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Watch porn on the Internet: How users are spied on

How safe is it to surf porn portals on the net? What data is passed on? What are the benefits of the incognito mode? You can find out more here.

Even if nobody wants to admit it – portals like Pornhub, Youporn, XVideos or Xhamster are known by almost every Internet user. Many people visit these sites every day. According to “Vice” magazine, one in eight sites visited in Germany is one with erotic content.

The site XVideos records a monthly number of visitors of about 1.63 billion users and is therefore the leader in this area. However, very few users are aware of the data you pass on to the operators and also to third parties.

Behind the porn-business is now a lot of money. It’s not just about direct income from subscriptions or other paid offers, but also about private data that is passed on to the advertising industry.

Incognito mode: How do I surf the net anonymously?
Many browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Safari offer to surf “hidden”. And this is how it works:

Safari: In the browser toolbar, click on “File, then on “New private window”.
Mozilla Firefox: At “Open menu” you will find the item “private window”.
Google Chrome: Go to the settings and select “New incognito window”.
Internet Explorer: If you open a new tab, you will find the “InPrivate Browsing” button there.
You can also use the anonymous browser windows with your app on your smartphone.

Porn on the Internet: How safe is the “incognito” mode actually?
When surfing privately, no cookies are stored and the pages visited are not found in the browser history. This means there are no permanent traces when you surf anonymously. But this only affects the computer you are currently using. On the Internet you still leave data behind.

The blogger Brett Thomas assumes that the private mode hardly offers the user any protection. For website operators and the advertising industry it is nevertheless a child’s play to get to the data of the users. Thus also the identity of the user can be found out.

Via so-called “tracking tools”, the pages record all data they receive. For example, search queries for porn sites are stored and evaluated in order to optimize the offer. Each click on the dirty pages thus provides information about user behavior. Especially the “share” buttons and the advertising banners collect a lot of user data, like the IP address. These are also forwarded to social media platforms such as Facebook and search engines such as Google, so that they can play out personalized advertising.

“When watching porn on the net – even in incognito mode – you should assume that one day the search history will be published and your name will be added to it,” summarizes the data protection blogger.

By the way: Women also watch porn – and they watch different things than some might think.

Anonymity on the Net: What helps against tracking?
Experts assume that it is hardly possible today to act completely “invisible” on the net. But there are ways to cover your tracks. Programs such as the “Tor” browser, for example, where the identity is encrypted with a complex system, can help here.

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