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What is user-agent fingerprinting?
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2024-03-07T02:58:34.690Z
Find out about user-agent fingerprinting, one of the most vital factors in browser fingerprints, through this article.

1. The overview of user-agent fingerprinting

1.1. User-agent fingerprinting definition

User-agent (UA) is software that acts on behalf of a user. Through the user agent, the website you visit will know information about the browser and operating system you are using. According to Hal Science, user-agent fingerprinting is a technique used by websites and online services to gather information about a user's web browser and operating system. The user-agent string, which is a text string that identifies the browser and operating system being used, is one of the primary attributes used in user-agent fingerprinting. Other attributes, such as the list of installed fonts or the presence of certain browser plugins, can also be used to identify a user's system. A browser can figure out the following elements by accessing this string: operating system type, OS version, browser type, and browser core (version). On websites that test fingerprints, such as whoer.net and browserleaks.com, the user-agent value of a browser can be examined.

1.2. Example

For instance, the user-agent looks like this:
Genlogin interface
The website will estimate the relevant details about your device from this value: Google Chrome (the browser type), Windows NT 10.0 (OS version)... In Genlogin antidetect browser, a user-agent value is collected from the fingerprint database while generating a browser profile. It is intended and entirely logical that there is no discernible difference between the user-agent settings for various profiles. Our fingerprint database only contains the most common user agent settings because our primary goal is to assist you in imitating the most typical user that can be tracked in any way across the vast majority of devices with real fingerprints of the same type. Since users are more inclined to employ the most recent browser versions, we generally advise updating both the application and browser versions regularly.

2. User-agent fingerprinting and its impact

2.1. Components of user-agent fingerprinting

User-agent fingerprinting involves collecting a wide range of information about a user's system, which can be used to create a unique "fingerprint" that can be used to identify the user across multiple websites and browsing sessions. Here are some of the common components of User-Agent Fingerprinting:
  • User-agent string: The User-Agent string is a text string that identifies the browser and operating system being used by the user. It typically includes information such as the browser name and version, the operating system name and version, and the device type.
  • Screen resolution: The screen resolution of the user's device can be determined by measuring the size of the browser window or querying the device's display settings. This information can be used to estimate the physical size of the device and to determine the optimal font size and layout for the website.
  • Installed fonts: The list of fonts installed on the user's device can be queried using JavaScript or Flash. This information can be used to create a unique "font fingerprint" that can be used to identify the user's device.
  • Timezone: The user's timezone can be determined using JavaScript or by querying the operating system settings. This information can be used to tailor website content based on the user's location.
  • Language: The user's preferred language can be determined using the Accept-Language HTTP header or by querying the operating system settings. This information can be used to display website content in the user's preferred language.
User-agent fingerprint components

2.2. Some notes for users

User-agent fingerprinting can be used for various purposes, such as website customization, security and fraud prevention, and advertising. However, it has also been criticized for its potential privacy implications, as it can be used to track and identify individual users across multiple websites.
There are several tools and techniques available to prevent user-agent fingerprinting, such as using privacy-focused web browsers, disabling certain browser features, and using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or Tor to hide your IP address.

3. Conclusion

In summary, we have a quick review of user-agent fingerprinting and its influence on consumer privacy. Nevertheless, it's important to note that user-agent fingerprinting is a complex and ever-evolving technique, and it's challenging to completely prevent it.
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