Marshall Adult Education
HOME | MISSION | SCOPE AND SEQUENCE | STAFF INFORMATION |SITE SCHEDULES|
TECHNOLOGY | WORKFORCE |
BUSINESS CONNECTION DIRECTORY | GRANTS
| RESOURCES

 

 

TECH TIP:  Cookies – NOT the kind you eat!

In this tech tip:

Cookies:  What are they?
We’re talking internet cookies – not Double Chocolate Chips Ahoy!  Do you know what they are?  When you visit a website, the site that you are visiting places a cookie on your computer if it is given permission to do so (more on that later).  The cookie is a small text file that contains a unique ID number.  Cookies can keep track of what you are doing at the website, such as:

When and if you return to a website, the website looks for their cookie and then can customize the visit based on the information you have stored in the cookie.

Cookies:  What are they not?
Let’s correct some misinformation that often circulates about cookies. 

Are they good or bad?
Well, based on what you’ve read so far, cookies seem quite benign.  However, as is the case with many things on the internet, some programmers have figured out ways to use cookies a bit more surreptitiously.  Double Click is one (http://www.doubleclick.com/us/) – there are many others.  This internet company can place cookies on your computer that are visible on multiple websites.  That means they can now track your activities across many different websites.   This gets very close to spying on you and your internet activities because they can gather information about you as you go from site to site.  Even worse, they can then sell this information to other companies who can then target you for spam and advertising.

How should we handle cookies?
There are some things that you can do about cookies. 

  1. You don’t have to accept cookies.  You can set your browser (Internet Explorer or Netscape) to block all cookies.  This solves the cookies problem – but it will also lock you out of some websites.  Some sites require that you accept their cookie in order to use their website.
  2. You can block some cookies and require a website to ask you if you want to accept their cookie.  This is good but can drive you crazy because most sites use cookies these days and you will constantly be getting popups asking you if you want to accept a site’s cookie.
  3. You can accept cookies but then delete them – that is delete all of them.
  4. You can accept cookies and then delete some of them – delete the ones you choose to delete

Here’s how you do the above in Internet Explorer.

1.  Set the Security Level of your browser.  Click on the Tools Menu, and then click on Internet Options

(What do I do? – I use the default setting of Medium security.  I do not use custom settings for cookies.  I delete selected cookies – read on).

2.  Periodically delete all the cookies on your computer.  Note:  When you do this, you lose all custom settings to websites that you have previously visited. 

3.   Delete selected cookies from your computer.  There are several ways to delete only cookies that you select from your computer.  I will give you 3 ways.

Final word – cookies are not a big deal if you are a careful surfer and if you have good security settings, and if you occasionally delete cookies – either selectively or totally – from your hard drive. 

For more information on cookies, see these cool sites.
http://www.microsoft.com/info/cookies.htm (good tips here)
http://www.cookiecentral.com/faq/ (everything you need to know here)
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/cookie1.htm (easy to read & understand)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;168976 (manage cookies on a Mac computer)
http://www.aboutcookies.org/deletecookies.html (more cookie info including info for Macs)

Now it’s time for a real Double Chocolate Chewy Chips Ahoy Cookie!  Happy surfing!

 

BACK TO TECH TIPS

HOME | MISSION | SCOPE AND SEQUENCE | STAFF INFORMATION |SITE SCHEDULES|
TECHNOLOGY | WORKFORCE |
BUSINESS CONNECTION DIRECTORY | GRANTS
| RESOURCES