Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Privacy - What Information Is Your Browser Leaking?

Many people think that browsing websites is a fairly anonymous practice. Most people I speak with believe that unless they specifically provide information to a website it doesn't know anything about them except possibly their IP address.

This is a flawed assumption.

Most browsers leak a surprising amount of information about you. Here are a few common items you are probably telling every website you visit, whether you know it or not
  • Your location - not as fine tuned as GPS coordinates, but surprisingly accurate
  • Your operating system
  • Your computer processor, # of cores, battery level
  • What web browser you are using
  • What social networks you are currently logged in to
  • What plugins are installed in your web browser
  • Your internet connection speed and internet provider,
  • The orientation of your device if it's measured. (When I check from my smartphone it tells me what direction I am facing and how much of an angle I am holding my phone at.)
This isn't through any special magic, just using standard code. It is a surprising amount of information though.

Want to see what information you are leaking, and how to stop it? Go to http://webkay.robinlinus.com and take a look at the results.

The nice thing with this website is it will offer you suggestions on how to plug the holes if you want. Fair warning, some of the fixes may limit the functionality of other websites.

Happy surfing, and happy holidays!

-The Home Geek.

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