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Singaporeans facing the 2nd highest number of trackers per site following them online

By Ken Wong - on 3 Nov 2022, 9:44am

Singaporeans facing the 2nd highest number of trackers per site following them online

Social media websites in Singapore have on average 143 trackers. Image source: Unsplash.

Research from NordVPN has found that the top 100 websites in Singapore have, on average, a total of 34 trackers keeping an eye on where Singaporeans go online. Social media websites in Singapore have, even more, a whopping 143 trackers on average.

Researchers reviewed the top 100 sites in 25 countries based on their ranking on SimilarWeb and found that websites in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States lead the world in the number of trackers per website. Hong Kong websites have 45.4 trackers for collecting user information, Singapore was second, and the U.S. came in third, with 23 trackers per website.

Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN said:

Singapore residents are tracked so much as the most popular websites they use come from the authoritarian country — China. In most authoritarian countries, websites have a huge amount of trackers installed by the government to control what their residents do online.

Website owners will say they use trackers to improve the users’ experience after analysing how visitors interact with their website.

Trackers may collect information on browsing habits (e.g., websites you visit, what you click on), your IP address, and even personal data (like your email address). Some website owners might sell the data they’ve collected to advertisers, marketers, government agencies, and private companies for profit.

However, cybercriminals can get their hands on this data and use the information to craft a phishing attack by creating a highly personalised and believable message.

According to the study, social media websites had an average of 28 trackers per site. However, this was skewed by the prevalence of tracking used in Hong Kong and Singapore, where social media sites have 169 and 143 trackers on average, respectively. Canada with an average of seven trackers on social media sites. Surprisingly, Adult websites tracked users the least, with just four trackers per website on average.

Fortunately for Singaporeans, the trackers in Singapore are mostly third-party plugins and ad profiling. In other countries with fewer trackers per website, the trackers could be used for functionality purposes.


Keeping yourself safe

These are the number of trackers per category found in the top 100 sites in Singapore. Image source: NordVPN.

According to Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager of Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, HTTP cookies are a necessary part of web browsing as they help web developers give consumers a more personal, convenient website visit. But they can also be a treasure trove of private info for criminals to spy on. Since the data in cookies doesn't change, cookies themselves aren't harmful. They can't infect computers with viruses or other malware. However, some cyberattacks can hijack cookies and enable access to your browsing sessions. The danger lies in their ability to track individuals' browsing histories.

However, consumers have the option to limit what cookies end up on their devices. Kaspersky recommends removing cookies by:

  • Find the Settings, Privacy section — sometimes listed under Tools, Internet Options, or Advanced.
  • Follow the prompts on the available options to manage or remove cookies.
  • To remove tracking cookie infestations and more malicious types, you’ll want to enlist the help of some internet security software
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