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  • Writer's pictureTara Grey

How Does a Website Know My Location?

Sometimes when you visit certain websites, like Facebook or Google, you'll notice that information or ads on that page will be marketed directly to you, as if they know where you're located. Other times, a pop-up box will actually ask you for permission to "know your location". You then have the option to Allow or Deny that request. If you Allow the request, information on that particular website will be targeted to your location. Think of it this way: If you plan to shop online at Shoprite or Staples but plan to pick up your order in person, the website will know which store is closest to you and if your items are in stock at that location, so that's beneficial.

This advertising is called Geo-Targeting. It's able to collect a few pieces of information from your computer to determine your location such as your city, state, and country. Nothing more. The only way a website would be able to know more personal information about you is if you were to provide that information by filling out a form. Name, address, phone number, etc. are NOT able to be tracked by the process of Geo-Targeting.

Besides location, a website may also be able to know the type of computer, internet service and browser that you use.

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