Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Cookie Stalker II

Carrying on from The Cookie Stalker I

The are other means of tracking your movements on the Internet other than cookies. Some websites will install unwanted tracking software on your computer. Software that is often completely invisible to the owner.  There is no single way to identify and remove such software. Its better that the tracking software is blocked in the first place from installing itself onto your computer. Your browser may offer some basic method for you to identify and control the tracker software. 

So what can you do to reduce the risk of your computer and your online identity being tracked. It's important to understand the various types of cookies and what they do.

Here are a sample:

Session cookie:- This cookie will only last for as long as you are on the site that set the cookie. It should be deleted when the browser is closed.

Persistent cookie:- The cookie will self delete on a date and time that is set inside the cookie. The cookie will be accessed each time you connect to the website.

Secure cookie:- If the cookie is set with an HTTPS attribute, the cookie is encrypted.

Third-party cookie:- The cookie is created by one website and shared by other sites.

Super cookie:- Tracking cookies that can be created by applications, such as Adobe Flash. These cookies can store up to 10MB of data and can track user behavior across multiple sites.

Zombie cookie:- These cookies are automatically re-created after being deleted. 

Cookies can sometimes be less than useful as the files can hide in your computer. So that websites can track your browsing Activities. Collecting information, such as account names and passwords. The cookies may seem harmless yet they can threaten your on-line identity if used maliciously. All browsers will let you delete cookies. However it is better to use an application that will delete even the zombie type cookies.

I prefer to use a bit of software that can you can use to remove cookies from all your browsers at once. I use a selection of browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari) as some websites are built to take advantage of various browser application. I use  a free program called CCleaner to do the business. The software will also clean up your registry and your recycle bin.


Continued in The Cookie Stalker III


  1. Hi Mike,

    I tried installing the free version of CCleaner but it also installed a mountain of other things!! When I went onto the link you put in the blog it said it couldn't download it from there and directed me to somewhere else. Any ideas?

    NB Mary H

  2. Hello Linda.

    Sorry about that - its called 'drive by installations.'

    When you install the software, there will be a box that is ticked to say that you agree with certain conditions. There will be another box that you have to untick to stop loading other unwanted software. I have used CCleaner for about three years and just do the odd update. The 'drive by software' is something new since I did the first install.

    I should do a blog posting on drive by software as well.




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