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windows xp pro, ie & tracking cookies


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#1 boatmoter

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 11:00 AM

Hi, Im Glenn, new to the forum, wish all of you a great day and a safety through Irma.. I have 4 browsers, ie, firefox,opera and chrome, firefox and chrome are most used, ie is never used other than to get windows updates from MS.. without getting any windows updates, ie gathers 10 - 15  infected cookies everyday, it gathers mare than the browsers I use, I have the block all cookies checked, I have the pop up blocker checked, I all security setting set to maximum.. how can I stop ie from collecting malware even though Im not using ie?, bout 6 months ago I switched to windows 10, after a lot of aggravation and a lot of tears I went back to xp.. what a relief.. I was thinking about completely removing ie,but the info I gathered said is was not a good idea.. anyone have a solution to this?


Edited by hamluis, 06 September 2017 - 12:25 PM.
Moved from XP to Gen Security - Hamluis.


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#2 digmor crusher

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 12:51 PM

Not sure what you mean by infected cookies, in most cases cookies are not harmful. Could you explain a bit more please.



#3 boatmoter

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 03:38 PM

Not sure what you mean by infected cookies, in most cases cookies are not harmful. Could you explain a bit more please.

what I meant bout infected cookies was   (tracking cookies)



#4 britechguy

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 10:29 PM

Tracking cookies are incredibly common, almost ubiquitous, and you'll never eliminate them entirely.

 

You are also going to have a lot more trouble with security in general if you insist on staying with Windows XP or any unsupported version of Windows or other operating system.  XP is security Swiss-cheese and there is no way to fill all those holes at this juncture, and never will be.


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#5 quietman7

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 07:06 AM

Cookies are text string messages given to a Web browser by a Web server. Whenever you visit a web page or navigate different pages with your browser, the web site generates a unique ID number which your browser stores in a text (cookie) file that is sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from that server. Cookies allow third-party providers such as ad serving networks, spyware or adware providers to track personal information.

Cookies are NOT a "threat" in the typical sense we think of malware infection. As text files, cookies are inherently harmless and cannot be executed to cause any damage. Cookies do not cause any pop ups or install malware and they cannot erase or read information from a computer.

Cookies cannot be used to run code (run programs) or to deliver viruses to your computer. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the Web server that you have returned to a specific Web page.

Microsoft's Description of Cookies

Cookies are short pieces of data used by web servers to help identify web users. The popular concepts and rumors about what a cookie can do has reached almost mystical proportions, frightening users and worrying their managers.

Do cookies pose a security risk?

The primary purpose of cookies is to identify users and prepare customized web pages for them. There are two different types of cookies.

  • Persistent cookies have expiration dates set by the Web server when it passes the cookie and are stored on a user's hard drive until they expire or are deleted. These types of cookies are used to store information between visits to a site and collect identifying information about the user such as surfing behavior or preferences for a specific web site.
    .
  • Session cookies (transient or Non-persistent cookies) cookies are not saved to the hard drive, do not collect any information and have no set expiration date. They are used to temporarily hold information in the form of a session identification stored in memory as you browse web pages. These types of cookies are cached only while a user is visiting the Web server issuing the session cookie and are deleted from the cache when the user closes the session.

Cookies can be categorized as:

  • Trusted cookies are from sites you trust, use often, and want to be able to identify and personalize content for you.
  • Nuisance cookies are from those sites you do not recognize or often use but somehow it's put a cookie on your machine.
  • Bad cookies (i.e. persistent cookies, long term and third party tracking cookies) are those that can be linked to an ad company or something that tracks your movements across the web.

The type of persistent cookie that is a cause for some concern are "tracking cookies" because they can be considered a privacy risk. These types of cookies are used to track your Web browsing habits...your movement from site to site. Ad companies use them to record your activity on all sites where they have placed ads. They can keep count of how many times you visited a web page, store your username and password so you don't have to log in and retain your custom settings. When you visit one of these sites, a cookie is placed on your computer. Each time you visit another site that hosts one of their ads, that same cookie is read, and soon they have assembled a list of which of their sites you have visited and which of their ads that you have clicked on. Cookies are used all over the Internet and advertisement companies often plant them whenever your browser loads one of their banners.

Flash cookies (or Local Shared Objects) and Evercookies are a newer way of tracking user behavior and surfing habits but they too are not a threat, and cannot harm your computer.

An Evercookie is a Javascript-based application which creates Zombie cookies that can be used to identify a user even after they have removed standard and Flash cookies. This is accomplished by creating a new cookie and storing the data in as many storage locations (currently eight) as it can find on the local browser. Storage mechanisms range from Standard HTTP and Flash cookies to HTML5's new storage methods. When evercookie finds that other types of cookies have been removed, it recreates them so they can be reused over and over.

Flash cookies are cookie-like data stored on a computer and used by all versions of Adobe Flash Player and similar applications. They can store much more information than traditional browser cookies and they are typically stored within each users Application Data directory with a ".SOL" extension, under the Macromedia\FlashPlayer\#SharedObjects folder. Unlike traditional cookies, Flash cookies cannot be managed through browser controls so they are more difficult to find and remove. However, they can be viewed, managed and deleted using the Website Storage Settings panel at Macromedia's Support Site. From this panel, you can change storage settings for a website, delete a specific website or delete all sites which erases any information that may have been stored on the computer. To prevent any Flash Cookies from being stored on your computer, go to the Global Storage Settings panel and uncheck the option Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer. For more information, please refer to:

However, new research has disclosed that cookies can be used to allow remote attackers to bypass a secure protocol (HTTPS) and reveal private session information, and that modern browsers currently provide no protection against the attack vector. A cookie injection attack can be mounted by man-in-the-middle attackers who set cookies throughout their invasive session allowing them to facilitate the disclosure of any private data being transmitted in the session.

 

As long as you surf the Internet, you are going to get cookies and some of your security programs will flag them for removal. Anti-malware scanners have more important things to look for, so I would recommend disabling the option to search for cookies which will also decrease the amount of time it takes to perform a scan. You can minimize the number of cookies which are stored on your computer by using Disk Cleanup and third-party programs like CCleaner, SpywareBlaster, WinPatrol’s Cookie Manager and Ghostery, a browser tool which allows you to block beacons, trackers, advertising, analytics, widgets and cookies.

More resources in these articles...


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#6 boatmoter

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 09:20 AM

Tracking cookies are incredibly common, almost ubiquitous, and you'll never eliminate them entirely.

 

You are also going to have a lot more trouble with security in general if you insist on staying with Windows XP or any unsupported version of Windows or other operating system.  XP is security Swiss-cheese and there is no way to fill all those holes at this juncture, and never will be.

had much more trouble with windows 10, I went back to xp..



#7 Just_One_Question

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 09:26 AM

Just practice safe browsing habits, OP, and don't pay anything online with a credit/debit card.:)



#8 boatmoter

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 09:26 AM

ok then.. instead of cookies, it's malware.. my main question is, I never use ie, but I still gather 8-15 malware, I run Norton utilities 3-5 times a day to clean my privacy and 3rd party cookies, I pick up a bunch while on facebook and yahoo news, due to my pc slows way down due to the malware, is there any programs to STOP from collecting the malware?? is there any way to stop ie from collecting the malware?? still unbelievable, ie never gets used,but, it collects more malware than my other browsers



#9 britechguy

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 09:43 AM

 

Tracking cookies are incredibly common, almost ubiquitous, and you'll never eliminate them entirely.

 

You are also going to have a lot more trouble with security in general if you insist on staying with Windows XP or any unsupported version of Windows or other operating system.  XP is security Swiss-cheese and there is no way to fill all those holes at this juncture, and never will be.

had much more trouble with windows 10, I went back to xp..

 

 

If you installed Windows 10 on a box that came with Windows XP this is no shock.  If you installed Windows XP (rather than, say, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1) on a box that came with Windows 10 that is a grave mistake.

 

You are going to have very little luck trying to get a "tight security ship" on an unsupported operating system that has been well known as a leaky boat for a very long time now.  Your decision to use, and stick with, Windows XP is a central part of your problem.  Later versions of Windows have been armored against contemporary threats whereas XP is not.  You are, essentially, asking how to turn a sieve into a lifeboat.

 

If you have hardware from the Windows XP era it would be well worth considering upgrading to even the lowest level laptop or desktop available these days.  It can and will run circles around an XP era machine.


Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 


#10 quietman7

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 03:04 PM

What security program is warning you that you have malware?
 

Slowness, freezing, booting, and performance issues as you describe are not uncommon, especially with older computers. There are various reasons for this - i.e. disk fragmentation, disk errors, corrupt system files, too many startup programs, unnecessary services running, not enough RAM, dirty hardware components, etc. As you use your system it becomes filled with more files/programs and has a natural tendency to slow down and behave oddly so cleaning and regular maintenance is essential. If you're not finding evidence of malware infection, the problem could be related to one of these areas.

One of the most common culprits is too many startup programs. Almost all applications you install want to startup when Windows loads. Many of these programs are not needed and disabling them can save resources and improve performance as they are available from the Start Menu > All Programs or an icon on the Desktop if needed. For information on how to identify and disable unnecessary startups, please refer to the section "Check for any unnecessary applications loading when Windows Boots" in this guide:


Too many toolbars, BHOs, extensions and add-ons/plug-ins attached your browser can contribute to poor performance, slow loading and other issues. Sometimes they cause browsers to quit unexpectedly or not perform properly especially, if it was poorly designed or was created for an earlier browser version. Incompatible browser extensions and add-ons can also impact system performance and cause compatibility issues such as application hangs (freezing). Further, it is not uncommon for third-party applications to install bundled add-ons into browsers as part of their own installation process. This can can slow down browser start-up and page loading time, clutter the interface with toolbars, and they may fall behind on version compatibility and security updates. Some toolbars and add-ons are even considered PUPs or adware. You can improve performance by disabling or removing those which are unnecessary or you do not recognize. Please refer to the section "For general browser issues" in the same Slow Computer/Browser? Check here first... topic.

Another thing you can do to improve browser speed and performance is to minimize and/or block the amount of pop-up advertisements (video, audio, javascript, flash) you encounter. Ad blockers also help to protect your privacy by keeping advertisers and marketers from tracking your behavior.

 


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#11 boatmoter

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 03:29 PM

still have the same question, just got done running Norton utilities again, 3rd time today,  yahoo news and my Emails only, it removed 70 items from ie, 1 from firefox and 4 from chrome.. the only 2 browsers that were used today is Firefox and chrome, but ie is loaded with items to be removed?????   



#12 boatmoter

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 03:30 PM

still have the same question, just got done running Norton utilities again, 3rd time today,  only been on yahoo news and my Emails only, it removed 70 items from ie, 1 from firefox and 4 from chrome.. the only 2 browsers that were used today is Firefox and chrome, but ie is loaded with items to be removed??  



#13 quietman7

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 03:42 PM

Why does CCleaner clean up Internet Explorer items when I don't use Internet Explorer?

Same explanation would apply for Norton Utilities or any other program which scans for cookies.
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#14 britechguy

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 05:20 PM

Let's not even get into the fact that certain cleanup utilities seem to "peel the system like an onion."

 

There are a number of them that will find something additional on a second or third run, even if the computer is disconnected from the internet during all runs, because removing one thing exposes another.  

 

Also, different antivirus/antimalware/anti-PUP programs will not all find exactly the same thing as others.

 

I can't remember all the way back to Windows XP, but under later versions of Windows parts of the web browsers get used for other purposes by the OS itself, e.g., the Edge rendering engine under Windows 10.  Who knows what odd dribs and drabs something like that might collect?


Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 


#15 boatmoter

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 07:30 PM

Let's not even get into the fact that certain cleanup utilities seem to "peel the system like an onion."

 

There are a number of them that will find something additional on a second or third run, even if the computer is disconnected from the internet during all runs, because removing one thing exposes another.  

 

Also, different antivirus/antimalware/anti-PUP programs will not all find exactly the same thing as others.

 

I can't remember all the way back to Windows XP, but under later versions of Windows parts of the web browsers get used for other purposes by the OS itself, e.g., the Edge rendering engine under Windows 10.  Who knows what odd dribs and drabs something like that might collect?

Thanks.. I feel comfortable with that answer...  






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