Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

January 29, 2010

Are you unique on the Web?

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:31 PM

Being unique is not always a good thing. Which is something best shown by this ‘Motivational’ poster. The same applies to being online. If you are unique then people can identify you based on your setup.

What am I talking about? Basically EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) did a bit of research and found out it is possible to finger-print someone’s browser based on their settings and plugins by the information each browser shares with the sites it visits even when you have turned off cookies. This can theoretically be used to track the sites you visit on the web. So if you use some plugin’s that not everyone uses or you use a rare browser then that makes you unique and thus identifiable on the web.

In my case my browser fingerprint appears to be unique among the 215,353 users tested so far so I guess my visits can be accurately tracked.

The following information sent by the browser is used to fingerprint it: User Agent, HTTP_ACCEPT Headers, Browser Plugin Details, System Time Zone, Screen Size & Color Depth and System Fonts installed. More information on the methodology used to identify the browser is available here.

Check out how unique you are on the Panopticlick site run by EFF. They also have some hints on how to prevent browser finger printing which you definitely should check out.

– Suramya

1 Comment »

  1. […] my last post I spoke about the claim by EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) that your browser’s settings […]

    Pingback by Suramya’s Blog » Are you Unique on the Web? – An Update — January 30, 2010 @ 9:38 PM

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