Fingerprinting in Affiliate Marketing Explained

17 November 2022
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Traditionally, fingerprinting has been a part of biometrics. Human fingerprint is a unique identifier, which is why it is commonly used in passports or criminal databases. However, this technique is not limited to humans only. When it comes to browsers, fingerprinting can be defined as:

The process of collecting user’s hardware and software information, that can be used to construct a unique identifier. Browser or device fingerprinting techniques are highly complex these days and are mixed with other methods of identifying the user, like cookies, captchas, two-step authentications etc.

Fingerprinting in Affiliate Marketing Explained

Unlike cookies that require user permission to be collected, fingerprints are more intrusive and less regulated. Cookies include logins, passwords, device settings and some other data, that are stored on the user’s PC. They are used to speed up the access to a website. Fingerprint, on the other hand, involves much more data, is harder to counter, and is less likely to be spotted.

If you are interested in knowing which websites collect your fingerprint as well as when and how they do it, you can use the extension like FPMON. It is not that fingerprinting is bad and evil, it is just a way to detect and stop fake users — meaning no traditional account farming for you. It is also used to prevent hackers from using hacked accounts or to improve ad targeting.

While fingerprinting may look like a fiend to any reasonable affiliate, due to the unique identifier, that prevents account farming; it is also a friend, whenever it comes down to tracking the leads, thanks to…the unique identifier! As long as the user utilizes the same device and browser, the fingerprint pattern remains the same.

As a fiend

Fingerprinting can prevent account farming. Fingerprint comprises many elements, including:

  • User-agent (OS, browser, software etc.)
  • Browser language preference
  • Selected time zone
  • Computer display standard (display size, display resolution, color depth, refresh rate)
  • HTML5 support options (Canvas, WebGL)
  • Installed plug-ins with description
  • Fonts

Consequently, any adjustment to these elements will make a new fingerprint. The more elements tweaked — the safer. Furthermore, the methods used for tweaking will yield totally different fingerprints. No human can execute all these operations within a reasonable time frame, without making a mistake, that can cause the chain of bans.

There are several ways of changing the fingerprint. Of course, you can always do this manually, by:

  • Deleting all cookies before starting a new session
  • Disabling Flash and JavaScript
  • Turning off the canvas
  • Switch language and time zone preferences

It is cheap and…software free (almost). However, you will be racing against the artificial intelligence, the memory of which is significantly larger and keeps on growing. Alternatively, you can use browser extensions, like:

The third alternative, is to use VPN and proxy servers. This will not be enough for affiliate marketing, because it conceals your connection and IP address, without doing anything with your browser data. The more you know, we guess…

Finally, meet the anti-detect browsers! Even if they adjust the same fingerprint elements, each one of them is unique in ways how to do this, which also affects the final result. Here is the list of some of the most popular multi-accounting browsers:

Proprietary Freemium Free of Charge
Incognition Dolphin{anty} HydraHeaders
Linken Sphere GhostBrowser (relatively cheap)  
GoLogin AdsPower  
Octo Browser Undetectable  
AEZAKMI    
Multilogin    
Che Browser    
Accovod    
AntBrowser    
VMLogin    
XLogin    
Kameleo    
SessionBox    
HydraProxy    

 

Let us have a closer look at Dolphin{anty}, a highly popular browser among the affiliates. There are 4 service plans: Free, Base ($89 monthly), Team ($159), Enterprise ($299). Even the free version allows creating 10 different fingerprints from a single device. Cache, cookie-files, settings — everything is separated from each other. All the fingerprints are real-people based, meaning the activity on the internet will look as if it was an actual user. Of course, team interactions, accounts monitoring, and proxy are top-notch.

Fingerprinting in Affiliate Marketing Explained

Want to verify your fingerprint is unique and one-of-a-kind? We can suggest you using the following services to check if you have covered up your tracks properly:

As a friend

As we have mentioned earlier, fingerprint is also left by the clients whenever they visit a website that collects such traces. Fingerprint database is a huge asset for targeting the right users during any campaign. Knowing the device can help you to understand the level of user’s welfare, not to mention preferences, highlighted by the cookies and browser history. Besides tailoring the ads to the specific needs of clients’ segment (and doing so precisely), you can theoretically offer different prices, depending on the level of welfare — the possibilities are enormous.

For example, the gaming industry starts to adopt the approach like that, by relying on the Automatic Content Recognition technology. More technical details about the device fingerprinting can be read at Oracle Help Center.

Print and Pin

Device fingerprinting has its pros and cons for affiliate marketing. Its drawbacks can be countered with anti-detect, a.k.a. multi-account, browser, that is designed to store hundreds of virtual accounts on a single device, without the risk of being accused of malicious activity.

Of course, there are different methods of tweaking the fingerprint components. Time zone, language, OS, browser, cookies — everything can be changed even manually, but it cannot be changed fast. No matter how you manipulate the fingerprints, make sure to double-check your virtual accounts to see if they are indeed unique. A single ban might cause an avalanche, that will ruin the whole campaign.

Knowing how to counter the drawbacks of fingerprinting leaves you with advantages only. Fingerprinting is, probably, the best tool for your targeted ads, because it is difficult to adjust, get rid of, or resist to.

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