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Thread: Study: Cookies in security crosshairs

  1. #1
    AO French Antique News Whore
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Study: Cookies in security crosshairs

    An increasing number of people are blocking cookies or deleting them to protect their privacy or security, according to a new Jupiter Research study.

    Nearly 58 percent of online users deleted the small files, which are deposited on computers to track Web site habits, the research firm's 2004 survey found. As many as 39 percent may be deleting cookies from their primary computer every month, according to the study, released on Monday.

    The market researcher attributes the trend to heightened concern over privacy and security issues among Internet users. Many people are using anti-spyware and firewall applications, it said.

    "Many of these applications block third-party cookies by default, and many more will regularly delete cookies from consumers' computers," the report stated.

    According to a consumer survey quoted by Jupiter Research, 38 percent said they consider cookies invasive of their security and privacy. Lawmakers and consumer lobbies have been considering the impact of cookies, and network security company Netcraft on Monday pointed out the risks to personal information posed by the theft of cookies by attackers using cross-scripting flaws.

    For online businesses, the trend means that cookies may not be an accurate method of tracking regular visitors to their Web sites. If users block cookies, accurate measurement is compromised and higher numbers may be categorized as anonymous, the study said.

    "Given the number of sites and applications that depend heavily on cookies for accuracy and functionality, the lack of this data represents (a) significant risk for many companies," analyst Eric Peterson said in a statement. "Because personalization, tracking and targeting solutions require cookies to identify Web visitors over multiple sessions, the accuracy of these solutions has become highly suspect, especially over longer periods of time."
    Source : http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-5618296.html

    It's interesting to see that peoples are starting to secure their computer; cookie might not a real thread but it's a good start.
    -Simon \"SDK\"

  2. #2
    AO's MMA Fanatic! Computernerd22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Miami, FL
    Nice article SDK.

    There are two types of cookies session and persistent.

    Session cookies -
    Also called a transient cookie, a cookie that is erased when the user closes the Web browser. The session cookie is stored in temporary memory and is not retained after the browser is closed. Info from
    : http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/session_cookie.html

    Persistent cookies -
    Also called a permanent cookie, or a stored cookie, a cookie that is stored on a userís hard drive until it expires (persistent cookies are set with expiration dates) or until the user deletes the cookie. Persistent cookies are used to collect identifying information about the user, such as Web surfing behavior or user preferences for a specific Web site.
    Info from: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/P/persistent_cookie.html

    On a side note: I think a lot of consumers have the wrong idea about cookies. A lot of them think cookies are spyware. Cookies are data, not applications, that are stored on the hard-drive. A very useful tool for insepecting cookies can be found here


    Also, a lot of useful information about cookies can be found here:


    I hope this helps. Computernerd22

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