Saturday, February 9, 2008

Choose the Best Cookies

We have choices and options when it comes to selecting the best cookies. You probably have a favorite place to purchase cookies or a recipe. Perhaps, one of your favorite cookies may be chocolate chip, peanut butter, macadamia, oatmeal, chocolate fudge or other cookies. Selecting the best cookies allows you to enjoy the cookies.

In a sense, the same concept applies when selecting the best cookies while on the web to allow your experience to be enjoyable. Cookies can be both useful and annoying for the Internet user. The purpose of cookies is to acquire information for use in later communications between a user and a website, without asking for the same information. According to Park and Sandhu from Georgia University, “Web servers and browsers typically use cookies to capture information for subsequent communications, which provides continuity and state across HTTP connections.” (Park, J., & Sandhu, R., 2000) This means each time you visit websites, tidbits of information are stored on your computer. Some of this information you may not want your computer to store, like a password or user IDs.

Other cookies track your motions through a website, how much time you spend there, what links you click on, and other details usually for marketing purposes. (Park, J., & Sandhu, R., 2000) Cookies contain text character strings encoding relevant information about the user.

It is important to be aware of your options when dealing with cookies to protect your privacy online. The three types of security services offered by secure cookies are authentication, integrity and confidentiality. For example, authentication verifies the cookies’ owner, integrity protects against unauthorized modification of cookies and confidentiality protects against the cookies’ values being revealed to an unauthorized entity. (Park, J., & Sandhu, R., 2000)

The following video clip is a good example of what may happen if cookies are not secure. Please click on the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYCpiZKY30E

The Internet user can determine the extent of their cookie use. For instance, Internet Explorer allows the user to selectively enable or disable cookies on a site-by-site basis. It even allows cookies for a site generally, but deletes a specific cookie you are suspicious and do not trust. (McCandlish, S., 2002) You can also delete all of the cookies you acquire while browsing, along with any passwords you may have typed, and your browsing history.

Visit http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs18-cyb.htm or http://www.eff.org/promo/protectbook.html for tips and more information on safeguarding your privacy online. (Privacy on Cyberspace, 2008) By protecting your online privacy by securing cookies while on the web, may allow your experience to be enjoyable.

References

McCandlish, S. (2002). EFF’s top 12 ways to protect your online privacy. Version, 2, 29-12.

Park, J., & Sandhu, R. (2000). Secure cookies on the web. Internet Computing, IEEE, 4(4), 36-44.

Privacy in Cyberspace. Retrieved February 6, 2008 from http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs18-cyb.htm

Got Cookies? You Tube. Retrieved February 6, 2008 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYCpiZKY30E

1 comment:

Mr.Forsley said...

I personally think a plain old sugar cookie is best. Anyway, your post provided all the basics any new-comer to the topic of 'cookies' would need to know before looking at more in-depth information, which you provided some links to. Good job. I also liked how you linked to a comprehensive video on the topic.