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heaton
09-07-2003, 12:53 PM
In windows XP I have opted for the option of advising me when a website wants to put a cookie on my system. In this F1 website I get a persistant advice that someone called IMRWORLWIDE.COM wants to put a cookie on my system.
Now I thought firewalls were designed to protect me from other people wanting to put something on my computer. I know some cookies are needed to be able identify me to some websites but how do I know whether these intrusions are benign or whether they are sussing me out for all their popup ads and things. I went into my cookie file and was amazed at the amount of stuff in there. Should I delete them all or what. I searched the FAQ but cant find anything about cookies. Cheers.......heaton

KiwiTT
09-07-2003, 01:09 PM
Take a look at

http://lists.gpick.com/pages/Hosts_File_Administration.htm

This will help minimise the number of cookies you get.

I suggest you set it to medium-high.

You can also have you cookies saved to a ramdrive which would be automatically deleted when you reset your PC.

stu140103
09-07-2003, 01:16 PM
> In windows XP I have opted for the option of advising
> me when a website wants to put a cookie on my system.
> In this F1 website I get a persistant advice that
> someone called IMRWORLWIDE.COM wants to put a cookie
> on my system.

I think that will be the ads on here that want to put that cookie on your computer.

> Now I thought firewalls were designed to protect me
> from other people wanting to put something on my
> computer.

Yep that is sort of correct, in a nut shell firewalls are they to stop hackers getting in & to stop some Programs etc... Getting out

>I know some cookies are needed to be able
> identify me to some websites but how do I know
> whether these intrusions are benign or whether they
> are sussing me out for all their popup ads and
> things. I went into my cookie file and was amazed at
> the amount of stuff in there. Should I delete them
> all or what. I searched the FAQ but cant find
> anything about cookies. Cheers.......heaton

** Think about tonight writing a FAQ on cookies**

They are safe to delete,( I delete mine every few months)
But I hope you know all your username/passwords :)
Also do not delete the press f1 cookie, or you will have to login again.

Hope this helps

jockT
09-07-2003, 06:07 PM
Even my bank wont accept me unless I allow them but Opera can be set to delete new cookies on exit.

tommy
09-07-2003, 08:31 PM
Some cookies save you from having to re-enter preferences and log-in information on forums, etc such as Press F1 and others do track your movements on the internet. If you are using Internet Explorer you can go to Tools | Options and Delete Cookies to delete them all in one hit. It will do no harm to do this as long as you know all your passwords in order to log back in to Press F1 etc.

You are able to increase your security within Options to prevent all sites putting a cookie on your system but you may find your access to certain sites restricted if you do this. You could either try the Medium High setting or try experimenting to see what level of security suits you.

heaton
10-07-2003, 02:09 PM
Thanks for all the info and comments. I have been doing a bit of research myself and opinions vary. There is something called a third party cookie and I have my suspicions that this is where a website sells info to a third party which then puts a cookie on your computer in order to target you with advertising stuff. Now I consider this and other forms of intrusion WITHOUT EXPLAINING TO YOU WHAT IS BEING DONE is not on, in my scheme of things. I propose to copy out my list of cookies and try and search for the originators and ask them what the heck. If it is so easy for cookies to invade your system then it becomes so much more easy for cookies to turn into burnt toast and splinter your dentures. In other words what is an innocent intrusion and what is a trojan horse or worm ?
Any more thoughts ? heaton

Susan B
10-07-2003, 02:40 PM
Websites can put cookies onto your computer and do so to keep track of visitors but they cannot put a trojan horse or worm on your computer just by you visiting their site.

Trojans and worms are lumped in with viruses and come in through email attachments and downloaded programs. Your up-to-date anti-virus program will keep those out, along with safe computing practices (eg don't open attachments without scanning first).

As far as third-party cookies go, yes they probably are collecting info to sell or whatever and you can avoid those through setting your cookie security a bit higher as someone else has explained.

Do remember too, that unless you have given out information voluntarily, such as subscribing to Press F1 then websites can only track where your computer has been and not the person/people using it. In other words, they cannot identify you personally.

I would just empty your cookie folder every now and then, crank the security settings a little higher and not worry about them. :-)

KiwiTT
10-07-2003, 03:11 PM
>Websites can put cookies onto your computer and do so to keep track >of visitors but they cannot put a trojan horse or worm on your computer >just by you visiting their site.

This is incorrect. Simply viewing a webpage can cause infection. (see http://vil.nai.com/vil/content/v_99279.htm)

This is a virus written in 2001, who knows what they have written by now.

Best to keep your OS, Firewall and Anti-Virus up to date at all times as virus writers are getting better all the time.

Jim B
10-07-2003, 04:47 PM
Heaton, don't get too concerned about Cookies, they are relatively harmless and can really enhance your browsing experience when going to regularly visited sites.

A cookie is NOT a secret way for a web server to find out everything about you or to steal all your passwords. Cookies contain only text and cannot damage your computer, cause programs to run or sneak a Trojan horse or virus in. Your browser is designed to work with cookies and could only ever let text in. The only way that any private information could be found within a cookie would be from you personally giving that information in the first place. Also, each cookie is marked with what web server it is for and your browser will not give cookie information back except to the relevant server(s).

You should be more concerned about what information is sent from your system each time you visit a web site and there is nothing you can do about it, go to this link and you will be surprised.

http://privacy.net/analyze/

heaton
10-07-2003, 08:17 PM
Jim B: Thanks for your comments and info. I clicked on the link and accessed the site PRIVACY NET aand now more confused than ever. The amount of stuff on that side boggles the mind of a 79 year old non geek like me. I guess I will just have to accept that cookies are harmless as you say and just get on with it.
However I am learning, learning and forever learning, so thank everbody for you help. cheers.......heaton