Cookies. Harmful or Harmless?

You may have already heard about what cookies are and where are they used. If you haven’t, here is a short definition:
“computer cookies are small text files, which various web sites store on your computer in order to get specific information from it. Cookies are often being used for easier access to different web sites (these cookies usually save your login information or private details).”
In this case, there is no need to be afraid of these small files because they are only capable of helping you and saving your time.

As usually, there is another side of the coin. Yes, there are many harmless and helpful cookies, but, in parallel with that, various harmful cookies are being used by different Internet companies. These are also known as “tracking cookies??½? or “third-party cookies??½? and are able to compromise your privacy in many ways. For example, a company may enable their web site to store a special file onto your computer; this file will keep track on your activities, like web sites you visit, products you purchase or even forms you fill. Although it is unusual for such harmful cookies to steal information you enter into special fields, they are still able to become a reason of various problems. In fact, with the help of tracking cookies major companies may find out a lot of confidential information about you. For example, if you have filled several forms and posted your CV on different web sites, this tracking cookie may make it possible for its owners to know your IP address, your real name and address. All in all, your main “trump card??½? (privacy) will simply fall by the wayside.

Yes, tracking cookies are a real threat for your stability, but there is always a good way of protecting yourself against them. A few years ago Federal Trade Commission became really concerned about how major companies use cookies for tracking. This forced companies to come to the agreement, which helps users in protecting themselves from third-party cookies.

The best way of protecting your privacy is having several opt-out cookies installed. These are just like ordinary cookies, which tell various marketing companies that your PC cannot be tracked anymore. As you see, this is really easy and doesn’t require many efforts. The best thing is that you can download many opt-out cookies by simply clicking on the download button and protect yourself in a few minutes! We would recommend you opting out of several advertising networks by visiting this link:

http://www.networkadvertising.org/optout_nonppii.asp

There is also one way of protecting your privacy from third-party cookies. It is a common technique for many modern browsers to provide their users with so called “Cookie Management Tools??½?. These tools will help you to modify various cookies, change their properties and, as a result of that, protect your privacy. Although this method takes more time, that getting opt-out cookies, it is more flexible and allows you to deal with every harmful cookie you may find.

All in all, we believe that even though the problem of harmful cookies still persists, it is not very dangerous and can be removed easily. All you need is a little bit of knowledge (about opt-out cookies and cookie management tools) and a willingness to make your computer safe and secure.



  • Luca

    Of course. You need to delete tracking cookies all the time, Eventhough they keep coming back.

  • Damian

    I know you asked question along time ago but answer is yes – you should remove anything harmful from you computer when given the chance

  • Stuart Wright

    This article is misguided and alarmist. The scenario of tracking cookies actually being able to personally identify someone is so unlikely that it can be considered insignificant.
    Tracking cookies are fine.

  • Samiullah

    if anti virus does not alarm me about cookies and only browser tries to block the cookies then i need to worry about my pc security ?

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