What is online tracking and how does it work? (2023)

In general

What is online tracking and how does it work? (1)

In terms of monitoring, many Internet users - and especially protected data - do not have appetite for laughing. Because monitoring is often characterized as an illegal method of spying, monitoring and collection of sensitive personal data. On the other hand, monitoringFabrics is extremely popular among website owners and traders because, among other things, targeted marketing measures can be taken based on the information collected.

In this article, you will find out exactly what fabric monitoring is, exactly how online tracking works, what data protection on the Internet is for, what exactly you need to take into account as a site manager, and much more!

It should be noted that the following statements do not represent legal advice. Therefore, we can only provide assessments of our intensive experience with EU legal regulations in practice and the technical assessment of the situation.

Index process

What does the Monitor website?

What does online tracking really mean?Tracking is a technology in which a user's steps on the internet are tracked and evaluated.OWeb Monitoringoften it's also likeUser Monitoringreferred to as data about user behavior (across all domains) may be collected.

Package service providers also use tracking procedures. However, the package receiver receives a tracking number, through which the position of the relevant package can be viewed at any time.

What data can be tracked?

Internet monitoring is very high.In addition to the user movements on a websiteprivacyhow the IP address is collected; The following can also be tracked:

  • WhichSites visiteddone
  • Whichsubpagesvisited a website
  • How much timeresidency timeOn individual subpages it is
  • Vonwhich site refers to the current websitedone
  • WhichElements (left, buttons, etc.)done
  • WhichProductsseen and bought
  • WhichDeviceand whichBrowserhad been used
  • Whichfilesthe website visitorTransfers
  • Whichmouse and eye movementswere carried out on the website

All this and much more data can be recorded with surveillance technologies.

(Video) Understanding Digital Tracking

How does tissue monitoring work?

There are a variety of surveillance methods that provide users' behavior information.We provide the most common monitoring technologies for you below.

🍪 monitoring cookies

Tracking websites that use cookies is certainly one of the most popular processes.

💡 If you are wondering now,What exactly is a cookieYou can read all important information in a compact and understandable way in our separate article.

Briefly summarized, a cookie describes a small data package that stores individual data when accessing a website on the user's computer or smartphone. Cookies can be read automatically on the website.

Web cookies are definedFirst part and third knivesdiscreet.Unlike third party cookies, third party cookies allow users to be tracked on various sites.

ONEExample of such third-party cookiesYou have probably already found him, consciously or unconsciously, while sailing in the World Wide Web.For example, you are searching online for a new coat for the next fall and browsing relevant online stores.Surprisingly, later, when you visit other sites, you will see ads from the same coats.This is not magic, but thanks to the use of tracking cookies.But the Facebook Like button can also track user behavior information directed.

It is also calledtracking pixelThey are valuable helpers as part of web analysis.Site operators can incorporate multiple pixels (small pieces of code) from various services such as Facebook or Google Analytics on your site.When performing a specific visitor action (for example, rolling), the pixel collects the corresponding data and sends them to the service.The action can be determined by the site operator when defining the pixel (the so -called "events").You can find more important information about this topic in our article on the popular web tracking plug-in for WordPressPixelyoursite.


The purpose of the fingerprinting process is to create an individual fingerprint of the user based on aggregated information about device and browser configuration such as operating system version, browser version, browser settings. Unlike cookies, the software and hardware characteristics of the device used by the user. Some of these characteristics are transferred automatically to the server of the visited website when a website is accessed.

📍 IP address

Internet protocol addresses are also a method used in website tracking.In general, an IP address is a network address consisting of a single sequence of letters and numbers that allows data packets to be sent to the correct recipient.Similar to a postal address in the analog world.IP addresses are used to identify devices using the internet.

(Video) What Google & Co know about you | Online Tracking

The problem here, however, may be for many users to share an internet connection or connect to the internet using VPN encryption. This makes it significantly more difficult to identify the user. However, an IP address can usually be usedIdentification of relevant location data(For example, in which city you live, but not exactly where) are used.

📧 Email tracking

Using email tracking, for example, one can see which recipient opened a given email, when, if, and how often. Left clicks can also be attributed to the respective recipient. As a newsletter sender, you can therefore specifically determine the open rate or record the click-through rate on certain items. Based on these values, optimization measures such as the list of recipients for certain topics can be derived.

📱 Track applications

In addition to tracking on a computer, there is also tracking using apps. As part of app tracking, it is sometimes assessed which apps are used by a user and what the user's behavior is within the app. In addition, many applications record information about users. It is often necessary during application installation that the application can access data such as gallery and location. Some of this sensitive data is transmitted to the application operator's server.

Website tracking goals

The main purpose of web tracking is definitelyWeb AnalysisThis is why many companies use web tracking processes.As you already know, there are several ways to get valuable user data.They can be evaluated after the collection, which meansConcrete, marketing goals specifically for the groupIt can be inferred.

alsocampaigns carried outcan be better evaluated using monitoring data. For example, it can be determined whether clicks on advertisements on the Internet led to purchases in the online store.

But not only marketing measures result from site analysis. In the same way, the recorded data can serveTo find sources of website errorsand be corrected.

Many monitoring methods are alsoAFFORDABLEesave time.Therefore, data is also referred to as the gold of the 21st century.

Web Monitoring - Advantages and Disadvantages

MofoBenefitsWeb tracking reflect the objectives mentioned in the previous section.This means that the user data tracking tocreate user profiles, aspiring targetcampaigns and adsor can be used to optimize the site.

probably the biggestDisadvantageThe problem is in the site screeningdata protection, which we will discuss in the next section.Compliance with legal requirements is therefore extremely important.In addition, it isIt's not easy to use all tracking tools.Very large and tangled volume of dataIt can quickly lead to an overwhelming or false assessment.In addition, there are also theCostThis results in the use of a good tracking tool. Another obstacle can be the user's browser settings that block certain tracking methods.

Is the web tracking cool?

Tissue monitoring and data protection are extremely important. Many Internet users are rightly wondering what legal basis is actually used. First it was in GermanySection 15(3) Telemedia LawHe realizes that user data tracking is generally allowed, as long as there is an opt-out option (opt-out), which means that user tracking is possible until the data subject is opposed to it.

However, this is where the electronic privacy directive comes into action.Defines at the EU level that aUser ConsentBefore using non -basic cookies, monitoring technologies and similar methods that collect and process personal data (participation process). This was confirmed in the December decision (C-673/17) October 2019 and May 2020 of BGH (Me.e of Sa / 16) confirmed for Germany.

(Video) What is web tracking?

If you want to record your users' data, you must carry out web tracking in accordance with the Privacy Directive, GDPR andTtdgThat means: first, get active consent, up -a -date to your guests, and then watch them happily. If you don't follow him, it can be done through him.Very high fines protection violationsI'm coming for you.

Is it possible to disable web tracking?

Even though lawmakers have sued many security measures over theoretical methods of online surveillance, the reality often looks different. To provide additional protection, website visitors can take various measures to avoid monitoring as best they can.

NoMany browser settingsAmong other things, cookie tracking can be set tocookie settingsturn it off. Some browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, already exclude third-party cookies by default. The risk here, however, is that disabling or not accepting cookies can lead to limited functionality of the site.

There are alsobrowser extensionsHow to avoid ad blockers that may prevent websites from being tracked as much as possible.

Another method is theDon't watch the head, through which the user can decide on themselves whether to be tracked or to prevent tracking.Once a site is accessed, the user's device sends a signal that, in principle, informs the site that it does not want is tracked.However, site operators may follow this, but they still don't have to.

Are there alternatives to web tracking (to advertise anyway)?

Cookies, fingerprints or storage of the IP address for marketing purposes - none of this is possible because the website visitor has not given his consent. What can you do without these web tracking methods to keep showing you targeted ads, for example?

Target semantics

With semantic segmentationno personal data is collected.In contrast to tracking using cookies, advertising based on page content is selected in semantic targeting, so false channels can be avoided more easily and the user is caught thematically where he is.

Then the individual user willnot specified, but the content frame it is in is written. In this way, appropriate advertising can be reproduced, which is not adapted to the individual user, but only to his current environment.

The effectiveness of the ad naturally suffers from it.However, it is one of the few ways of not having to show completely random advertising if web tracking is not possible or allowed.

Right -handed with royal banner cookie

All that clock clutter can become a headache very quickly. And compliance - and, in particular, enforcement - of strict legal requirements can make site owners sweat.

So, to save this, you should take a look at the Opptress WordPress solutionroyal cookie banneroutlet.Over 100 standards for popular services such as Google Analytics and Google allow you to easily receive your consent to track your website visitors in a manner that complies with legislation.

Discover the real cookie banner!

(Video) Introduction to Online Tracking

(Video) How you are being tracked in the web | Online Tracking explained


How does online tracking work? ›

Websites track visitors by using technologies such as cookies, pixels, and fingerprinting to measure browsing behavior and serve personalized content. People can stop unwanted website tracking by blocking or deleting cookies, using a VPN, and turning on Do Not Track (DNT) in their browser.

What is online tracking and how do companies use it? ›

Website tracking is the collection of data and information about the people, businesses, and devices that visit your website. Businesses use website tracking to identify who visits their website, how they interact with content, and what other activities they conduct.

What means online track? ›

Online tracking is essentially collecting data about users and their behaviour online. The purpose of it? Gaining insight into users, their behaviour and preferences.

What is online tracking and how do websites track you? ›

Whenever you use the Internet, you leave a record of the websites you visit, along with each and every thing you click. To track this information, many websites save a small piece of data—known as a cookie—to your web browser. In addition to cookies, many websites can use your user accounts to track browsing activity.

What is tracking and how does it work? ›

GPS navigation systems show drivers their location on a digital map and then provide driving instructions to get to a designated point. On the other hand, GPS trackers use GPS technology to track a vehicle's current location and trip history. The GPS data is then broadcasted to a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Why is online tracking important? ›

Online tracking systems allow you to access records across multiple devices, so whether you're at your desk or on the job site, you're able to access the information you need quickly and easily.

Which is an example of online tracking *? ›

Can include: other sites you visit, links you click, and how long you stay on the website. Websites or apps selling you something based on information that they have collected about you. Small text files stored on a computer that keep track of what a person does on a website.

What is the purpose of tracking? ›

Tracking Systems. The purpose of a tracking system is to determine the location or direction of a target on a near-continuous basis. An ideal tracking system would maintain contact and constantly update the target's bearing (azimuth), range and elevation.

What is tracking and example? ›

Tracking is a term that refers to all those actions with which indices used to quantify the behavior of certain variables at different points in time are followed and measured. It is closely linked to digital marketing.

Who is tracking my online activity? ›

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can see everything you do online. They can track things like which websites you visit, how long you spend on them, the content you watch, the device you're using, and your geographic location.

How do I prevent online tracking? ›

Here are top 11 ways to stop being tracked online.
  1. Use an anti-tracking browser. ...
  2. Use Tor Browser. ...
  3. Use an anti-tracking extension in your preferred browser. ...
  4. Use a private search engine. ...
  5. Clear private data when closing your browser. ...
  6. Use a VPN. ...
  7. Set your devices to “do not track” ...
  8. Stay private when it comes to public WiFis.

What are the three types of tracking? ›

GPS tracking collects three types of data: positioning, navigation, and timing. Although you may not realize it, this technology has been around for quite some time. In the 1960s, GPS was developed for military use. GPS became available for public use in 1983, and the technology has only grown since then.

Can anyone see what I search on Google on my phone? ›

Yes, they can.

The people who can access this information could be your boss or family member if they control the network. It is best to use security tools: VPNs, HTTPS proxies, and the Tor browser to keep your searches private from them.

Can someone track my browsing history? ›

Who Else Can Track My Browsing History? The sad truth is that anyone can view your browser history and search history. Many websites use cookies that follow you and recommend items based on your search history. Governments can track you if you do something to alert them.

What is the disadvantage of browser tracking? ›

Cons of Web Tracking Cookies: Cookies don't have definite restriction on them because when user surf the internet from the browser, more and more cookies are consumed by the browser and it will be stored within the user's system for quite some time. Unless the user deletes them manually.

What is the simple meaning of tracking? ›

: to follow the tracks or traces of : trail. : to search for by following evidence until found.

Which is the best example of data tracking? ›

Identify actions to track: A data tracking plan focuses on particular user actions, such as clicking a link or viewing a video ad. For example, if you want customers to download your app and buy a monthly subscription, you will track app downloads and who sets up subscription profiles.

What are some tracking methods? ›

Types of Tracking Technology
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) ...
  • Radio Tracking. ...
  • Near-Field Communication (NFC) ...
  • Geofencing. ...
  • Internet Tracking. ...
  • Cellphone Triangulation. ...
  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS) & Satellite Tracking. ...
  • Efficient Tracking Solutions with Geoforce.
Mar 3, 2022

How do I block my phone from being tracked? ›

The best way to block phone tracking is to use a VPN. But you can also change a few settings on your phone or switch to a different browser to stop tracking. You can hide your location via settings, block ad tracking with a dedicated private browser, and encrypt all of your internet traffic with a VPN.

How do I know if I am being tracked? ›

How to Know if Someone Is Tracking Your Phone
  • Unknown Apps. When using your phone, you should look out for applications that you don't remember installing. ...
  • Excessive Background Data Usage. Try to frequently monitor the background data usage of your device. ...
  • Browser History Mismatch. ...
  • Battery Drain. ...
  • Abnormal Reboot.
Apr 13, 2023

Can someone see what I'm doing on my phone? ›

Regardless of whether you use an iPhone or an Android smartphone, it is possible for someone to install spyware onto your phone that secretly tracks and reports on your activity. It's even possible for someone to monitor your cell phone's activity without ever even touching it.

Why is being tracked online bad? ›

Spying and Snooping

Sensors keep track of your browsing history and monitor all your web searches via a range of means. These sensors give them a good idea of what you're doing and your desires, violating online privacy policies and making you publicly accessible.

Why are trackers trying to profile me? ›

Tracking profiles are used to group users together, and profile and target certain users, and the data sold to third-parties. Companies can use these profiles for even more focused ad targeting, and governments might use them purely for monitoring purposes.

What is the code to see if your phone is being tracked? ›

Code to check if phone is tapped: *#21# Code to show unknown connections and tracking (for Android): *#*#4636#*#* or *#*#197328640#*#* Code to show unknown connections and if someone is tracing you (for iPhone): *3001#12345#*

What is an example of online tracking? ›

Examples of online tracking technologies include: Cookies. Cookies are pieces of information that a website places on the hard drive of your computer when you visit the website.

Can websites see your browsing history? ›

Websites tracking browser history

A website can track which of its own webpages a user has visited, which probably isn't too surprising. However, a website can also track a user's browsing history across other websites by using third-party cookies, as long as each site loads the cookie from the same domain.

How do I stop trackers from profiling me? ›

Here are top 11 ways to stop being tracked online.
  1. Use an anti-tracking browser. ...
  2. Use Tor Browser. ...
  3. Use an anti-tracking extension in your preferred browser. ...
  4. Use a private search engine. ...
  5. Clear private data when closing your browser. ...
  6. Use a VPN. ...
  7. Set your devices to “do not track” ...
  8. Stay private when it comes to public WiFis.

Am I being tracked online? ›

Your internet activity can also be tracked by cookies - small bits of text that are downloaded and stored by your web browser. These are used by most websites and services to log a user's online habits, which, again, is data that is then used to tailor ads. It's also used to improve your internet experience as a whole.

How can I browse without being tracked? ›

Here's how to surf anonymously with various tools:
  1. Get a VPN, a proxy server, or Tor.
  2. Use a private email service.
  3. Employ specialized anti-tracking software.
  4. Use a more private search engine.
  5. Get a secure browser.
Feb 18, 2021

How can I hide my browsing history? ›

In this article, we'll look at how to hide your browsing history from your ISP.
  1. ISPs are known to collect and share user data. ...
  2. Use a VPN. ...
  3. Browse with Tor. ...
  4. Change your DNS settings. ...
  5. Install HTTPS Everywhere. ...
  6. Use a privacy-conscious search engine. ...
  7. Bonus tip: Don't rely on incognito mode for privacy.
Sep 22, 2020

Can anyone see what I'm doing on my phone? ›

Long story short: yes, someone can monitor your phone to keep tabs on all your activities. This includes phone calls, texts, browser activity, photos, videos, apps, and more. This is often done via spyware, a form of malware designed for monitoring a device's activity remotely.

Can history be seen after deleted? ›

Even though the folder is gone from the direct view of unwanted people, but the documents still exist and can easily be found with a bit of extra effort. In technical terms, your deleted browsing history can be recovered by unauthorized parties, even after you cleared them. Why is it so?

Can search history be seen after deleted? ›

Important: If you delete Search history that's saved to your Google Account, you can't get it back. You can delete a specific activity, or delete your Search history from a specific day, a custom date range, or all time.


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4. Difference between Regular Tracking and Server-Side Tracking
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5. What Your Boss Can TRACK About YOU with Microsoft Teams
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6. The History Of Internet Tracking And The Battle For Privacy | NBC News NOW
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