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I don't know the exact term for this but there is a way for websites to know where you've been surfing by using hidden links in the page to many other pages and checking if your browser marks them as "visited" or "new". [Link to an article by arstechnica mentionning this technique]

Now I like my browsing history, I like to scan it to find old articles and websites I visited, but I don't like Facebook or other websites scanning it to offer me better deals. Or just to steal information and draw a user profile. Is there a way to prevent this? If possible without killing the "visited" feature in my browser, or for just let them read the past 24 hours?

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Firefox has support for a "privacy" mode. If you don't want Facebook to track you don't log into your account and block tracking cookies. – Ramhound Jul 16 '13 at 11:40
Use a different browser for Facebook :) – Bernhard Jul 16 '13 at 11:48
You can ask for them to not track you – Raystafarian Jul 16 '13 at 11:50
@Raystafarian: DNT unfortunately is DOA and no advertiser gives a damn about it. The entire process was a massive trainwreck. – Karan Jul 16 '13 at 15:38
@Karan well yeah, but I didn't want to get into the politics of the big brother state we're in. – Raystafarian Jul 16 '13 at 15:58
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The technique is called CSS history sniffing. From everything I can find, the various major browsers built in fixes for this problem a couple of years ago (see this blog post for example).

These attacks work via Javascript, so the easiest way to block them is to just disable Javascript. Of course, most of the web is broken and depends on Javascript for even the most basic layout and text display, so you'll have a hard time browsing. You can use NoScript for Firefox, which will let you selectively enable Javascript for websites that you trust.

I would also recommend browsing with a combination of Privoxy (a privacy proxy) and Polipo (a fast caching proxy) to generally limit the kinds of nasty things that bad websites can do.

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I would like to recommend Ghostery as well. – Karan Jul 16 '13 at 15:39

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