Even after using VPNs and proxy methods, there are multiple threats that can harm users’ privacy. One of them is Browser Fingerprinting. It is more dangerous than the other data invasion technique and tracks users around the world.
Seems impossible, but the solution is available. Here I will discuss how to disable Browser Fingerprinting in detail.
Online privacy is something every internet user must care about. Every time you visit a website, dangerous threats always look for your valuable information. The information can be your browsing history, IP address, browser configuration & preferences, installed media devices, and OS.
Some of the threats can be cured by using VPNs, proxy, trusted DNS server, and browser extensions. However, some remain underground and steal our data.
What is Browser Fingerprinting?
People think they are safe while browsing and there is nothing to worry about. But they are unaware of how they are being tracked at every bit. To avoid the normal online tracking, some user deletes browser cookies and spoof their location by bypassing IP address via a VPN or proxy.
This much effort was sufficient for any user to protect privacy some year back. Even it was harder for third parties to identify the user. But now things have changed, to collect user data and identify them, Browser Fingerprinting is developed.
Browser fingerprinting is something different that can not be disabled easily using the other type of traditional method and technique. It is a process of tracking and identifying users around the internet based on the browser’s settings & configuration, system’s configuration, font, screen size, and many more.
Let’s see how can we disable Browser Fingerprinting in the first place.
How to Test Browser Fingerprinting?
One very famous tool to test Browser Fingerprinting is Panopticlick which is developed by the EFF organization. Panopticlick analyzes how good is your browser and installed add-on. It also analyzes whether your browser and add-ons are protecting you from online tracking or not.
Panopticlick also looks for unique identification of the browser-based on various configurations, settings, preferences, and systems.
AmIUnique is another tool that uses a comprehensive list of parameters to test for Fingerprinting. This includes the browser you use, installed plugins, cookies, system configuration, installed media devices, and many more. It also detects whether plugins are blocking ads, scripts, and malware programs or not.
I used the Google Chrome browser for Fingerprinting Test in Panopticlick and the result is below. Though I have not installed any plugins while testing, still it doesn’t block certain things such as Tracking Ads, Invisible Tracker, and Website Trackers.
The truly bad thing is that Chrome is not able to protect me from Browser Fingerprinting. So it is better to disable Browser Fingerprinting before it gets a leak.
Different Ways to Disable Browser Fingerprinting
Users can disable Browser Fingerprinting, however, it requires some efforts from your side. Nothing impossible in this digital world, various methods are available to disable it. But only three-technique is most effective to disable Browser Fingerprinting.
1. Disable Java-script
In fact, websites will not be available to detect the list of plugins installed on the browser, their settings, and preferences.
But, doing this will also cost the performance of the browser. When a user opens a website, some of them will not work properly and this can impact the web experience.
2. Privacy Focused Web Browsers
Choosing a privacy-focused web browser is really a big task for the normal user. If you don’t know which one is best, read the most secure browser here. A most secure browser always comes with the necessary features and settings required to protect user’s privacy.
Some browser like Firefox, Brave, and Tor is the best choice to get most of the privacy. Brave browser is more concerned with Fingerprinting while Tor is always the best option for maximum privacy. Though I find settings to disable Fingerprinting in Firefox, it doesn’t work well when I tested at Panopticlick.
Read Mozilla’s official blog to disable Browser Fingerprinting. For Google Chrome, the user needs to install Canvas Blocker to disable it.
The only problem with Tor is a slow speed that can be very annoying for the users who love to downloads.
3. Use Anti-malware Software
Anti-malware software is best for the extra security layer and suits most to the people who are more concerned about security. Some of the best features are preventions from ads, harmful scripts, and spyware software. Spyware runs on the background and remains unnoticed if anti-malware is not installed.
These programs are directly interlinked to the browser’s fingerprint. So, better to have a secure browser and remove this spyware and threats with an anti-malware tool.
The most popular anti-malware software is Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus and Bitdefender Total Security, though it may cost you money. The basic version has only a few and limited features that are insufficient for protection.
Other Methods to Prevent Browser Fingerprinting
The options are limited to the above three methods, but you can try some more. Even a few are the best but comes at a price. If you think that another method is not working properly or not helping much then, try the following way to prevent Browser Fingerprinting.
1. Use incognito mode – Every browser allows users to browse private/incognito mode. By doing this, the browser maintains a standard and makes some changes to the settings.
Generally, browsers do this standardization for all the users. So the browser’s unique identity will be similar to the multiple users. Even if the website Fingerprints the browsers, no one can identify individuals easily on the internet.
2. Use a User-Agent Spoofer – Agent Spoofer creates one or more attributes every time you visit a website. Even if websites fingerprints the websites, one or more attributes will always different than the previous one. So websites can’t identify you as a unique user on the web. You can find User-Agent Spoofer extensions in the browser’s web store.
Chameleon by sereneblue is the best Agent Spoofer add-on available on Firefox, try it once.
Don’t rely only on the Browser’s privacy features, instead install the privacy-focused add-on, use the best VPN, and anti-malware programs. Browser fingerprinting is a bigger threat among other threats such as DNS leak and WebRTC leak.
Websites you visit can create your unique fingerprint by collecting detailed information of browsers, systems, and other related information to create and personalize profiles for targeted based ads. Sometimes it can take you down.
So take a bigger step and disable Browser Fingerprinting from digging you.