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Why are these cookies on my computer?

Recently I was advised to delete all cookies, amongst other things, as this would speed up my slow computer. I started to wonder what cookies were being placed on my computer and how much they slow my computer down.

When I log on cookies from various companies are placed on my computer. These are not just from Accounting Web, but from others as well. They are :-

www.sitestat.com
www.doubleclick.net
www.sift.co.uk
www.atdmt.com

I thought that Accounting Web only placed their own cookies on my computer. Why are these here?
David Honneyman

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By Anonymous
28th Mar 2008 08:04

Caveat Ad-Aware ...
Ad-Aware SE used to be a great little app. Have just loaded 2007 version (on XP) and it's a complete disaster with the pc going very slowwwwww...

Rather disappointing after using previous version for many years - anyway have uninstalled & dumped 2007 version and will look elsewhere

see: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r19970459-slow-AdAware-2007

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27th Mar 2008 11:14

Cookie Breakdown
Hi David,

It's an interesting question and because of concerns over internet privacy cookies are now covered by legistlation.

The website www.allaboutcookies.org is referenced by the ICO as a uesful source of information.

To give some more specific detail on the cookies that were on your computer:

The sitestat.com cookie is associated with the analytics package that we use. For example it stores information on when you were last on the site so that we can see the percentage of new vs returning visitors.
doubleclick and atdmt.com are cookies from the advertising servers. These can ensure that, for example, you are not shown the same ad in the same day, week, month etc

The sift cookie is linked to sift as the publisher.

As a online publisher we use cookies responsibly, the terms and conditions say the following:

11. Cookies
A cookie is a small text file written to your hard drive that contains information about you. Cookies do not contain any personal information about users. Once you close your browser, the cookie simply terminates. We use cookies so that we can personalise your experience of the Website. If you set up your browser to reject the cookie, you may still use the Website. Some of our business partners use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). We have no access to or control over these cookies.

Hope this helps and the computer runs faster!

Regards,
Gareth

AccountingWEB.co.uk

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27th Mar 2008 10:51

Advertising cookies ...
... can be pretty pernicious beasts. Have a listen to episode 119 of Security Now, here

http://www.grc.com/securitynow.htm#119

and see how simply operating your PayPal account can result in leakage of information that personally identifies you, to third party advertising companies such as DoubleClick.

If that doesn't turn you into a cynic I don't know what will.

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27th Mar 2008 09:46

.
David,

all of these - apart from www.sift.co.uk - are cookies placed by ad tracking companies to 'monitor' how you browse the internet and display relevant ads to you.

If you are worried about computer security you may want to install the following two software:
- Spybot S&D
- Adaware

Both are free spyware / adware remover.

To increase the speed of your computer you may also want to consider a hard drive defragmentation. To defragment your HD simply go to:

My Computer > right click on your hard drive (usually called c:/), select properties. A small window will appear with a chart of disk space. At the top of the window you will see tabs, click tools. There you should see a 'defragmentation' section click the 'defragment now' button next to it. It may take some time, so I would do it when you are not at your computer.

Hope this helps,

Leo
----------
Accountant Websmiths

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By Anonymous
27th Mar 2008 09:29

Look at AdWare by Lavasoft ...
Useful and free for home use

http://www.lavasoft.com/products/ad_aware_free.php

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27th Mar 2008 07:41

Big Brother, by any other name
Hi David

Cookies are, by any other name, spyware, although they are not generally as malevolent as the 'real' thing. If you have, for instance, an Amazon account the cookie is what enables Amazon to recognise you, without logging in, as soon as you access their site when logged in on your computer. Their web site will 'look' for their cookie to retrieve all the information that it has collected from your details and previous sessions; such things as what you have purchased previously, thereby enabling it to suggest what else you may be interested in.

You can disable them, in the security settings of your browser, but some sites will simply not work if this is done, so it is up to you, if you wish to use these sites, to enable cookies to a level which will enable them to work. You will often be prompted if you attempt to use a site for which the cookie setting is not compatible.

If you delete all cookies all that will happen, as long as you do not change the security settings, is that when you log on to a site, such as Amazon, which held information this will not be available and a new cookie will be placed and will start to collect data all over again. This is a good idea now and again as some of them CAN be a bit dodgy (technical IT term) and it should speed up access to the newly placed ones for sites that you currently use.

Be aware, also, that every web page that you visit, subject again to security settings, may also be saved on your hard drive. This has two main disadvantages. One is that they, like cookies, simply use up drive space; the other is that if your settings are not set to refresh pages on access you MAY be looking at a 'stale' version of a page, not the current and up-to-date one from the web. Again it is worth deleting all downloaded pages now and again. If you ever try your hand at making a web site this can account for why your revisions do not appear to have been uploaded, even tough the software says that they have! You may be looking at a local version of the site.

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