You hesitantly type in your odious search, and find the porn site which in that moment you feel a magnetizing attraction to. You pore over the endless volumes of pornographic videos. Image after image promises to delight the senses.
You continue scrolling and clicking until you find the video that will satisfy that seductive and overpowering urge. Then — once the confidential and intimate act is complete — you sit for a serene moment.
Phase three of the operation begins. You close the incognito tab, the proof of your activities disappearing into the ether of the internet.
No one is the wiser. Incognito works in this way: You then go on to call and text your friends and family.
Then you factory reset your phone. Through the factory reset, you have just deleted the information on your phone, nothing else. Typically, you are signed into your Google account when you perform Google searches. People clear their search history and caches and think this information just disappears.
So now you have to get rid of that, too. Now for the fun.
Your ISP tracks all the websites you visit, and everything you download or watch. Tracking you straight to your home. So the way around that, would be to use a VPN virtual private network.
With the right letter from law enforcement, your browsing history could be handed out like free samples at Walmart. But a few other parties also have access to that information.
Now to the trackers. PornHub only has three, which is actually extraordinarily low for a website which is entirely dependent on advertising.
For context, YouTube has around 20 on average when you click on a video. The network may notice you prefer gay porn, for instance, and tailor your ads based off of this.
As for Google Analytics, they capture incredibly specific information about you such as all of the above info, your device, your age, your demographic, your IP address, how fast your internet connection is.
PornHub may not technically track you, but their advertisers and Google can tie all of that information to your personal identity. But we trust Google to never use that information in a troubling way Dylan Curran is a Data Consultant and Web Developer, who does extensive research into spreading technical awareness and improving digital etiquette.