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Solved: browsing security

Discussion in 'General Security' started by pcguy9441, Jan 9, 2011.

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  1. pcguy9441

    pcguy9441 Thread Starter

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    I'm using Firefox 3.6.13 and am seeing something funny. Not "ha-ha" funny, bizarre funny. If I set Firefox to private browsing, I can't stay logged into this forum. My goal is to defeat all cookies. I've been reading about a new breed of "super cookie" that's hard to impossible to remove as redundant identical copies are sprinkled throughout the hard drive and when one's deleted the others replicate it. This is a new angle to track browsing history by advertisers to learn what people are buying and where they're shopping or what they're researching before shopping.

    Any idea if Firefox can thwart this kind of thing? It seems setting Firefox to private browsing is not compatible with this site if I want to post anything. Is private browsing even enough to defeat these cookies?
     
  2. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    If you get rid of all cookies you won't be able to use sites like this which require you to log in. They are the technology used to keep track of who's who, which is the use they were originally intended for.

    Tracking you for marketing or other purposes is a privacy problem associated with them, but not their definition. My own response is to accept cookies from the site I am on but not from third party sites, which gets rid of most google ad cookies and similar. To do this you'd go to Tools > Options > Privacy, select "use custom settings..." in the drop down, and uncheck "accept third party cookies".

    As to those super cookies, they are basically the result of other code running on the page (java or flash for example) that stores "cookies" in a different location independent of the browser. The browser therefore won't clear them. I'm not sure how one would go about defeating them though. I guess that one possibility is to run the browser in a sandbox such as sandboxie and clear the sandbox every so often, erasing all traces. Another is of course to turn off Flash and Java.
     
  3. PedroHin

    PedroHin

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    This is not going to satisfy you

    Private browsing is exactly that. If you tell the browser to not remember credentials (which is what private browsing is) then you cannot expect login sessions to stay persistent.
     
  4. pcguy9441

    pcguy9441 Thread Starter

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    OK, I get it. Thanks for the info. The recommended setting is what I had originally before I became paranoid. I'll go take my meds now.
     
  5. PedroHin

    PedroHin

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    ha ha
     
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