What is a Cookie?
A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a
Each cookie on the user’s computer is
connected to a particular domain.
Each cookie can be used to store up to 4kB
A maximum of 20 cookies can be stored on a
user’s PC per domain.
"a cookie is a unique identifier that a web server
places on your computer-- a serial number for you
personally that can be used to retrieve your records
from their databases”
It's usually a string of random-looking letters long
enough to be unique."
Once a cookie is attached or 'set' in your computer, it
tracks your movement around the website that sets it
and provides this information back to the site's
The amazing thing about the more intrusive cookies is
that nobody would tolerate this sort of behaviour in real
life. Imagine, for example, being stopped at the
entrance to your local grocery store or gas station and
asked to show identification in order to get in. While
you're there, imagine being observed by a security
guard who takes notes on what you're doing or being
recorded by a hidden camera as you walk around.
Information gathering cookies are not nearly so
obvious, but this is essentially what they do once they
get inside your computer.
The main benefit of cookies is that they help you to
purchase goods or services and have to fill out forms
with your name, address, and payment information.
Cookies remember this personal information so that you
don't have to fill out the same form over and over again
Unfortunately, other cookies help the websites that set
them far more than they help you.
They provide personal information that you may not want
other people to know. Depending on the nature of a cookie, it
can identify the type of computer you're working on, the
software you're using, and in some cases, may even be able
to get your email address.
read), this data may or may not be made available for sale to
outside advertisers, marketing firms, junk e-mailers, and more.
Many cookies remain in your computer for years or even
In the worst cases, cookies are set by sites you've never
heard of while you're navigating your favorite sites.
advertising, analyze website effectiveness, help increase
clients' online revenues, and place or monitor banner ads.
This kind of cookie is capable of tracking your movement
from one website to another, accumulating personal
data, and sometimes making it available for sale to third
Fortunately, you can fight back against these invasions of privacy. Websites like
Aboutcookies.org contain virtually everything you need to know about who's watching
you, what they're doing, how you can find out who they are, and how to control the cookie-
setters in order to keep your personal information personal. They post a page about how
to delete cookies here, and one about how to control cookies here.
For example, I have my computer set to notify me whenever any website tries to set a
cookie in my machine. I have the option of either accepting or declining it. I make this
decision in much the same way as I do in real life. If I'm asking for help, making a
purchase, or requesting information or services, I usually accept the cookie. If I'd rather
look around first, make my decisions later, or find that the site has nothing to offer, I
usually decline the cookie. This turns the tables on the cookie-setters. You find out who
they are before they find out who you are. You watch them as they follow you around and
tell them to leave you alone whenever they get too nosy.
Two other situations where you should think twice before
giving out personal information:
* Junk emails that ask you to reply in order not to receive any
future mailings. NEVER reply to junk emails; NEVER reply to
"unsubscribe" options. Replying is the only way the senders get
your email address. They also learn that you read their garbage
and reply to it than delete it without ever looking.
* Companies that ask you to either call or email in order to get
additional information not provided on their websites. You can
bet you'll be placed on mailing lists with marketing firms if you
do, so think twice about how badly you need what they won't
give you unless you give away personal information first.
HOW IT COMES IN COMPUTER ?
spyware to “mine data” to further
help them advertise better.
Uses your Internet connection
and reports statistical data about
you and your surfing habits to a
And is a completely a LEGAL program!
Spyware is created by real businesses (and sometimes..
-They generate revenue
Competition! They all want your desktop.
What exactly is a Web Bug?
A Web Bug is a graphics on a Web page or in an Email
message that is designed to monitor who is reading the
Web page or Email message. Web Bugs are often invisible
because they are typically only 1-by-1 pixel in size. They
are represented as HTML IMG tags.
Why are Web Bugs invisible on a page?
To hide the fact that monitoring is taking place.
Are Web Bugs always invisible on a page?
Not necessarily. Any graphics on a Web page that is used for monitoring
purposes can be considered a Web Bug.
Are all invisible GIF images, Web Bugs?
No. Invisible GIF files are also used for alignment purposes on Web pages. A
Web Bug will typically be loaded from a different Web server than the rest of
the page, so they are easy to distinguish from alignment GIF files.
What other names are Web Bugs known by?
The Internet advertising community prefers the more sanitized term "clear
GIF". Web Bugs are also known as "1-by-1 GIFs" and "invisible GIFs".
What information is sent to a server when a Web Bug is viewed?
The IP address of the computer that fetched the Web Bug
The URL of the page that the Web Bug is located on
The URL of the Web Bug image
The time the Web Bug was viewed
The type of browser that fetched the Web Bug image
A previously set cookie value
What are some of the uses of a Web
Bug on a Web page?
Ad networks can use Web Bugs to add information to a personal
profile of what sites a person is visiting. The personal profile is
identified by the browser cookie of an ad network. At some later
time, this personal profile which is stored in a data base server
belonging to the ad network, determines what banner ad one is
Another use of Web Bugs is to provide an independent accounting
of how many people have visited a Web site.
Web Bugs are also used to gather statistics about Web browser
usage at different places on the Internet.