The question of whether internet users’ fingerprints can be deleted is a crucial and important one. Given the massive and ubiquitous tracking of internet users’ data across social media sites, websites, and the internet in general, It is natural for one to wonder whether the information being collected can be deleted. Unlike cookies, device fingerprinting is more invasive and extremely difficult to stop. The range of information collected through device fingerprinting can significantly compromise users’39; privacy and security if they fall into the wrong hands. Such information being harvested through device fingerprinting include HTTP request header, Ip address, installed device plugin, time zone, operating system, language and font, etc.
Regardless of the website a user visits, the person can be uniquely identified among millions of
users with such information. However, the question is, can a user delete their fingerprints? To be straight and direct, the answer is no! As long as an internet user continues to access online services and makes use of online products, he or she cannot delete all his or her fingerprints. What is deleted today, maybe updated tomorrow? Because device fingerprinting is a continuous and unending process. The more websites you visit, the more services you access, and the more your device fingerprints are collected. There is basically no button to press to wipe off all your information or delete every information collected about you. Be that as it may, there are a number of steps to take to minimize the volume of personal information collected
about you and protect your privacy. They include:
- Delete/deactivate all Online Accounts for Shopping, Social Media and Web Services: Deleting or deactivating all your online accounts and web services is perhaps the most drastic step toward deleting your device fingerprints. In practice, taking this step means saying "goodbye" to the internet. Deleting your accounts from social media sites and web platforms may stop those sites from continually tracking your device. But it may not necessarily delete all your data on their servers. Taking this step comes with a high trade-off. It would require you to give up social media and web services.
- Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists: Unsubscribing web mailing services reduces the volume of information about you out there. It will not stop device fingerprinting, but it will remove your sensitive details from them.
- Delete Cookies: Cookies are a part of the online tracking mechanisms used to track and collect users’ data. Cookies are easier to identify, decline and delete. This is mainly because privacy legislation around the world requires data collection companies to inform users and get their consent before collecting their data. Deleting cookies will severely restrict how much of your data is being collected. However, some cookies may be vital to the functioning of websites that you may have difficulties without them. But deleting unnecessary cookies will save users the endless collection of users’ data.
- Use Secure/privacy Focused Apps: Getting and accessing the internet with secure and privacy-focused apps such as Hoody. Hoody is an app designed to provide complete privacy, through its groundbreaking technologies of Phantom Browsing™ & Bulletproof Privacy Network (BPN). Hoody’s Phantom Browsing™ tech ensures the user is anonymous and fingerprints on the browser whereas Hoody’s Bulletproof Privacy Network (BPN) encrypts your data and anonymizes your IP address through multiple relays.
- Search your information online on Google to see what information about you is public and remove such information. Such information could be removed by taking advantage of the General Data Protection Regulation and asking the data holders to remove them. Update Your Settings: Some browsers offer users the option of preventing device fingerprinting in the settings menu. Activating it will ensure you browse without being tracked.
- Change Your Device ID: Some android phones allow you to change your device ID.
Changing your device would reset your device fingerprint. Meaning all tracking would
have to start afresh.
To conclude, device fingerprinting is very powerful tool websites and online platforms use to track web users. And it is extremely difficult to stop web browsers and other web services completely from collecting our device fingerprints. It is even more challenging to delete fingerprints that websites have already collected and stored on their servers. Hence, the need to use cyber security apps that wipe out fingerprints and enhance users’ privacy and security. Among such privacy apps, Hoody stands tall with its special features that allow users to browse the internet anonymously.