All of us have encountered situation where we look up an item online and when we visit another website, we find ads of the product or item we searched. How does a website, completely unrelated to the search engine or online shopping portal you were viewing know what you were searching for?
The answer is Cookies! Whenever you visit a website, small pieces of information are stored on your computer identifying you. All websites do that you understand their customer’s interests. However, it is the Third Party cookies that are used by advertisers to gain insight into your browsing behavior to target you with ads based on your interest.
While you can delete cookies, there are things like supercookies which stores your information, browsing history in multiple places, like flash cookies.
That’s not all, whenever you click a link, the website you visit gets the information on how you came to the website – be it through search engine or a link at another website. All this information in HTTP Referrer header. Websites often have tracking codes built into their site, which tracks the pages a user came from, uses in the website or subsequently visits.
That’s not all. Websites can track the browser you use, resolution of your computer screen, IP address that gives a general idea of where you are based at.
While all this sounds really malicious, most websites only tracks its users to give them a good browsing experience and target them with ads based on their interests!
To understand how websites track you and what they track, please visit this link for more information.