[Manual]The True Story About Cookies!

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[Manual]The True Story About Cookies!

Post  Admin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:06 pm

Are cookies really spyware and are they dangerous?

This subject has been the debate of many newsgroups and online forums. Cookies are simply text files stored on your hard drive and cannot themselves harm your computer in any way. Typically cookies are used to remember logins and keep track of user settings on web-sites.

Cookies can be used to track your movement on the Internet ONLY if a site is aware of the cookies and is designed to use the specific cookies. Because of their use in tracking, many feel that this constitutes spyware.

We do not consider cookies to be threats of anywhere near the same level of severity as actual malware threats that can steal real personal information, serve ads, or render a computer unusable.

SUPER AntiSpyware will detect tracking cookies as "Adware.Tracking Cookies" and you can choose to remove them or leave them on your system. You may turn off this feature in the Preferences -> Scanning Control tab of SUPERAntiSpyware should you not wish cookies to be scanned, detected and removed.

The True Story About Cookies!

First let's get right to the point. Cookies are not problems that you need to be concerned with. Too many antispyware programs flag cookies and make them sound like they are high risk items. The truth is that they are not high risk problems and in most cases are actually very useful to you.

This subject has long been debated on the internet and obviously there are many opinions about cookies. Cookies are not executable programs. They are simple text files stored on your PC to help websites (and you) track useful user settings and non-personal information, like which advertisement you last saw (which prevents you from seeing the same ad over and over again).

Yes some cookies are often referred to tracking cookies, but tracking is more complicated then just having a cookie. Every website you visit would have to have knowledge of the particular cookie so that they could use it to add tracking info to it and to make use of it. You will see many antispyware programs indicating various cookies as tracking cookies and this can artifically make detection counts look very high. It is also a sore point when doing comparisons between antispyware programs. If one program detects cookies and another does not, it can make the one that does not detect them look like it is doing a bad job.

Similarly it makes the one detecting them look like a great product since it picks up things the other missed. Thus most (not all) programs will detect cookies to avoid this hazard. Don't be fooled by cookie counting. If cookies are the only thing showing up, you are in good shape. They are not harmful and you can just ignore them or if so desired, you can easily clean them using your browser or other tools like CCleaner.

Useful Links:-

Microsoft Cookies FAQ
Wikipedia HTTP Cookie

Cookie Viewerallows you to discover the information that web sites store on your computer
Cookie Cruncherprotects your hard drive from unwanted cookies

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