cookie files. Your browser and OS parameters that are sent to the server are an intrinsic part of how your browser works when visiting web pages.

Your device does not hide your data when you’re visiting a website. On the contrary, it shares it for a better functionality of website services. At the same time defensive systems analyze all the information they can collect about your device, connection, and software.

Minor changes in some of the parameters will not prevent identification of an already familiar user. You can change your browser, your time zone, or your screen resolution, but if you don’t do it all simultaneously, your risk of being identified is high. This is where antidetect multi-accounting browsers, a technology able to completely change your entire fingerprint, comes in.

Why do you need a multi-accounting browser?

Big league players like Meta and Amazon constantly make user identification algorithms ever more sophisticated. They enforce their platform security and more and more often rely on automation for content moderation. This may result in permanent account loss even for a slightest violation. Websites will ban all suspicious accounts when they detect several authorizations coming from a single device.

Octo Browser allows you to keep your anonymity and bypass already existing bans of your device. You can create multiple profiles with different and distinct browser fingerprints, which websites will treat as separate individuals.

In other words, a multi-accounting browser works in such a way that your Intel i5 device in New York looks like a Ryzen 7 device in Berlin.

Octo Browser does not block user identification systems, but provides fingerprints taken from real devices instead. These fingerprints can pass any checks, and the spoofing quality and absence of browser leaks can be verified by anonymity tests run on such popular checkers as Whoer and Creepjs, which further illustrates the high level of security provided by Octo Browser.

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