Whenever you open up your browser, prepare for data tracking. Nowadays, it’s as ubiquitous as oxygen. Sites you visit can track all sorts of activities, from the links you click to your IP address.
They may even see the computer you’re operating on — including your battery life. Some can even see what social media websites you’re logged in to. Tap or click here to increase social media privacy.
Chances are, it’s pretty easy for websites to identify you. Luckily, you can take a few steps to protect your privacy. But before you can form a solid action plan, you should know exactly how much data you’re giving up. This tip is sponsored by TotalAV, Kim’s pick for securing all your devices.
This free test solves the mystery
There are all sorts of ways you’re being tracked. Most of us have heard about cookies, the small text files that store usernames, passwords and more. Tap or click here for three reasons you shouldn’t accept cookies when visiting a website.
That’s just one example, though. There are many sophisticated ways you’re being tracked. It’s easy to get overwhelmed once you try to research it yourself.
Here’s a time-saving trick that reveals how much data your browser is giving away. Check out Cover Your Tracks, a free tool from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It’s a quick way to test your browser to see how well it protects you from tracking and fingerprinting.
This sophisticated tool reveals how trackers interact with your browser. It first launched in 2010 under a different name, but the EFF upgraded it over the years, adding many new features. You’ll see just how robust it is once you put your browser to the test.
It’s so easy to use
First, tap or click on Test your browser. You’re taken to the testing page, which may run for around 30 seconds or less, depending on your internet speed. It looks like this:
Next, you’re taken to your unique results. This in-depth page summarizes your overall protection against tracking. You’ll see a list of specific browser characteristics, like:
- User agent
- Browser plugin details
- Time zone
- Screen size
- Color depth
- Whether or not cookies are enabled
- Touch support
It even analyzes your platform, device memory, hardware and more. At the top of the page, it gives you an overview of your browser protection status. Here’s an example of what the report page looks like:
Scroll down for more specific information. You’ll see a list of details. This design choice reflects how a tracker views your browser.
Luckily, Cover Your Tracks goes the extra mile. It explains how things like web headers and plugin details are part of your digital footprint. You may realize you’re giving away far more than you would like to.
If you want to destroy your digital footprint, we have you covered. Tap or click here to delete yourself from the internet.
Bonus: The right way to protect yourself online
Cyberattacks are on the rise, and the more we rely on our devices for work, school and our personal lives, the more we have to lose. Whether it’s bank accounts, personal data, photos or conversations, there’s just so much to preserve and protect. That’s why Kim recommends TotalAV.
TotalAV’s industry-leading security suite is easy to use and offers the best protection in the business. In fact, they’ve received the renowned VB100 award for detecting more than 99% of malware samples for the last three years in a row. And not only do you get continuous protection from the latest threats, but their AI-driven Web Shield browser extension blocks dangerous websites automatically, and their Junk Cleaner can help you quickly clear out your old files.