Tuesday Tip: Cookie Monsters Everywhere

By: Chase Petersen

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Do you feel like your phone is listening to you?  You will have a conversation with someone and only moments later you will receive an advertisement for a product similar to what you were talking about.  You sit back and wonder how “it” knew what to send you.  I cannot confirm or deny that your devices are listening to you, but they are tracking what you do on the internet.  Websites use cookies to store information about you and your uses on that site.  This can be used for good or evil depending on your outlook.

First-party cookies are from the site you are visiting; they are used to store login information, setting preferences, and information pertaining to your involvement with the site.  These are good and helpful cookies.  Third-party cookies are from advertisements and other pop-ups on the site; these cookies can store information about your searches and which sites you travel.  Third-party cookies can follow your browsing and send that information back to whoever owns the cookie where they sell the data to advertising companies who send you the creepily spot-on advertisements.

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Luckily, most browsers have security options when it comes to cookies.  In the settings, you can clear all cookies on your PC (this might take away some of your automatic logins), prevent access to first-party or third-party cookies, or manually block or allow access by site name.  I would recommend allowing first-party cookies and preventing third-party cookies.

To access these controls in Chrome:

  1. At the top right, click the three dots – then Settings.
  2. At the bottom, click Advanced.
  3. Under “Privacy and security,” click Site settings – then Cookies.
  4. Turn Allow sites to save and read cookie data on or off.

Each browser will be slightly different, but they all have these security measures.  A quick google search can direct you to your specific browser setting location.  Preventing third-party cookies will protect your personal data from getting into the wrong hands.

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Chase Petersen: Chase works at Network 1 as a Sales Operations Associate, where he partners with clients to learn their needs and provide thoughtful recommendations on how to meet each one. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University where he earned his degree in Economics and Political Science.

Network 1 designs, builds and supports the IT you need to run your business more securely, productively and successfully. Whether you want to outsource all of your IT needs to a reliable, responsive, service-oriented company, or need to supplement the work of your internal IT staff, we will carefully evaluate where you are now, discuss where you want to go and implement and support a plan to get you there with as little interruption as possible.

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