Thursday, December 3, 2015

2000+ Companies track you online with 26 types of trackers

Yes, that’s true! you read it right. More than 2000+ companies around the world are built for tracking you in 26 different ways to sell you personalized content/ads, emails, or target you for online scams like phishing.
Almost every website you visit uses services from these 2000+ companies.  Over the time huge amount of info about you is getting collected, shared and sold. You are the product and websites wants to know everything about you to sell something.
Your public IP address, operating system, browser, screen size of device and cookies are all known to websites, however companies go far beyond and trace you with next level of intelligence built into their systems.
Here are the 25 types of website trackers that tracks your every move online.

Serious Privacy Trackers

1. Device Fingerprinting - These apps can identify and Id a user across multiple devices
2. Visitor De-Anonymization -These apps are actively engaged in identifying a particular browser session to be actual user using that browser
3. Behaviour Tracking - These apps engage in tracking your behaviour or deriving your behavioural traits through traffic examination
4. History Sniffing  - These entries are known to "Sniff" your browsing history, meaning, they check which sites you've visited in the past
There are 54+ companies around world geared to monitor you very closely. They know you better than your spouse.

Analytics Trackers

5. Analytics
 - Tracks your visits, revisits, page navigation within site, duration and device details
6. Local Analytics - These trackers are usually operated as self-hosted solutions by the first party web sites
7. E-mail Analytics - Apps that collect information on how well an email campaign is working
There are around 144+ companies in addition to google that provides analytic solutions that websites can integrate to watch your move across their websites.

Advertisement Trackers

8. Affiliate Marketing - Advertising generated by these apps is known as affiliate marketing
9. Popunders & Popups - A type of self-explanatory advertising that these apps engage in

10. In-Text Ads -
  A tag for advertising companies that like to provide annoying ads in-text via deceptive hyperlinks

11. Interstitials - An incredibly annoying advertising technique that forces a user to see an ad that appears between certain content or before they could access some content.
12. Lead Management - These apps are designed to generate new potential business clientele by connecting outgoing consumer advertising with the responses to that advertising

13. Overlays - Another annoying advertising technique that involves content overlays that have to be closed prior to seeing content. 

14. Pornvertising - This is a collection of advertisers that most often appear on pornographic sites

15. Segment Data - These apps are involved in deriving segmentation data through the tracking
There are around 136 companies that provides personalized ads that websites can integrate to generate revenue for them.


Standard website plugins trackers

16. Website Chat - These apps are generally used to provide ability for site operator to chat with visitors
17. Feedback - These companies offer widgets and other tools that help operators gather and respond to feedback
18. Polls - These companies offer widgets that are used in asking site visitors simple questions and aggregating results in a poll result

19. Social - All kinds of social sharing widgets that are easily recognizable

20. Commenting systems - These apps are commonly used to provide the web site with some kinds of commenting functionality

21. Audio / Video Player  - Self explanatory

Search Tracker

22. Search - These apps are involved in providing off-site search, so if search functionality is broken these are the entries to look at

Website Management Trackers

23. A/B Testing 
- Tracking apps that provide A/B testing scaffolds for web-sites

24. Font Systems - That affect how your fonts are rendered on the web sites
25. Tag Manager -  THis is a collection of apps that provide third party tag management

26. Site Optimization
 - These apps provide various means to optimize visited websites
Data source : Ghostery extension for chrome
Every top website you visit integrates with average 5 different tracking companies out of 2000, so as to target your identity and improve marketability. Source here.
Install Ghostery extension from here and visit top websites. You should be able to see a number on the Ghostery app. Screenshot showing 13 trackers on 

Below screenshot showing 2000+ trackers and categories.


How can you prevent tracking & improve privacy ?

  1. Install Ghostery chrome extension and block all trackers from here. FireFox extension here.
  2. Use Incognito / Private browsing mode while you do shopping, research, or do casual browsing. Start with clean slate and prevent your browsing patterns been read by websites.
  3. Tor Browser - Use Tor browser is browser to hide your identity from websites. 
  4. Tor Router - User Tor Router provides online anonymity and privacy - better solution than Tor browser. It encrypts all data so that ISP can’t see. You physical address gets hidden from websites can thus blocking targeted ads. Visit - . Privacy On Top is custom Wi-Fi router with Tor installation built for privacy and security.
Data source Ghostery extension for chrome
Mangesh Bhamre

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