Have you ever read a web page and wondered what all that weirdness in the URL means? It’s not rocket science, but there is madness behind the method of how those URLs are put together, and you can learn how to use it to your advantage. Hidden in plain view are the tracking codes companies like Google, LinkedIn, Amazon, and others use to track where you go online and how you got there. Trimming those codes from your URLs is easy, makes your links friendlier, and prevents would-be online trackers and their marketing masters from keeping tabs on you. Come along as we hack some URLs so you can clean that marketing malware from the links you use and share with others.

Bronwen Aker has played with computers since elementary school when she was introduced to FORTRAN programming using bubble cards. She worked for twenty years in web development, and as a technical trainer, before entering the world of cybersecurity. Today she is a graduate of the 2017 SANS CyberTalent Academy for Women, works part-time for SANS as a Subject Matter Expert and for Black Hills Information Security (BHIS) as a technical editor, all while she finishes her bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. When not playing with computers, virtual and otherwise, she likes to go on long walks in the mountains with her dogs.