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This ultra-secret tool tracks EVERYTHING you do online

This ultra-secret tool tracks EVERYTHING you do online
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Ad companies love to track cookies on your computer to find out more about your online behavior, so they can send you targeted ads online. But, these companies could be turning to a new online tracking technology to replace those cookies that I've taught you how to block.

Canvas fingerprinting is a scary new way that companies can track your online behavior. It works by asking your Internet browser to draw a hidden picture. Almost every computer is different, so it draws the image slightly differently. This gives the company a unique way to identify your computer.

Device fingerprints rely on the fact that every computer is slightly different: Each contains different fonts, different software, different clock settings and other distinctive features. Computers automatically broadcast some of their attributes when they connect to another computer over the Internet.

The code most often found by researchers was created by a company called AddThis, and it's more common than you might think. They found the code on five percent of the top 100,000 websites. That's 5,000 sites! The code was present on everything from WhiteHouse.gov to seedy adult-entertainment sites.

Click here to see a list of all the sites using canvas fingerprinting.

Next page: What you can do about it
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