Web Tracking 101

The Internet is an excellent tool for smart users. The knowledge of essential cyber security fundamentals can help get control of online private and business life. Let's have a look at what web tracking is and how your data should be used online.

Web Tracking 101

Generally, suspicions that you're being tracked start with realizing how most advertisements suit your interests or refer to something you've been thinking about lately. And the guesses are entirely adequate and supported because every Internet user is tracked. This doesn't necessarily mean something terrible, but the good thing is to stay conscious in all aspects of Internet interactions, guaranteeing substantial cyber security contribution.

What Is Web Tracking?

Other common names for web tracking are Internet tracking, digital tracking, browser tracking, and data tracking. No matter which term you prefer, web tracking is a practice of data collection, storage, or sharing by websites or third parties. Internet users should understand that the overwhelming majority of websites they visit utilize web tracking. On the other hand, you need to know that it's adequately motivated and legal in most cases.

Web Tracking Functions

Websites use data trackers to improve user experience and make your surfing most effective. Video websites like Netflix or Youtube can offer the most suitable videos based on those you watched; online stores suggest the most needed goods by tracking your purchases or items viewed. The same happens in other fields of Internet tracking - it helps offer potentially the most relevant articles, search results, etc., to Internet users. However, Internet tracking isn't about Internet users only, if not at all. This 'assistance' is often a part of an advertising or marketing strategy or another set of practices. Here are common reasons why websites track our online activity:

  • advertising;
  • website and business analytics and further performance improvement;
  • law enforcement assistance;
  • usability tests;
  • to sell your data to relevant advertisers.

The last reason can be of the most concern as your data goes to unknown third parties. However, up-to-date data privacy policies give users chances and tools to restrict it.

Internet Tracking Methods

There are several common ways to track web activity - software tools to see what you're doing on a particular website and outside. The most widespread web tracking method utilizes cookies - data that a user's device receives and then sends back without altering it. Other Internet tracking methods include:

  • IP address logging - featuring the visitor’s location, used to track online activity;

  • Web beacons, or web bugs, or tracking beacons - used to track what you do to a webpage or determine an email message operations (received or opened);

  • Digital fingerprinting, or browser fingerprinting - it tracks all information about your device from your mouse cursor movement to your screen size;

  • Mouse tracking, or cursor tracking - users’ mouse movements are analyzed to learn their website interactions.

How to Avoid Web Tracking

If you are thinking about who is tracking you online, the answer is almost everybody. Almost all websites you visit, social networking websites and messengers, other websites you've never even interacted with and even more. And all the web tracking is legal and, in most cases, uncontrolled. That is why it's obvious that users should have a chance to minimize or avoid web tracking.

There are many tools to minimize or avoid Internet tracking. Some of them cover many tracking methods; others are used for specific tracking tools. For instance, you can prevent IP address tracking if your IP is invisible with the help of a reliable VPN. As for cookies, websites should give their users rights to enable or disable cookies, so you can configure settings properly, especially concerning third party cookies.

To be sure that you and your business have adequate Internet tracking experience, limit, or avoid it, you can utilize reputable anti-tracking software. These tools identify all tracking cases and report detailed information about who, where, and how track you or your business online.

You can also reach out to professionals and get MBS Tech cyber security experts' help.



For your convenience, we’ve divided our blog on cyber security into several categories so that you can find necessary articles fast and effortlessly. Just choose the category that evokes your interest and enjoy reading.