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Thread: Cookie query

  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
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    Cookie query

    I have tried wading through the Wikipedia article on cookies but I prefer a simpler explanation. I understand that we need to have cookies enabled for most transactions, including contributions to this forum. I also gather that there are cookies we prefer not to have, such as tracking cookies, although I may be mistaken.

    So much security software is now in multipurpose suites that I would like to know if any programs or suites deal with cookies automatically for us, and if so what they are, or even if such a thing is needed. (I am using Kaspersky Suite 2009, but I also have a licensed copy of Ad-Aware that I uninstalled.)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Cookie query

    Cookies are generally useful except, as you point out, that you might not want certain aspects of your browsing history linked together. Advertisements placed on numerous web sites by the same network will enable the network to understand your interests better and serve you more targeted ads. But this is only possible if you accept their cookies. If you reject them, then the network only knows about the page you currently are visiting. How much you care about this is up to you.

    All major browsers let you block or allow cookies by domain, but this requires ongoing work to fine-tune. I'm sure there are programs that can help identify cookies you might and might not want, or which can try to handle everything automatically, but no program will match your needs perfectly.

    (I'm not sure I'm helping here...)

  3. #3
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    Re: Cookie query

    Yes, it is a help. I was entangled in a transaction recently in which it appears that I had deleted or otherwise messed up a cookie that was required, and only later did I figure out that the Webroot utility Window Washer, which I use from time to time, was set to delete cookies, although the browsers accept them. Now it appears that the utility can be set to be selective in the manner you suggested (no automation, from the look of it). That took me to the general question, which you have helped answer.

    I havenít seen any helpful discussions about the subject, so I thought Iíd start here. Links are welcome, as any number of users might be interested.

  4. #4
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    Re: Cookie query

    If you don't want to decide whether to allow cookies on a site-by-site basis, you could allow websites to set cookies for themself but not for other websites (so-calld third-party cookies; those are usually "tracking cookies").

    For Internet Explorer 6/7:
    Select Tools | Internet Options...
    Activate the Privacy tab.
    Click Advanced.
    Tick "Override automatic cookie handling".
    Click Block under "Third-party cookies.
    Click OK.

    For Firefox 3:
    Select Tools | Options...
    Activate the Privacy tab.
    Clear the check box "Accept third-party cookies".
    Click OK.

  5. #5
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Cookie query

    . . . and in Opera, go to Preferences, the Advanced tab, the Cookies option and select "Accept only cookies from the site I visit".

    Ian

  6. #6
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    Re: Cookie query

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Re: Cookie query

    That is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for. Thank you all.

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