More and more users are deciding to use VPNs to hide their Internet searches and effectively block 3rd parties from both spying on them and in most cases aggregating their data and selling them in giant data blocks. These datablocks have been sold with impunity throughout the world and in many cases we don’t even know where that data is being sent or sold.
While this isn’t an issue for regular web browsers and ISPs, there is an issue with analytics and tracking user data especially when it comes to using different CMS. Tracking user data becomes harder and harder the more people rely on super discrete apps and decentralized platforms like VPNS and other online security protocols.
While this might not affect ISPs at a local level it does change the way users can be monitored, segmented and tracked with individual tracking codes. Today we will discuss a few of the ways in which VPNS can seriously affect analytics data.
Take a look at the image below which provides us with some valuable insight about online privacy, image thanks to VPN Singapore.
Scrappers Aren’t Traffic
When you look at the search traffic for a given keyword there is a fair amount of that traffic that is run via web scrapers or other “spam-bots” these web entities crawl websites night and day looking for specific commands to execute or record in a database. While it might be beneficial for the parties involved it does place an artificial strain on the server itself and leads to a lot of false-positives in your analytics data.
A user that lacks interaction can easily be identified as a bot, but some bots are sophisticated enough that they can actually mimic user behaviour using a macros or another tool.
IP Location Database Issues
When you look at your analytics data you can see where people are searching from based on their IP address. This becomes complicated when thousands of people are using VPNs with randomly chosen IP addresses and other services that aggregate IP information.
Cookies Don’t Work so Well With VPNS
Even affiliate cookies or other cookies installed on visitor’s browsers to track their video, social or network sites use a series of cookies to ensure that behaviour is tracked and can be quantified. Again, this presents an issue when the IP is suddenly changed as the cookies loses it point of communication.
This can provide some benefits to a WAN (wide area network), however from the perspective of the server it utilizes resources that aren’t needed.
Overall I won’t say that VPNs are placing a strain on the system of analytics and tracking, however, I would mention that as the technology expands it allows for a more robust set of designs and protocols that can accomplish the same while still maintaining privacy. One of these manifestations are blockchain based technologies which promise to liberate Internet uses and improve anonymity.