Connecting to a paid VPN can help you stay safe and anonymous online. However, thanks to fingerprinting, your online activities may still be traceable back to you. That’s why you need an anti-fingerprint browser.

For the most part, we think about IP addresses when we talk about online security and anonymity. Since most web servers keep visitor logs, an IP address can be use to establish the web sites and pages that a particular user has accessed.

Afterward, by accessing your ISP’s records, you can be positively connected to your online tracks.

Fingerprinting represents a similar threat that is, in many ways, more dangerous.

By tracking your IP address and your browser and device fingerprints, marketers, hackers, government agencies, snoops, and other dark actors can associate you with everything you do online.

Your browser fingerprint

Every web browser has a unique browser fingerprint that websites can record and read.

Additionally, every computer has a unique machine fingerprint.

So, even if you distribute your online activities across multiple web browsers, your activities can still be traced back to your computer or smartphone.

Then, if someone can establish you as the owner of a particular phone or computer, you can be liable for what you’ve done online.

Digital forensics can positively establish that a particular browser or device was used to access a particular online resource.

So, if someone can establish you as the owner of a particular device, that person can connect you with your online activities.

One more thing: Even if you disable Flash and Javascript, you leave your browser and machine fingerprint everywhere you go.

Get your browser and computer fingerprint

Get your browser and device fingerprints by visiting the Unique Machine website. This site draws from your device’s GPU info, installed fonts, plugins, time zone, and other factors to create a unique ID for our web browser and computer.

You should also visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Panopticlick tool to test your browser for uniqueness. This test will also tell you if you’re using an anti-fingerprinting web browser.

Getting an anti-fingerprint browser

Just as you can use a VPN to disassociate you from your ISP-assigned IP address, you can take steps to protect against fingerprinting.

Is there such a thing as an anti-fingerprint browser?

Sort of.

Mozilla is releasing new features for Firefox to add a Tor Browser anti-fingerprinting technique called letterboxing. It should be available in Firefox version 67. You can read about it at ZDNet.

You can get the letterboxing feature right. Either download a pre-release version of Firefox or get the official Tor browser from the Tor Project’s website.

What do I do now?

You’re never completely safe while using the internet.

You can protect yourself from browser fingerprinting software used by Google, the U.S. Government, and other adversaries. This knowledge can help you minimize your exposure by eliminating risky, unprotected behavior.

You can also install privacy browser add-ons such as Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin.

Brave is another available browser with built-in fingerprint protection. However, its effectiveness is uncertain. I tested Brave with Panopticlick and received a failing score.

Are you a Firefox user? Consider hardening your browser using this user.js tool (Download at Github).

Meanwhile, stay alert for new tools that will block browser fingerprinting.

Wanna read more? Look over this fingerprinting thread at Reddit.

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