#DataPrivacyWeek: Online trackers can detect 80% of users’ browsing history

Online trackers can capture up to 80% of users’ browsing histories, with the practice far more widespread than previously thought. This is according to Norton Labs quarterly report Consumer Cybersecurity Pulse Report, which analyzed online ad trackers from October to December 2021.

It showed that consumers are tracked by an average of 177 different organizations per week as they browse online, raising significant privacy concerns. The researchers noted that the top trackers can show 80% of an average user’s browsing history despite appearing on fewer unique domains.

The study also found that half of tracking organizations a user encounters in a typical week collect this information during the initial two-hour browsing period. This suggests that even if users cleared their browsing history every day, it would only take an average of two hours to find half of all online trackers.

Darren Shou, Chief Technology Officer at NortonLifeLock, commented: “While it is common knowledge that web trackers follow us around the Internet, our online privacy researchers were surprised to find that some online trackers know up to 80% of the history of We hope these findings will shed light on online tracking and empower consumers to take back their privacy online.

The new report also revealed cybercrime and online fraud trends in 2021. The company said it blocked around 3.6 billion cyber threats globally last year, or nearly 10 billion a day. This includes 53.9 million phishing attempts, 221 million file threats, 1.4 million mobile threats and 253,063 ransomware attacks.

Additionally, the researchers revealed how cybercriminals continue to leverage the COVID-19 pandemic to launch fraudulent attacks, as well as consumer interest in popular TV shows. This includes phishing scams disguised as offers of merchandise tied to hit shows.

Last year, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) called on G7 countries to work together to tackle cookie pop-ups and their impact on users’ privacy online.

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