Online Tracking Slows Down Web Browsing, Wastes Data

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Sep 14, 2015 03:40 am PST

Research shows that F-Secure’s Freedome VPN can speed up web browsing by as much as 89 per cent, and save data by blocking third part tracking.

Using tracking protection reduces can reduce loading times while browsing the web – in some cases by as much as 89 per cent. That’s according to a new study conducted by online security provider F-Secure, and researchers say the results highlight the extent to which third party tracking cookies are being abused by websites. Without proper measures in place, this “digital pollution” can turn web browsing into a sluggish experience and force customers to use data without their consent.

F-Secure Labs conducted the study by browsing through 50 high-ranking Alexa sites* with and without Freedome’s Tracking Protection. The experiment found that popular websites consistently loaded faster and used less bandwidth when Freedome’s Tracking Protection was in use. Load times decreased between three and 89 per cent, with an average reduction of 30 per cent. Page sizes were reduced between three and 55 per cent, with an average reduction of 13 per cent. Some websites contained as many as 95 trackers, which people can now see for themselves by using Freedome’s new Tracker Mapper feature.

According to Sean Sullivan, F-Secure’s security advisor, the results show that online tracking has become a serious problem and is costing people time and money. “Websites can typically justify some degree of online tracking to help them deliver better services to people, but this experiment shows that it’s become way out of hand,” said Sullivan. “The amount of tracking is increasing the amount of work browsers are doing and giving people a browsing experience like they, or maybe their parents, got in the 90s with dial-up Internet. It’s basically becoming digital pollution that’s eating up bandwidth, which justifies higher prices for data, which are then passed on to consumers.”

Freedome’s Tracking Protection works by completely blocking requests from tracking services and by removing cookies that belong to advertising networks. Blocking this data gathering cuts down the amount of data being transferred online, which is why Freedome was able to increase browsing performance.

“Tracking Protection is basically cutting out the noise third party cookies are creating on the Internet,” said Janne Pirttilahti, F-Secure’s director, Next Gen Security. “That’s noise that people don’t want, but are being tricked into paying for. So using some kind of Tracking Protection basically prevents the business interests of companies looking to collect data from giving you a frustratingly slow, and pardon me for saying so, crappy online experience.”

Sullivan added that it’s time for websites to “course correct” and re-examine how they deploy tracking technologies. People looking to send this message to companies can use Freedome’s Tracking Protection feature to help them enjoy a premium online experience. Mac and Windows PC users can also turn the tables on internet tracking by signing up here to beta test Tracker Mapper feature, which lets people see the third party cookies that track them as they browse the web. Beta testers will receive a code that gives them a free two-month subscription to Freedome.[su_box title=”About F-Secure” style=”noise” box_color=”#336588″]f-secureF-Secure was founded in Helsinki, Finland in 1988. There were just a few of us back then – a few passionate people who cared deeply about doing things right. A lot has changed in all those years. The digital world grew up, and so did we. But although we’re now a world leader in security, we’ve never lost the values we were established on – privacy, integrity, transparency and trustworthiness.The battles have changed through the years. Malware and other online threats evolve, but the fight remains the same.[/su_box]