Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » W »

Web beacon

A Web beacon is an often-transparent graphic image, usually no larger than 1 pixel x 1 pixel, that is placed on a Web site or in an email that is used to monitor the behavior of the user visiting the Web site or sending the email. It is often used in combination with cookies.

When the HTML code for the Web beacon points to a site to retrieve the image, at the same time it can pass along information such as the IP address of the computer that retrieved the image, the time the Web beacon was viewed and for how long, the type of browser that retrieved the image and previously set cookie values.

Web Beacons Monitor Activity

Web beacons are typically used by a third party to monitor the activity of a site. A Web beacon can be detected by viewing the source code of a Web page and looking for any IMG tags that load from a different server than the rest of the site. Turning off the browser's cookies will prevent Web beacons from tracking the user's activity. The Web beacon will still account for an anonymous visit, but the user's unique information will not be recorded.

Web beacon is also called a Web bug or a pixel tag or a clear GIF.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
LATEST ARTICLES
SEO Dictionary

From keyword analysis to backlinks and Google search engine algorithm updates, our search engine optimization glossary lists 85 SEO terms you need... Read More »

Slideshow: History of Microsoft Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems for personal computers. In this article we look at the history of Microsoft operating... Read More »

Slideshow: Interesting Facts About Google Search

From Goats to Penguins, a server outage and trillions of searches, our slideshow presents interesting facts about Google and the Google.com... Read More »

STUDY GUIDES
Java Basics, Part 1

Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »

Java Basics, Part 2

This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »

The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »