What is third party advertising?
How does it work? Let’s start with us as users. That website you like to visit has content to present to you. However, this content needs financial support. Most of the websites offer advertisements to their visitors. Some of these advertisements come from different sources outside of the website.
In other words, third party servers are remote storage. The tracking system is actually a strategy. With a small cookie, a company can find out people’s preferences, the articles they are interested in and the topics they like to follow.
Therefore, the web browser plays the role of the host. The website forces the Browser to accept the cookie to display the content. The website server gives the browser a unique cookie. The cookie contains all the information necessary to be used in subsequent statistics.
When you see something familiar that you might have searched for or clicked on, it is actually the third party that offers you more ads similar to the previous one, and all based on your behavior. Your behavior is tracked through the cookie placed within the files of your web browser. The cookie communicates with the home server.
have a cookie
Cookies are small files, with strings of different numbers and letters. Every website is connected to a server. The server can be perceived as a hard drive on which all folders and files are stored. The cookie, therefore, is a folder. Despite its small size, it is designed to transfer effortlessly from the server to the web browser. Otherwise, the user might just decide to leave.
The cookie stores various information that will give the company a unique view. At the time the cookie leaves the home server, your data contains:
– Cookie Value
– Name of the cookie
– Date of Expiry
– The cookie path.
According to your information, it can only be accessed from your home server and will return when it expires.
Meanwhile, the cookie will collect data about the behavior of the host. Every website the user visited, the links, the photos they clicked on. Depending on user behavior and habits, the average cookie may contain:
– Operating system installed on the host computer
– Processor type
– Model and version of the Internet browser
– List of plugins/add-ons/extensions
– Do not track status
– Behavior on a publisher’s site
– Keywords entered
– Fonts and font size
– Geographic location
– Time zone
– IP adress
– referrer URL
– requested URL
– Credit card information entered when visiting the website.
Companies are legally required to make the cookie expire after a certain period of time. The data that the cookie collects and transfers to the home server is stored for 24 months in most cases. Some companies keep information for much longer. Data is accumulated for a long time, and it is quite possible that some information of yours from a while ago still exists on the Internet. Additionally, criminals on dark web black markets are after data. And that’s why most cybersecurity companies use the term “the Internet never forgets.”
Who else follows me online?
Every user is different with unique interests and habits. Every website you visit has one or two background trackers. Not all of them are placing cookies on your web browser, but they are still monitoring your ad performance nonetheless.
It may not be the website you visit, but the third party companies they have partnered with. The data collected by the website you visited is shared later. These may include: third-party partners, such as marketers, integration partners, pixel partners, and resellers.
Despite the general belief that only advertising companies are the online trackers, there are few other entities online that perform the same task.
Data brokers and data miners
Data brokers trade data instead of stocks and bonds. Data brokers are people much like private detectives. These people collect the data both online and offline.
What exactly are they collecting? Data brokers often refer to themselves as database marketers or consumer data analytics companies. They collect information from an individual as a consumer.
The online meeting looks for any clues or information that could identify the person, as well as describe their interests or hobbies. The more unique and detailed the report, the more it costs.
Offline data is something that is not easily acquired. These include police reports or any legal information. Most data brokers will pay someone to acquire that information for them.
Curious users bought their own data. The results received show that they sell the data on the average person for about $50. This generally depends on the amount of information. Some have confirmed that everything is there in detail, and some that the information is distorted.
What’s in the reports?
– Email address
– Social media accounts
– Recent searches or likes
– Credit Scores
– Property records
– short records
– Driver’s license and motor vehicle registrations
– Census data
– Birth certificates
– Marriage licenses
– Divorce Records
– State records of professional and recreational licenses.
– Vote registration information
– Bankruptcy records
As with large companies, even data brokers merge their collected information with others. They have an opt-out service. Deleting data from your website permanently costs $129 a year.
Data mining companies are very similar. Companies collect large amounts of data and analyze the raw material. Data mining is the analytical process of discovering patterns in large data sets involving machine learning methods, statistics, and database systems.
Some of these companies include:
– Oracle data mining
– Portrait Software
– Quantum Leap Innovations
People search websites
If you’ve been searching for a long-lost relative, ancestor, or school friend, chances are their data is still on the internet. Most of the people who search websites store all the data. Everything you have sent is stored on their servers.
Some of these websites also have an opt-out service:
– Anyone that
– Has been verified
– People Finder
– White pages.
Internet browser plugins or extensions can be extremely helpful. However, recent research has shown that popular VPN plugins lately are tracking users’ every move. The paradox of the plugin that is supposed to mainly hide the IP address of the users, while tracking them.
Others, on the other hand, are vulnerable to DNS attack. Which means someone could be looking at your URL bar. If you visited a website it does not mean that they do not know you. What you don’t know is that the website you visited could see your IP address. In other words, it’s very similar to when you tell someone your name and address.
Top Tracking Companies
The best known trackers today are:
– double click
– Scorecard research
Data tracking companies mostly organize data into categories. This makes it much easier to remove yourself from the system when needed. For example, marketing companies are doing an ad for a retail company and are targeting a certain group of consumers. The system will point to a specific description.
The categorization of consumers is nothing new. Simply using privacy software like Identity Theft Preventer can point out how much we as users make easily available on our computers and web browsers, without even being aware of it.
The reason companies and cybercriminals collect so much data is the cookie left in the browser. It has been found that only 25% of Internet users clean the web browser regularly. Which makes the rest of them easy to attack. “The internet never forgets”, so how much exactly accumulates in us over time?