Refuse tracking cookies
Question : You've
mentioned setting web browsers to refuse the cookies set by advertising
networks. How do I do that, exactly ?
Answer : On the Web, a cookie -- a tiny, inert text file that a
website drops on your hard drive as a sort of placeholder to read or edit
later is usually harmless. These files are often helpful when they save your
preferences or logins for you.
measure your interests, so as to show you ( in theory ) more-relevant ads.
The banner ad the network inserted into your favorite site can save a
cookie on your computer; other ads on other sites placed by the same network
can then access this cookie, allowing the company to build a profile of what
sites you visit.
This practice may not be the biggest privacy risk you face, on or
offline. But if it bothers you, you can tell your browser to decline these
"third-party" cookies, sometimes called "tracking cookies." ( Doing so may
the last time I had any such problems. )
In Internet Explorer 7, go to its Tools menu, select
Internet Options and click the Privacy tab; there, click the Advanced
button. In the Advanced Privacy Settings window, click the checkbox next to
"Override automatic cookie handling" and, under the "Third-party Cookies"
heading, click the button next to "Block."
Other browsers don't require as many steps to change this behavior. In
Firefox 3, go to its Tools menu and select Options ( on a Mac, go to the
Firefox menu and select Preferences ), click the Privacy tab and click to
clear the checkbox next to "Accept third-party cookies."