How to block Canvas Fingerprinting in Firefox browser

Archaic methods of tracking users via cache and cookies mechanisms are always there. But of late, there has been a new invasive method for tracking users across the Internet – Canvas fingerprinting. The mechanism takes advantage of the Canvas API in modern browsers, which interacts with a computer’s graphics chip and allows users to play games and interact with web pages. Here, invisible images are delivered to the browser with malicious intentions and then sent back to the server with a “fingerprint” of the computer and location.

If you are a Firefox user, spare few minutes and read this post, chances of you falling prey to this web’s trickiest privacy threat could be reduced if not removed to a large extent.

Canvas Fingerprinting blocker

Canvas fingerprinting is fact, one of a number of browser fingerprinting techniques of tracking online users. It operates through JavaScript; it is therefore considered as safe and best practice to block it. One of the easiest options available to users to disable JavaScript. The other way is to get the new Firefox add-on CanvasBlocker. The ingenious add-on blocks the canvas element on pages that you visit.

By default, the add-on is configured to ask for permission for visible canvas elements since sites may use the canvas element for purposes other than user tracking.

But you can add to the blacklist or the white-list as per your requirement.

canvas blocker

You can invariably change the options if you prefer a different setting. The options listed are,

  1. Blocking all canvas elements on all pages
  2. Only allowing whitelisted elements
  3. Block canvas only on blacklisted sites or to allow everything.

Canvas fingerprinting blocker

Both whitelist and blacklist are maintained in the preferences as well. Google domains and the author’s own domain are whitelisted from the beginning with options to change them any time.

Download page: CanvasBlocker.

Canvas Defender is another Firefox addon that can help you. Instead of completely blocking canvas fingerprinting, Canvas Defender add-on creates a unique and persistent noise that hides your real canvas fingerprint. This add-on protects you while browsing both in normal and private mode.

See how to block Canvas Fingerprinting in Chrome.

Last words, avoiding this new threat from tracking users is not impossible, all you need to do is spare few minutes and follow the above mentioned steps. Using the TOR web browser, Chameleon browser, Ghostery, are some of the other ways which may help you protect your privacy online.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.

4 Comments

  1. Bad_Attitude

    If you use the new version of Google Maps you do not want to “block everything.” Found that out the hard way. The extension works very well but for me “ask for permission” became a little too annoying and didn’t help my OCD issues. 😉 After further research I found out that the EasyPrivacy filter for Adblock will block the script from being able to report back and I’ve decided to just rely on that, already using it anyway.

  2. Vince Thor

    Thanks, thats a nice add on, there are 2 more Add on, if you like to try, its Better Privacy, here you can disable PING TRACKING & it removes LSOs’ & Certificate Patrol, it checks all Website Certificates. Can you tell me any Extension or App for Google Chrome Browser which stops Canvas Finger Printing, Pixel Tracking & Ping Tracking ?

  3. Jack

    For starters it would block the fingerprinting THIS WEBSITE is doing!!!

  4. It is the advertising, the social sharing buttons & widgets, the analytics, etc, that do it. We don’t actually do it. Its this way with almost all websites.

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