Ways to track a Website

Whenever we visit any website, our web browser reveals our location, our search and browsing history, etc. These data further may be used by third parties. Tracking is generally used by various networks to build up a detailed profile for various purposes such as effecting political choices.

There are many ways to track a website which includes:

  1. Ip Address: It is an unique address of our device when we connect to internet. This address is shared with other networked devices in our house or office. Using this, a website can determine our rough geographical location. The IP address can changeable so tracking a particular user by using the IP address for a long time is difficult. Through IP address website can not track down the user’s pin-drop location but can track the area or city easily. This procedure works through a spammy advertisement basically.
  2. HTTP Referrer: Whenever we click any link in our browser, it loads the web page linked to it. The website will get opened and internally information like IP address, location, web browser, machine type etc will be provided to the linked website. This is known as the HTTP referrer. If you click a link outside of the webpage then that web page will get the information about you. Suppose you click a link “How to track”(outside of the webpage) then the link will see where you are coming from this is known as HTTP refer header.

    A webpage can include a tracking script that will tell the advertiser which page you are looking for right now.
    The Web bugs are the most untraceable procedure here those are so tiny which are included in the images, it is used in the mail, suppose you open a mail that contains images then the advertiser can trace you.

  3. Cookies and Tracking Scripts: Cookies are small text files on your computer storing a small piece of information related to your online habits. Cookies can also identify you and track your activity across a website. Tracking Scripts sends the information on which page you are viewing at that time.
    Cookies are generally of two types:



    • First party cookies: These store our own login id, passwords, auto-fill information etc, for frequently visited websites.
    • Third party cookies: These are the cookies that stores our browsing data and use these to place advertisements on our web page according to our interests. This sometimes result in many unwanted advertisements on our web page.

  4. Super Cookies: These are also cookies (like evercookie) but are persistence. They stores data in multiple places (Flash cookies, Silver light storage, and HTML 5 local storage, etc). If you delete a part of it, the information will repopulate from the other location. Suppose you clear cookies from your browsers but not clear in Flash cookies then, the browsers will copy the cookies from Flash cookies and repopulate into your browsers, somehow the supercookie is like ever cookies that can not be vanished at all.

    The supercookie’s goal is to remember each and every user if you clear all the cookies it will repopulate from other storage. The supercookie works with backup plans.

  5. User Agent: Every time we connect to a website our browser sends a user agent to the website that collects data like browser type, operating system and important piece of data from us and the advertiser uses them for targeting advertisement on our web page what we like to see what we want to see.
  6. Browser Fingerprinting: Each browser is specifically unique, this tells the website your installed fonts, plugins everything you are are using in your browsers. If you disable your cookies to stop those things then that will be another way to track you down, that disable options will tell the website your information.

ALL the above things leak one’s identity information to websites and it may be used against you by collecting all your personal information. Solution of this is Private browsing and Anonymous browsing.



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Intern(Technical Content writer) at GeeksforGeeks

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