What is web tracking and how to avoid being tracked online

Nwachukwu Glory Last updated: October 31, 2022 Read time: 16 minutes Disclosure

Browser fingerprinting, cookies tracking, and other web tracking traps are set all over the internet. Get to know all about them and avoid being tracked online.

Sneak peek at web tracking

The growing rate of cyber-attacks and surveillance seriously threatens the users’ internet privacy and security. Many websites use cookies, digital fingerprints, and beacons to collect visitors’ valuable data through web browsers. Web tracking aims to enhance the browsing experience via personalized ads and searches. However, some sites do this for monetary benefits, selling your online data to third parties and cybercriminals. Yet, some effective methods exist today that help you bluff internet tracking. This guide explains more about web tracking and possible ways to avoid it.

Web tracking is pervasive on the internet today.

You have reached our website because you use the internet but guess what? Almost everyone is a victim of web tracking on the internet.

Are you surprised about that, or is that news to you? Well, you should not be surprised.

Several organizations and criminals have deployed web tracking software to track internet users for ages now. They can track you through cookies, spyware, malware, and other tools. Cookies are tiny bits of lightweight codes used for web user tracking, while spyware and malware are malicious computer programs developed to track and spy on users.

Your government, securities organizations, international intelligence alliance such as the infamous Five Eyes, cyber-criminals, jealous spouses, business competitors use these tools to carry out this act.

Internet tracking is on a dramatic rise, and lately, there have been many leaks worldwide. No one is free from web tracking, and even a government is a victim of web tracking deployed by another nation or agency. You get the idea.

News of whistleblowers is everywhere, and no one is free if people can track the government.

Celebrities, who can spend a fortune for their security, are not free from this act either. Hackers have often hacked their cell phones and leaked their private photographs. It doesn’t matter where you are, where you store your data, or the kind of device you use. Your privacy can be compromised if you don’t take adequate steps. As simple as that.

Have you ever heard of the PRISM program? It is alleged that the United States government uses it to spy on millions of people in the USA. You should also know that most of the servers of the biggest tech companies in the world reside in the United States.

Therefore whether or not you live in the USA, your data can also be tracked through the PRISM program. Aside from the US government, other regimes also have secret programs for online tracking.

And guess what, what is the easiest way for governments and any third party to spy on you or track your web activities? The answer is internet tracking.

What is web tracking?

As we mentioned earlier, various organizations deploy web-tracking tools to target internet users’ activities. Internet tracking entails multiple aspects, including mobile, server, network, etc.

However, some organizations and criminals deploy tools specifically meant to track your activities through your web browser. That act is known as website tracking. They monitor your behavior, see what you see, and record your keystrokes, searches, passwords, and so on.

Website tracking is an effective tool digital advertising companies use to project their campaigns. There are lots of marketing firms that carry out website surveillance for their advertising and analytics needs. Did you know that an estimated 79% of websites worldwide use website tracking tools to gather information from internet users?

Have you ever wondered why a search engine would give you search results that match your geographical locations? That is because search engines know where you are. And have you ever wondered why eCommerce stores like Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and others would give you product suggestions that interest you?

They can do that because they know what you bought before. Also, they have a history of your web searches and your interest. Without website tracking systems, the scenarios above would not be possible.

Is website tracking illegal?

Is website tracking illegal
(Unsplash)

Website tracking is illegal, but some countries and jurisdictions have unfairly legalized some programs that can enable the government to track you.