• Progress blocking browser fingerprinting, tracking ads and invisible trackers.

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    #2608069

    In the 11-27-2023 AskWoody newsletter under “Hardening for privacy”, Susan had some interesting links in the article, and one was “Cover Your Tracks”, https://coveryourtracks.eff.org.  I addition to testing my browsers, I spent some time here:  https://coveryourtracks.eff.org/learn and this sentence jumped out at me:

    Using a fingerprint resistant browser.

    Some newer browsers were built to thwart fingerprinting, such as Tor Browser and Brave.

    I use Brave and in Settings, I have “Block Fingerprinting” enabled.  (See screenshot below).

    It works.  Neither Chrome nor Firefox has an equivalent.  Tor of course works but it’s too slow.

    I then started testing anti-tracking extensions with CoverYourTracks and found that uBlock Origin did NOT do complete job of blocking tracking ads and blocking invisible trackers.

    I disabled uBlock and tested other browser extensions including DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, Bitdefender Anti-Tracker and Disconnect.  They all worked but the one I settled on and use now is Privacy Badger because 1) it was authored by the “cover your tracks” effort and 2) it claims to automatically learn to block invisible trackers as they change and morph.

    Here’s how it all tests now.  Comments – Suggestions – Am I missing something?

    Brave-results

    Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
    Four 27" 1080p screens 2 over 2.
    Laptop Clevo/Sager i7-9750H - 17.3" Full HD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM Win 10 Pro 22H2

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by TechTango.
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    • #2608255

      Neither Chrome nor Firefox has an equivalent.

      Neither Chrome or Firefox have a setting to Block Fingerprinting…

      Firefox does have fingerprint blocking.

      Though of course by itself I doubt it would be as strong as the combination you demonstrated. But hey, for those who prefer a non-Chromium browser, Privacy Badger is available for Firefox, too.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2608421

        Firefox does have fingerprint blocking.

        Thanks for this.  I was going by what the “cover your tracks” site indicated.  Look like their info is outdated on this count.

        Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
        Four 27" 1080p screens 2 over 2.
        Laptop Clevo/Sager i7-9750H - 17.3" Full HD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM Win 10 Pro 22H2

    • #2608269

      Though of course by itself I doubt it would be as strong as the combination you demonstrated

      Yeah, I have it on in Firefox (with no other add-ins apart from ABP), but CoverYourTracks still reports that my browser has a “unique fingerprint”, rather than a randomized one like @TechTango

      Everyone should be concerned about this, of course, because these companies get away with murder just because they can. But personally I only ever visit a small handful of known sites, so I’m not going to lose too much sleep over it. CYT also reports that both tracking ads and invisible trackers are blocked, and my protection against tracking is “Strong”

      It’s a delicate balance, isn’t it, on the one hand having a quite reasonable paranoia about being constantly stalked across the interweb, and on the other hand… well, just getting on with life

      So, they have a little information about me. What can they do with it? I don’t watch their stoopid adverts, and on the few occasions that I have to, I’d never buy anything from them, unless it’s a specific item that I’ve deliberately gone out of my way to find

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2608480

      Firefox does have fingerprint blocking. (Second post)

      I tested Firefox with both its fingerprint blocking options turn on and with the Privacy Badger extension but I cannot achieve the same level of fingerprint blocking I’m getting in Brave testing with https://coveryourtracks.eff.org

      In Firefox it is:  Your browser has a nearly-unique fingerprint, not randomized fingerprint.

       

      Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
      Four 27" 1080p screens 2 over 2.
      Laptop Clevo/Sager i7-9750H - 17.3" Full HD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM Win 10 Pro 22H2

      • #2608552

        Yeah, I’m not surprised.

        I’m a NoScript user, and with that I get a “strong protection” result, with all three points showing simply “Yes”. If I disable restrictions and test again, I get the “nearly-unique” result, as well.

        That doesn’t bother me, though. For the sites I visit regularly, I long ago worked out which scripts I need to allow, and those settings are saved. For other sites, either what I want to see is displayed immediately before allowing scripts, or I spend only moments trying to get a site to work before moving on and looking elsewhere.

        • #2608660

          I long ago worked out which scripts I need to allow, and those settings are saved.

          I’m guessing not many folks use scripts (including me), but they are strong and flexible.  Post some if you feel like it.

          Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
          Four 27" 1080p screens 2 over 2.
          Laptop Clevo/Sager i7-9750H - 17.3" Full HD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM Win 10 Pro 22H2

          • #2608892

            I don’t have any scripts to post. I was referring to which domains I tell NoScript to allow scripts from. For me, the minimum that achieves the web site functionality I need. Since so much is done via JavaScript, this stops a lot of tracking and I haven’t seen an ad in well over a decade.

            Of course, doing it this way has a learning curve, so some people don’t like it. But I prefer seeing where everything is coming from and choosing for myself what to allow instead of relying on some list or automatic configuration made by someone else.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
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