How to control your online privacy with softwareCookies are good for you – no, really! Although many people concerned about online security worry about cookies, it is not the cookies which are the issue. Cookies are not executable – they do not run programs – so they are not able to carry viruses or change how your computer works. They are just tiny files which store information to make your browsing experience better. This includes information on your preferences, the details you need to log in or comment, what is in your shopping basket and so on. The real problem for internet users is not cookies, but spyware, viruses and, for some, invasive advertising and marketing. Spyware can harvest sensitive information about your internet use, such as passwords. Viruses can harm your computer by running malicious programs and ads – we all know about this. Blocking cookies not only WILL NOT protect you from the effects of spyware and viruses but it WILL break websites, so blocking all cookies may not be such a great idea. A better option for making web surfing both safe and user-friendly is to use anti-spyware and anti-virus software. There are dozens of these programs (from manufacturers such as Norton, McAfee, Trend Micro, Kaspersky and more) which can:
- remove adware
- identify potential spammers and malicious software based on a list
- detect spyware and malware
- detect and remove viruses.