What Does Your Web Browser Know About You?

Trevor Butcher on Flickr

Your web browser knows (and tells) a lot more about you than you might realize.

We’re all familiar with internet web browsers, if not necessarily by name. A browser is any software program used to visit web sites. Some of the most common browsers you’ve probably used are Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Edge.

The basic job of the browser is to talk to other computers and take all the things they give back — data to describe how the website looks and code to make it interactive — and turn it into a webpage you can look at and click on and interact with.

But the browser doesn’t just take information from web sites and gives it to you, it’s also collecting information from you and sharing that with the sites you visit.

There’s a few different ways your web browser collects information on you and we’ll talk about each of them:

  • Browser history
  • Google Chrome’s record of all activity
  • Browser cookies
  • Information that can be snooped by JavaScript code running in the web browser

 

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