Any hidden web page object that is used to track visitors without being clearly visible is known as a web bug. They are invisible in order to covertly track a web visitor. If the object was visible, it would get in the way of the page, make visitors suspicious and probably be blocked. Scripts, iframes, images and other objects are used to create web bugs. The images and objects used generally don’t have any borders and are transparent though sometimes they merely blend into the background. The elements of web bugs are downsized to such a degree that the human eye simply cannot see them.
In addition, their tiny size means that their transfer rates will be all but unnoticeable. Visitors are tracked using cookies, IP addresses, header information and much more. Although web bugs may only track the visitor’s current page, there are bugs capable of going through the whole browsing history of an individual. You should not confuse web bugs with the software kind which describes an error, these bugs are deliberately created in order to track visitors.
Why Are Web Bugs Used?
As you might suspect, the whole point of creating web bugs is to improve the level of information garnered from online users for marketing purposes. Proponents of web bugs will say that they are there for a person’s convenience. However, they rightly cause privacy concerns because they aren’t easy to detect which means people can’t opt out. The only real plus point in relation to web bugs is the fact that they can collect useful consumer information and aid in online advertising.
Web Bug Invasion
Unfortunately, web bugs are blatantly misused by those who champion them. The biggest concern is the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a specific limit on the number of different web bugs allowed on any one site. It is also the case where the information is illegally sold. Spam marketers use web bugs to find out if their spam mail is being received. If it is, they know that their emails are bypassing spam filters. Hidden objects are often linked with phishing sites, malware, viruses and other issues that affect your security.