Make your web surfing completely private

March 4, 2016

You may not know this, but when you request something from a search engine, buy a product from an online shop, visit your favorite blog or read the latest news on your favorite news site, you leave digital traces.

Make your web surfing completely private

Any single piece of this data could be considered insignificant but when all the pieces are examined together, the full picture could be used to create a kind of a well detailed cyber identity card. Which web pages you’ve visited, how much time you spent on a page before moving to another one, where you clicked and so on. In wider terms, it’s possible to track your interests and typical behavior on the web.

Who needs this kind of information and why do they collect my data?

The answer to this question is complex. In many cases the collected data is used for marketing purposes, which means that it can be moved or sold from company to company that deal with advertising and remarketing.

Using this data, companies can deliver targeted advertising, based on your specific interests. In other cases, the data is used by the website’s owners for mere statistical purposes. Finally, there are many cases where the data can be used with no transparency and it’s not clear how it is used, where it is stored, and to whom it is sold.

This problem gets more complicated when combined with “bring your own device” schemes of work that are very common nowadays. If a company lets its employees work at the office, using their own laptops, the traces that would be left during the surfing sessions may disclose some sensitive corporate data.

At the end of the day, that’s you who should decide, whether to allow web tracking or not. The problem is, there’s no way you can do that normally: you can set any modern browser to send a ‘Do Not Track’ request, but compliance to this request is non-mandatory, so websites mostly ignore it. All in all, it’s like ‘Please, do not rob me’ request in a dark alley.

Ok, then how can I prevent web tracking?

Our experts have built a tool to help protect you against suchlike tracking systems. If you have Kaspersky Internet Security 2016 or Kaspersky Total Security 2016 installed on your device, you can follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings link in the lower-left corner of the Kaspersky suite window.

Make your web surfing completely private

2. Go to Protection, then open the Private Browsing section.

Make your web surfing completely private

3. In the Private Browsing settings select Block detected requests.

Make your web surfing completely private

Now all done and dusted: you have a powerful shield against tracking and data collection during your web experience.

To infinity… and beyond!

And good news for the finale: Kaspersky analysts recently released a smarter and more efficient technology against tracking. Until now, when a user clicked on a special banner or a hyperlink, it might happen that many pieces of data and hidden fingerprints were sent to the destination server without any notification. Since now, when the user clicks on a link and is being redirected to the content, the Private Browsing engine analyses the URL in advance and strips any tracking data from the parameters.

Ok, let’s go back and try to explain better.

When you click on a banner or a simple hyperlink at website example.com, you are telling your browser to send a request for a resource that may be hosted on another domain. The calling to the web resource is made using the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and it has a form like this:

http://example.com/track?utm_source=mycampaign&uid=abc12345x&cs=http://helloworld.com/&city=London

The link is composed of the host and the path before the question mark, followed by a string of data (called query string), which is sent and elaborated by the destination server. This data may contain hidden information used for tracking purposes. For example, it can be assigned as an univocal id and saved in a cookie. It can include information about the ad campaign we are coming from, or information about the geolocation, or anything.

If the location of the destination resource is explicit in the landing parameters, like in the given example you find http://helloworld.com/, the Kaspersky engine takes action and cuts all the data that can be used to track you and finally it redirects to the landing page. All of this happens without any user action and without the loss of speed loading: your web experience is not affected! This special feature makes the Private Browsing the most complete and effective tool against tracking all over the world.

Once more this proves that Kaspersky sides with the users, even the most demanding, for a safer web experience and keeping out prying eyes.