Online Tracking

Deter your security concerns with cookie control


Most computer users have some general knowledge as to what cookies are, and we don’t mean the kind your grandma makes. We are talking about the online tracking every time you visit websites. Learning a little more about a cookie can help you control your privacy easily.  Basically, a cookie is a note passed back and forth from web servers to web browsers. When you visit a website, the browser will send a cookie that has information about your visit to the server.  It can also contain information about you, such as the voluntary information you enter onto their website.

Cookies are used to monitor website activity. Most servers use them to either track which websites receive the most attention or record personal information that a user inputs onto their site so that they can create customization for them.  Cookies are only visible to the site that creates them, which means others cannot see your information. A server does not have access to your computer if you accept a cookie from them, nor are they a means to carry a virus. Some cookies are automatically erased once you leave the website. These are called session or transient cookies.

Regular cookies may be innocent, however there are some cookies out there that are not. The ones that pose a threat to your privacy are called Malicious Cookies, also known as Tracking Cookies. They monitor your online search habits for a period of time to provide advertisers information about weather you are their target audience. Most antivirus software can prevent malicious cookies.

Your computer allows you the tools to control cookies for your own privacy reasons. Under your settings, you can enable them or control how long they may be used. Some may consider simply blocking all cookies, however surfing may be a tad more difficult.  Sites you frequently visit will not remember you or your preferences. Most cookies are harmless and even convenient, and if you keep your antivirus software current, you should rarely worry about the bad ones.