Sandeep Kumar

A blog By Sandeep kumar

How To Get Rid Of Cookies?

Posted by Sandeep Kumar on September 20, 2010

When you visit some website then information about you and the pages you have visited gets stored in HTTP cookies or simply cookies.

What Are Web Cookies?

Cookies The information sent by a website or web server about you to your browser is stored in cookies. Whole of data is stored in your hard disk.

Authenticating sessions, tracking sessions with websites that need log-ins and maintaining preferences like page layout, page size and other features are stored in cookies but the main purpose of cookies is to differentiate users from each other and remembering them. For accessing website’s services, cookies also remember the information like usernames and passwords. Cookies are not executable codes but text files only. Cookies are NOT:

• Spyware or virus

• Only used for advertising purposes

• Causing abusive online ads or pop ups

• Causing spam

As cookies contain important information so these are prone to Cross-site scripting or exploits like XSS and hijacking of cookies through packet sniffing is also possible.

Other use of cookies

All the preferences from choosing language to number of search results per page are stored in cookies. Also information about previously visited websites is also stored in cookies. Due to increase in malicious software and spyware, privacy of cookies has become a concern.

Security and privacy concerns

The web server sends cookies back and forth when you browse any website using cookies. As these cookies contain sensitive information like passwords and usernames which can be intercepted easily and data can be used for illegal means also. Although in modern browsers you can actually accept or reject cookies. Also you may set your browser to automatically reject cookies if you are much concerned about your private data. However some websites may not work properly if you disable cookies all the time. So the best option is to get rid of cookies each time you are done surfing.

Getting rid of cookies

You don’t need to download any kind of software as it is easier to remove cookies. Different browsers and user accounts store cookies differently. So to get rid of cookies you need to open each browser in each account. You can remove cookies if you are using internet explorer by following means:

1. After opening Internet Explorer, go to tools menu and make sure only one instance of the program is running.

2. Click on “Internet Options”.

3. Click “Delete cookies” on general tab.

4. After that click OK.

You can also do this by right clicking Internet Explorer icon and selecting properties and then following step 3 and 4 to delete cookies.
In case of Firefox, you can do following:

1. After opening Firefox click on “Tools” menu.

2. Select “Options”.

3. Click on “Privacy tab” and then click on “Clear Private Data” button.

4. Make sure you select the check box for cookies after a small menu appears. After that click on OK.

To automatically delete cookies and private data, you can press CTRL+SHIFT+DEL in Firefox. This will remove all private data and cookies when you close the browser. By following ways, you can do this:

• Go to tools and then click Options.

• Click on privacy tab and click on the box that shows “Always clear my private data when I close Firefox”.

• Then click on settings and see if check box of cookies is checked.

To access secure connections you may also avoid shared or public computers. If not then clear the cookies after surfing. You may also request the owner to remove cookies if the access is restricted. You need to be careful as hackers can easily steal cookies and use them for illegal purposes.

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