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Fancy A Cookie With Your Online Privacy?

Fancy A Cookie With Your Online Privacy?

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Needless to say, the Internet contributes to our lives in so many ways. Information exchange, social networking, business, or even booking a last minute holiday: it all happens online. Surfing the web, however, leaves traces behind. Invisible to our eyes, but collected by small files, called cookies. Whether they turn into a monster threatening our online privacy or stay helpful often remains unknown to the user.

So what's a cookie for? It's used to help websites remember your preferences and other information about you, so that they can easily provide relevant content to you next time you visit. It can be your username and password, for example, so you don't have to enter them each time. However, cookies can be of a different kind, too.

A UC Berkeley pilot study found that while more than half of the most popular websites use a hardly known feature of Adobe's Flash plug-in to track users and store information about them, only a small percentage of the websites let users know about Flash cookies in their privacy policy. And while traditional cookies can be controlled through the browser's cookie privacy control, Flash cookies can only be deleted by Adobe Flash Player. But this task poses a challenge even for experienced users. To take it a step further, several services even recover deleted cookies, using the Flash data stored on your computer. Adobe's Flash software is installed on over 98% of PCs and powers, as a key component, video players for sites like YouTube.

Why do websites track users so closely? It's all about business, of course. To improve services and to collect information that help them segment users into different categories, which is just the precious information advertisers pay for, and need in order to target specific groups. The more they know about your personality, the more specific are the ads they can lure you with.

Even though cookies themselves can't harm your computer, unfortunately they can contain certain information that leads a possible attacker to it. That's why it's crucial that you either regularly scan or disable cookies in your browser's privacy control. Trouble is, many cookies, like Flash and some others, require complicated procedures to remove and, as we already mentioned, some get resurrected even after you deleted them. So why not go for an all-in-one solution that provides both easy control and full protection against possible malicious cookies? Let east-tec Eraser take care of them, so you can keep on browsing with peace of mind, and better online privacy.