So What's A Cookie For, Anyway?

Written by Richard Lowe

Continued from page 1

Cookies can be set to last untilrepparttar browser exits, or they can be set to expire (be deleted) far intorepparttar 132091 future. Various advertising companies actively abuse this feature - and this has led torepparttar 132092 public backlash against cookies.

You see, cookies can be created and read when any object is loaded from a web server. This includes banners and web bugs (small graphics designed to help advertisers track who is looking at their ads).

The advertising companies take advantage of this feature to set cookies on your computer so they can build up a picture of what sites you've been looking at. The banners effectively ask "have I seen this person (computer system) before?" Ifrepparttar 132093 answer is "yes" (a cookie exists), then a notation is made in your profile onrepparttar 132094 advertisers computer system.

Believe me, it does not take long for an advertising agency to build up a very nice understanding of exactly what you do onrepparttar 132095 internet. Why do they want to do this? To make more money, of course.

How does this work? An advertising agency sells eyeballs. The theory they operate on is simple. The more qualifiedrepparttar 132096 eyeballs,repparttar 132097 more likely that banners are to be clicked, andrepparttar 132098 more likely that sales are to be made. Thus, if you typically surf, say, Star Trek sites, you may be interested in seeing advertisements about Science Fiction movies, and theoretically you will be more likely to purchase tickets.

Okay, why is this a problem? Do you really want an advertising agency knowing everything about your web surfing habits? Do you trust them? Do you think they will keep this information private?

Or to put it another way, these companies are making money (lots of money) based upon your eyeballs. They are not sharing that money with you - in fact, they never even asked your permission to gather information about you.

As an analogy, suppose you were reading a magazine on a park bench and someone was hiding inrepparttar 132099 tree over your head, recording every page that you looked at in a notebook. How long would you put up with this behavior?

Thus,repparttar 132100 public is simply objecting torepparttar 132101 unethical use of cookies to track their movements throughrepparttar 132102 internet. And as you can see, a very useful tool has been corrupted by companies whose motives are suspect, to sayrepparttar 132103 least.

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: Weekly newsletter: Daily Tips:

Backing Up Your Stuff Part 1: The Problem

Written by Richard Lowe

Continued from page 1

I used to create a backup of my entire system to a Zip drive once a week. This soon required two zip disks, then 3 and then a dozen. I switched to tape, which helped for a while. Before too long, however, I found my backups took all night long and required several tape changes. This was getting out of hand - not only didrepparttar backup require an incredible amount of time, butrepparttar 132089 system was slow while it was running and it was obvious that it would be very difficult to do a restore if it became necessary.

At this point, many people makerepparttar 132090 fatal decision to stop performing backups at all. This is not a good idea, as there are many hazards torepparttar 132091 health of your computer.

- Hundreds and even thousands of new viruses are created monthly. Any one of these could destroy your system and erase years of work. Even if you haverepparttar 132092 best antivirus software onrepparttar 132093 planet, there is stillrepparttar 132094 possibility that a new virus could get through your defenses. A hacker could penetrate your firewalls (assuming you have one) and do whatever he pleased. He could, if he wanted, delete files, modify them or even download them to his own system.

- Your system could be damaged or destroyed by more mundane threats such as water leaking fromrepparttar 132095 upstairs bathtub or mice chewing onrepparttar 132096 disk cables.

- You could accidentally delete files yourself.

- A new installation of a program or an operating system upgrade could render your system unusable.

- I have heard tales of lightening striking nearby power poles and rendering systems completely unusable.

So if your system is getting so crowded that is is difficult if not impossible to perform a full backup, what do you do to protect yourself?

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This website includes over 1,000 free articles to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge. Web Site Address: Weekly newsletter: Daily Tips:

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