Saturday, May 28, 2011

Internet Security Guide: Cookies

 Cookies have been around for a while, in fact the first initial specification were put out October 13th, 1994. The browser it was made for the Netscape browser. Now I am not going to go on talking about how Cookies work so I will just share with you a site I think has a very good and simple explanation of how cookies work and what they are used for. Now cookies can make our internet browsing simple. Allowing one click access to your site, but along with the simplicity privacy issues also rise up.

 The debate on the privacy of cookies has come up for a while now. Advertiser's can collect lots of data that they can sell for money by tracking your online usage. Now a few different types of cookies exist: You have the regular HTTP cookie which is also sometimes divided up into two groups which would either be a tracking cookie or non tracking cookie. Then you have flash cookies which are harder to block then regular cookies due to the fact that when you set your browser to reject cookies that does not include flash cookies. Then you have the even harder to remove evercookie which rebuilds itself if you attempt to delete it.

 Now for some good news, if you are a Firefox, Chrome, or Safari user I know of a tool to help prevent cookies if you dislike them. Somewhere out there their is most likely a tool to help block them on IE but I have not used one personally. The tool is known as Ghostery and it has a feature that you may like. Ghostery has a feature so that when you close your internet browser it will delete all the flash and silverlight cookies. It also has a new feature that is currently in testing (its off by default) that will prevent cookies from being installed in the first place. If you are looking for a tool to prevent cookies Ghostery may be the tool you are looking for.

 Now if you would just like to Cleanup your cookies every once in a while I know of another tool that may be of good use for you. This tool is called CCleaner and it is a great tool for cleaning up cookies and other temp internet files. Please note though if you run that do not use the registry cleaner if you do not know what you are doing. You could cause major damage without knowing what you are doing.

 If you have any suggestions/tips about staying safe from cookies make sure you leave a note in our comment section with your ideas so everyone can learn from your knowledge. 

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