How does Ixquick handle user agents?
Last modified on 12 March 2017 07:19 PM

A user agent identifies your browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) and provides certain system details to the websites you visit. Your web browser automatically sends this information to every webpage you visit. The user agent data helps websites tailor their pages and content to your browser and platform. You can refer to Wikipedia and Microsoft for additional information on user agents here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_agent

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms537503(v=vs.85).aspx

Ixquick does not store your user agent data. That is very important, because user agent data can be used to "fingerprint" your browser and identify you. We never collect or store add-on details either, as they are specific enough to make browser fingerprinting possible. The only information we log is total search numbers conducted per language, as an aggregate figure. To learn how browser fingerprinting threatens privacy, please read EFF's useful Panopticlick overview: http://panopticlick.eff.org

Ixquick uses your user agent as follows: To customize the "Add to ...." message on our home page. Ixquick uses the user agent string to customize the home page (www.ixquick.com) where it provides instructions to add Ixquick to your browser. (That's under the search box where it says "Add to Internet Explorer," "Add to Firefox," "Add to Safari," etc.) Those directions differ from browser to browser, so we tailor the instructions you see.

User agent data helps us prevent our service from being "scraped" by automatic programs or bots. One way we can identify bots is that they often do not send user-agents, while a normal user of our service would. This is why we do not allow access to Ixquick by visitors who do not transmit a user agent.

A number of browsers also offer add-ons so that you can "fake" your user agent data thereby enhancing your privacy and overcoming the perceived scraping obstacle.

A final word about fingerprinting techniques: Ixquick does not attempt to "fingerprint" and track visitors, under any circumstances. Ixquick opposes the use of so-called "canvas fingerprinting" and evercookies, and does not use these or any other techniques to gather and retain data about you, your computing environment, or your browsing habits. If you are concerned about the use of canvas fingerprinting or evercookies, our Proxy can protect you from both when browsing web sites.

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