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Thread: computer ? Is there a Super Cookie?

  1. #1
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    computer ? Is there a Super Cookie?

    For you computer gurus out there. I use a program that empties my temps, Internet history, cookies, deletes, etc. every eight hours and whenever I shut down. But, when I visit Amazon.com, even without logging in, the site recognizes me and makes shopping suggestions. For Amazon, I don't really mind this. I think they are an OK company. But, the idea that a company can peek into my computer, without being logged in as a member, is kinda spooky. Since I delete my cookies, the question comes to mind: Is there a type of 'Super Cookie' that does not get deleted by normal means?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  2. #2
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    Frank, is this happening to you even if you formally sign out of Amazon?

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...?nodeId=515722
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Frank, is this happening to you even if you formally sign out of Amazon?

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...?nodeId=515722
    G'mornin' Glen. Of course, I don't visit Amazon every day and the computer is shut down and rebooted several times in between visits. As for actually logging out, good question. I don't recall that I have or haven't. Will try that, reboot and see what happens. But, even if I don't and clean my cookies, it seems, to a non-techy type like me, that they shouldn't be able to 'see' who is visiting the site. But, wadda I know?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
    Frank, your clean-up program hopefully has an option to exempt specified cookies. I use Firefox, and I clean up everything but 5 I have put in an exception list.

  5. #5
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    There is no "super cookie", for sure.

    The most likely answer is that the tool you're using is missing the amazon cookie for some reason. Could be that it's specifically told somewhere not to, or that it's actually looking for cookies in the wrong place. Either of those should be addressed by the makers of that software.

    [Cookie rant - ignore if you don't care that much]

    It's important to understand that a cookie itself is absolutely benign. The uses that cookies are put to aren't very complex. The phrase "looking into my computer without my knowing" gets some people into a tizzy and it's unfortunate. The site itself is NOT able to "look inside your computer" at ALL. That's kind of an over-simplified way of saying this: User opens browser, user asks browser to visit site, site asks browser to set a cookie that only IT can read, browser decides it's okay (given security options, etc), browser writes a small bit of text that the site can later ask it to retrieve. Unfortunately, peoples' eyes glaze over after about the 2nd step and it gets distilled into "looks on your computer". Suffice it to say, this "looking" is VERY VERY tightly controlled and no browser would last long if this control were at all compromised.

    I like to say this, instead: "Cookies are restricted bits of text that browsers allow sites to read and write in a secure location on your computer."

    I usually go on to suggest instead of "Delete all cookies on a regular basis" - set your browser to accept NO cookies except a specific list. This is by far the safest way to operate. It puts YOU in control 100% of the time. All of today's web browsers let you do this without any additional scripts or programs or add-ons.

    [Cookie rant off.]
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  6. #6
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    Good explanation Jason. I was debating if I wanted to try and address that or not. I think you did a better job than I would have.

    I quite worrying about cookies a long time ago. I find them kind of convenient in most cases. I am a bit more careful about the computer in my shop though. I rarely have anyone in the shop that would use it, but they can if they want. BUT, but I don't want it logging into FW as me/moderator either!
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  7. #7
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    Good explanation, thanks. I'll keep accepting cookies because not being able to visit some new sites could be a hassle if I selectively decline. Downside, I just looked at my history. It shows an on-line dating site was visited today. Not so. Really. Don't tell my wife. Oh, well.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
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    That could verywell be a result of banner advertisements. They're not just simple images anymore, like the good old days. Now they're flash or even more fancy "iframe" or more accurately "page within a page" mechanisms (iframe, div src, asynchronous calls, etc) that may end up adding to your history - which is unfortunate and a flaw of the system, in my opinion, but that's the nature of those kinds of things. Though, more likely, it was probably a popup window. That's usually how they get through.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    I just looked at my history. It shows an on-line dating site was visited today.
    Getting a little wild in your old age are you Frank. Happens to the best sometimes. I am looking forward to more information as this story goes on. It could get interesting.

    Wait a minute. It just occured to me. Does you wife have access to your computer? It's getting better by the minute. Holding my breath wating for the next chapter.

  10. #10
    goto .... tools and then "INternet Options" Select delete Temp files... Problem solved.

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