Data tracking is a major part of using browsers. Whether you like it or not, your browser or the websites you’re visiting can record tons of activities like the links you visit, IP addresses, the machine you’re using, and more. They then use these information to try to learn who you are and show you tailored ads.
There’s no denying that a lot of websites, even reputable ones, can see some of your personal data that let them identify you. While it may seem inevitable, there are actually ways that you can do to help protect your privacy.
But before acting on it, it’s better to first know what data your browser is actually giving away. By knowing, you have an idea of the specific things that you need to block, which will then help you find the right tool to do it. Thankfully, there’s an easy and completely free way to do this.
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How to check what personal data your browser leaks
Step 1: To do this test, we’re gonna be using a free tool called Cover Your Tracks. The best part is, that you’d be doing this over the web. So if you’re already paranoid, no need to worry as you don’t have to download anything. This program is a project by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
All you have to do is visit their official website here and click “Test your Browser”.
Step 2: Wait for the test to finish. This should only take a couple of seconds.
Step 3: And there you have it. The large texts should be straightforward enough to tell you whether you’re protected or not from trackers that use your leaked data.
You can scroll further to see what data websites can actually get from you, which usually includes your machine’s user agent, browser plugins, the time zone you’re in, the fonts on your system, and even your screen resolution.
How to prevent browser from leaking data
There are a couple of things that you need your browser to stop from doing. With that, here are some of the methods or tools that you can use to help stop your browser from leaking information
- Use VPNs: There’s a reason why a lot of experts suggest the use of VPNs or virtual private networks. These services let you hide your location and IP address to websites and other entities by pretending you’re from another country.
As a bonus, you can gain access to some content not available in your region. There are tons of VPNs available out there, but if you really want to be safe, it’s best to use the paid ones. Some of the well-trusted services are ExpressVPN and NordVPN. If you want to learn more about VPNs, here’s our explainer article about it.
- Use Antivirus Security Software: There are tons of security software available in the market, but it’s best to choose one that comes with a web protection browser extension. One of the most popular ones is TotalAV, which comes with an AI-driven Web Shield browser extension. It can provide up-to-date protection from modern threats, blocks dangerous websites automatically, and more.
- Use ad-blockers: Using browser extensions with ad blockers will not only save you from annoying ads but also protects you from the data they collect. One popular program is called uBlock Origin, which is best paired with Privacy Badger.
- Disable cookies: Disabling cookies means that websites won’t be able to record your activities on their sites, which would’ve given them an idea of what your personality is and shown you tailored ads based on it.
- Stay away from sketchy software or websites: I guess this one is pretty obvious. It’s best to stay away from installing sketchy software or suspicious website to keep your data and whole computer safe.
These are the ways that you can do to check if your browser is leaking personal data and what to do to prevent it. Have any questions? Let us know in the comments section below.