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Data Fingerprinting

When you think about your internet security, what comes to mind? Do you think about Anti-Virus and firewalls? Cookies and IP addresses? What browser you are using? What Operating System do you have? All of these things can be legitimate concerns in the security world, and picking the right products can make or break your system’s safety. Combining the correct browser with the right plugins and an anonymous IP address is a good step in the right direction…

… or is it?

Recent studies have shown that combining all of these things can help to make you anonymous on the internet, but may not take care of everything. A new type of identification called “internet fingerprinting” may possibly give away your ID – no matter what you do. Internet fingerprinting works by collecting information about your everyday browsing to try and figure our who you are. This information that is collected is not the normal stuff you may think of, either. It consists of the simple things that your browser must tell other sites like your IP address, what plugins you are using and what browser you are using. Combining all of these items will eventually make a unique person, even if the person collecting the data has no idea of your name, address or social security number.

All of this information can be scary to think about. When I first read about it, I really wanted to know how anonymous I was. I started searching around and came across a site called Panopticlick. This site will collect the information that data fingerprinters usually collect about you. It will then tell you how unique you truly are on the internet. If you are not unique enough, it will advise of ways to make your internet experience more secure.

Want to check it out yourself? Just go to https://panopticlick.eff.org/. From here, just click the “test me” button. Within a few seconds, you will know how anonymous you truly are.

Until next time, stay safe out there!