I Already Block Cookies
There are many thoughts and concepts about blocking cookies that come up in conversation. Here we discuss the most prominent objections to increasing your cookie blocking security. Here are the facts:
1. Blocking Cookies on your browser does not block Tracking Cookies
2. Tracking Cookies are invisible to your “Cache” of Cookies
3. Removing Tracking Cookies when you exit your browser does nothing to prevent the Tracking Cookie from transmitting information about your browsing history.
4. “Do Not Track” features on your browser are “Voluntary”. Tracking cookies do not abide by voluntary blocking.
But, I checked the little box on my browser that says “remove cookies on exit”. Isn’t that enough?
Well… That’s a start. That means that you care about who is keeping track of your internet browsing habits. But, tracking cookies are different than the average website cookie. A tracking cookie is placed on a web page by a “Third Party." Someone, or some “thing” that you don’t know and didn’t bargain for. Once they are on your computer, they are there to stay. That is, until you find and delete these intruders with the Tracking Cookie Scanner in SE-OPS.
Think about this: A tracking cookie starts tracking as soon as it is on your computer. It doesn’t wait for you to find it and ask your browser to delete it. It has already reported to its controller everything it can, long before you exit your browser and initiate the “cookie removal” tool. Once again...too little, too late. Even when you do try and remove Tracking Cookies with your “cookie removal” tool on your browser, chances are very, very good that you won’t be able to. The reality is that these cookies rarely show up in your “cookies” folder on your browser. Only legitimate cookies reside there. Tracking Cookies are sneaky. They hide in your browser and on your computer. If they were performing a legitimate task on your computer, then why do they need to be hidden? Makes you wonder what they are up to.
SO, WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT TRACKING COOKIES? ARE THEY HARMFUL? THE TRUTH IS, WE JUST DON’T KNOW HOW HARMFUL THEY CAN BE. WHAT WE DO KNOW IS THAT THEY ARE UNINVITED AND UNAUTHORIZED INTRUSIONS INTO YOUR PRIVACY, AND THEY NEED TO BE STOPPED
There’s already a “Do Not Track Feature” on my browser. Can’t I just use that?
That Depends. Do you want to detect and remove ALL Tracking cookies from your computer, or just the ones that RESPECT the “Do Not Track” Feature on your browser? Here is an excerpt from Mozilla Firefox on the subject. Notice the disclaimer that “Honoring this setting is Voluntary”?!
How does the Do Not Track feature work?
When you turn on the Do Not Track feature, Firefox tells every website you visit (as well as their advertisers and other content providers) that you don't want your browsing behavior tracked. Honoring this setting is voluntary — individual websites are not required to respect it. Websites that do honor this setting should automatically stop tracking your behavior without any further action from you. Turning on Do Not Track will not affect your ability to log in to websites nor cause Firefox to forget your private information — such as the contents of shopping carts, location information or login information.
What is Tracking?
Tracking is a term that includes many different methods that websites, advertisers and others use to learn about your web browsing behavior. This includes information about what sites you visit, things you like, dislike and purchase. They often use this information to show ads, products or services specifically targeted to you.