Cache and Cookies Question

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stash
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Cache and Cookies Question

Postby stash » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:06 am

Yesterday I was looking at an article in one of my wife"s magazines and there was an article on computer safeguards. One of the things this article stressed was the importance of cleaning your cache and cookies on a weekly basis. Now, I don't really know anything about computers, know nothing about cache and cookies and have never cleaned them. Should I, and if so is it easy to do this?

Thanks, Stan
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TxLobo
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby TxLobo » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:38 am

what OS do you have?
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby RPB » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:44 am

CCleaner, (FREE) [I've used in Windows and Linux]
http://www.piriform.com/
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby 92f-fan » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:12 pm

The security issues in cookies is overstated

Keep in mind that cookies are how many sites like this one keep track of who you are
And if you "save" the password its saved in the cookies

Everytime you come here ( and everywhere else ) you will have to type in your username and password

Cache is the images that are downloaded from the web and shown on your PC. As long as you have a fast connection you can delete it everyday or every hour if you want. I dont see the point but there is little down time.

That level of paranoia will make your web experiences less efficient and more time consuming

If you are ok with it then go for it
Ccleaner is a good choice


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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby RPB » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:28 pm

92f-fan wrote:The security issues in cookies is overstated

Keep in mind that cookies are how many sites like this one keep track of who you are
And if you "save" the password its saved in the cookies

Everytime you come here ( and everywhere else ) you will have to type in your username and password

Cache is the images that are downloaded from the web and shown on your PC. As long as you have a fast connection you can delete it everyday or every hour if you want. I dont see the point but there is little down time.

That level of paranoia will make your web experiences less efficient and more time consuming

If you are ok with it then go for it
Ccleaner is a good choice



Actually

1) in CCleaner, you can uncheck cookie cleaning if you want to but

2) if you use Firefox instead of Internal Exploder, Firefox can save your passwords etc, without needing the "cookies"

CCleaner allows you to choose what to check/uncheck/clean so if you use internal exploder, you can uncheck cookies.
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby stash » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:33 am

Appreciate all the good info. I went to the piriform web site and if I understand correctly it indicated that you should be an administrator to download the Ccleaner. Is that because it is difficult to do or some other reason?
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby i8godzilla » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:19 am

I believe the reference to Administrator is a referring to the level of account within a Windows OS. (Mac users can chime in, as I have no knowledge in this arena.) When setting up a new Windows, computer most users make their default log-in an Administrator account. You can manage accounts and their level of access through the Control Panel.

Administrator accounts normally have full access to all functions of the OS, configuration of features and functions, and adding and deleting programs.

As mentioned, most cookies are benign and help make your Web experience at a particular site pleasant. Cookies are what keep track of YOUR settings as it relates to a particular site. This can include things like colors, default start pages, last visited pages, and a ton of other things. Cookies can also track other pages and sites you have visited. Shopping sites like Amazon us cookies to remember items you have looked at and use that data to suggest other items that may be of interest to you. Cookies may also report to tracking services where you go after leaving. Tracking cookies my report information as anonymously or include personal information. The latter is what concern most folks. Do you really want you auto-insurance company knowing you went to Budwiser's web site after paying your premium? Microsoft's Bing is a site that reports all kinds of data--anonymously--to make their search engine more powerful--using your bandwidth.

Some browsers--such as Firefox--allow you prevent sites from using cookies, allow only for that session, or allow all of the time. In Firefox, you can set this as a default setting or on a case-by-case basis. Firefox will remember your actions and apply them each time you visit a site. As previously stated, Firefox also has the ability to remember you passwords without the aid of third-party cookies.
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby RPB » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:10 pm

Right.
Pretty much on your home computer, you ARE the Administrator.

Some people run computers under restricted account logins if they don't want children installing programs etc, but even then you can usually right click a program's icon and click "Run As" and then run it as Administrator (Libraries and public computers often run under restricted accounts like that)
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby WarHawk-AVG » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:38 pm

You can also activate private browsing that will not keep cookies or history in IE8 or FF
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby pbwalker » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:15 pm

92f-fan wrote:The security issues in cookies is overstated

Keep in mind that cookies are how many sites like this one keep track of who you are
And if you "save" the password its saved in the cookies

Everytime you come here ( and everywhere else ) you will have to type in your username and password



It's hardly overstated...cookies can track other sites that you visit. If you want to let other websites know where you surf, that's cool. It's not something I'd like to share...
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby RPB » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:52 pm

password

On CCleaner, you can UNCHECK "Saved Passwords" if you don't want them cleared, I use CCleaner several times a day but don't need to retype anything here ... I unchecked the box
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby Russell » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:44 am

Cleaning your cache and cookies, unless you have tens of thousands of cookie/cache files, will not do anything for you to speed up your web browsing. If anything, it will slow it down as the entire point of cache is to be able to load parts of the website you are visiting that have not changed from your hard disk instead of having to redownload the files.

Neither of them pose a security risk either*.

As for any privacy concerns, I tend to visit the same sites more or less everyday. I have no problem sharing that I have browsed reddit, this site, and fox news. A cookie will *not* provide any further information about you than this. They cannot pull your name, your age, or any other personally identifiable information from your computer. The only information they can pull about you is information they have set themselves in the cookie. In addition, the only way they can pull sites you have already visitied is if the particular domain that set the cookie has code on the other site you have visited as well, such as advertising companies (company A advertises on abc.com and def.com. You visit both sites. Company A pulls their cookie and now knows you went from abc.com to def.com). I don't find this particularly threatening.



* Unless you have already been infected with malware, in which case you have a bigger problem to deal with =)
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby stash » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:17 am

I appreciate everyone's responses. For know I will just forget about it. May download that cleaner from piriform just to have it.
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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby gringop » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:08 pm

Russell wrote:Neither of them pose a security risk either*.

There are very real security risks re. cookies and caches. Before I go further, let me acknowledge that there are varying levels of needed security. For someone who only uses their computer to visit this site, there would not be much risk to allow cookies and never clear a cache.

For someone who makes purchases online, does banking, uses their computer for work or keeps personal financial info on their computer, allowing all cookies and never clearing the cache runs an enormous risk of problems should that computer be accessed by an unauthorised user. Laptops and home computers get stolen every day.

If you have your bank website set to auto login, how long do you think it will take someone to do a few fund transfers? If you have data on your clients and customers, do you really want others to be able to see the files that are in your cache?

Russell wrote:As for any privacy concerns, I tend to visit the same sites more or less everyday. I have no problem sharing that I have browsed reddit, this site, and fox news.


The fact that you have no problem sharing that data doesn't mean that there are no risks to it. Some users have higher security needs than you do. If you like the convenience of having merchants track your actions and sending you "You may also like this" messages, understand that hackers can and do the same thing all the time.

The internet is like great big crowded flea market. While 90% of the businesses and people there may be as honest as you, you still don't flash your cash, don't let your kids run loose and don't yell out your address and vacation plans in a loud voice. Keep your private info private.

I have this attitude from 13 years of working IT for a nationwide retail corporation and having to work many nights and weekends because employees couldn't follow simple security procedures.

Once again, not everyone needs to treat their computer like top secret data, but don't just use the default settings and think that you will be secure.

Gringop


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Re: Cache and Cookies Question

Postby Russell » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:54 pm

gringop wrote:
There are very real security risks re. cookies and caches. Before I go further, let me acknowledge that there are varying levels of needed security. For someone who only uses their computer to visit this site, there would not be much risk to allow cookies and never clear a cache.

For someone who makes purchases online, does banking, uses their computer for work or keeps personal financial info on their computer, allowing all cookies and never clearing the cache runs an enormous risk of problems should that computer be accessed by an unauthorised user. Laptops and home computers get stolen every day.



Physical security is a completely different animal than cookies and cache. Saved passwords are also completely separate from cookies and cache. If you have your computer stolen from you, you have a much more important issue to deal with than having saved cookies and cache.

If you have your bank website set to auto login, how long do you think it will take someone to do a few fund transfers? If you have data on your clients and customers, do you really want others to be able to see the files that are in your cache?


Again, if you have your computer physically stolen from you, that is a much more important thing to deal with than clearing your cookies and cache. For physical security outside of locking your computer to your desk, I recommend full disk encryption using TrueCrypt.

The fact that you have no problem sharing that data doesn't mean that there are no risks to it. Some users have higher security needs than you do. If you like the convenience of having merchants track your actions and sending you "You may also like this" messages, understand that hackers can and do the same thing all the time.


Please provide evidence and/or proof of concept showing that outside of the website's servers being compromised, or the security of the client computer being compromised (infected by a trojan, malware, or outdated software that has not been maintained properly), history and/or cache files can be pulled from your computer by other sites. Otherwise you are spreading FUD. (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt).
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