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Robin Graham02/01/2022 00:34:41
947 forum posts
296 photos

The computer things I mean, not the things that pass for biscuits in some parts of the world.

Some sites refer you to a third party and you can click 'reject all' (excepting 'essential cookies' without which the website can't function) , others give a list of organisations (sometimes 100's of them) who might want to deposit a cookie and you have to refuse each individually, which somewhat vitiates the usefulness of the web as a quick and efficient tool for searching out things one might be interested in. Others present a banner saying 'We use cookies' and invite me to click on a button saying 'I get it' without any other options.. That sounds almost like a threat, and I retreat. But they do say that I can manage this stuff via my browser preferences.

I had a look (Firefox running in Ubuntu) and it seems that I have 1.2GB of disc space occupied by these things. That's a lot of information! Some things are useful ( stored logins mainly ) but most are not.

Is it possible to set up a filter which allows cookies from the three or four sites which I visit regularly without 'breaking' access to the wider web? I can't really understand why some sites claim that they won't work unless they are allowed to stamp their imprint on my disc.

Robin.

Edited By Robin Graham on 02/01/2022 00:36:09

Ady102/01/2022 01:04:49
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5091 forum posts
736 photos

I auto clear everything on browser shutdown

Emgee02/01/2022 02:01:21
2426 forum posts
290 photos

Robin

I use the free version program called CCleaner to clean out any unwanted cookies on the disk, it provides a wide range of choices, + more functions if you want to buy the program.

Or as Ady1 says go to your Browser settings and set it to clear cookies on shutdown.

Emgee

Peter G. Shaw02/01/2022 11:49:02
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1421 forum posts
44 photos

I use Firefox which is set to delete as much as possible on cleardown, not just cookies, but history as well. In addition, when faced with the inevitable, so it seems these days, information about cookies, I always go for the least possible, often the optional ones are already deleted so it's just a case of saving that option. Of course, it means more work each time, but rather that, than give everything away to whoever.

Incidently, I also use DuckDuckGo as apparently they don't track you: I don't see that it's any business of commercial organisations where I go on the internet.

Peter G. Shaw

Edited to add 2nd paragraph.

Edited By Peter G. Shaw on 02/01/2022 11:50:43

Sandgrounder02/01/2022 12:34:12
243 forum posts
6 photos

I just accept all the cookies and leave everything on, I did clear them all once and then had to manually log in to all the websites I go to, and in the case of places like Screwfix, B & Q, and Toolstation also enter my address etc to find the local stock situation.

John

Farmboy02/01/2022 14:49:19
169 forum posts
2 photos

I rather think the cookies were always there, it was government legislation some time ago that forced the web sites to tell you about them every time. I believe Firefox settings let's you create a "white list" of sites you want to allow cookies.

Peter Greene 🇨🇦02/01/2022 16:57:18
513 forum posts
6 photos
Posted by Farmboy on 02/01/2022 14:49:19:

I rather think the cookies were always there, it was government legislation some time ago that forced the web sites to tell you about them every time.

It would be interesting to know which particular government legislated that, since they seem to pop up the questionnaire these days no matter where the site is located and no matter where you are coming from.

The thing that bothers me with the questionnaire is the "accept defaults" selection. If you actually look at the "defaults", all the nasty ones are invariably turned off - leading you to think that it's what you'd get by using "accept defaults" in the first place. But there's no actual guarantee of that and being of a highly mistrusting nature for anything www related ....

Farmboy02/01/2022 17:23:53
169 forum posts
2 photos

I think it was the EU but happy to be corrected.

SillyOldDuffer02/01/2022 18:00:34
Moderator
8695 forum posts
1967 photos
Posted by Peter Greene on 02/01/2022 16:57:18:
Posted by Farmboy on 02/01/2022 14:49:19:

I rather think the cookies were always there, it was government legislation some time ago that forced the web sites to tell you about them every time.

It would be interesting to know which particular government legislated that, since they seem to pop up the questionnaire these days no matter where the site is located and no matter where you are coming from.

The thing that bothers me with the questionnaire is the "accept defaults" selection. If you actually look at the "defaults", all the nasty ones are invariably turned off - leading you to think that it's what you'd get by using "accept defaults" in the first place. But there's no actual guarantee of that and being of a highly mistrusting nature for anything www related ....

I think the EU was first administration to legislate that websites had to declared when they were using cookies : it was just before I retired so about 2010. However, the IT community knew cookies presented security issues almost as soon as they were invented: I did a course on them in the late nineties. Corporate computing took a hard line on cookies, looking for ways stopping then getting on to Intranets with Firewalls and Security Software, plus configuring Browsers to disrupt cookies. After the EU acted, many other governments followed, some with tougher rules, others watered down.

Trouble is cookies are used for good and evil. I'm happy that this Forum uses cookies to manage logins but nervous other websites use cookies for purposes ranging from mildly intrusive to downright criminal.

Compromise is necessary: I block websites known to be naughty with web blacklisting security software; I don't wander the web exploring websites offering porn, celebrity scandal, off-colour humour, gambling, drugs, and free software etc. - such sites are often some form of honeypot; given the choice I "REJECT ALL" cookies ; and in case of doubt I switch to a private browser session.

I agree with Farmboy's concern about many cookie selection pages being misleading. Often designed to fool users into thinking they've turned obnoxious cookie functions off, when the small print says otherwise or is ambivalent. I always read the small print and bail out if it's not crystal clear.

You might wonder why cookies don't cause more trouble: it's because Internet Service Providers blacklist the really bad-boys fairly quickly, and because gentlefolk rarely browse the worst of the internet.

Dave

Peter Greene 🇨🇦02/01/2022 19:09:44
513 forum posts
6 photos

Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 02/01/2022 18:00:34:

......cookie selection pages being misleading. Often designed to fool users into thinking they've turned obnoxious cookie functions off, when the small print says otherwise ......

 

It's what I think of as "Quantum Cookies" .... you only know what's selected if you actually open the box and look. wink

Edited By Peter Greene on 02/01/2022 19:11:00

Clive Foster02/01/2022 19:18:18
3135 forum posts
109 photos

On my Macs I use Cookie which lets me save a whitelist of sites as favourites enabling me to dump anything esles I might have picked up during regular clear outs.

Whitelist for things like saving log ins et al to make life a little easier. Maybe 50 at most.

Typical monthly clear out strips 200 - 300 plus tracking cookies. If I think I've been unwise in accepting things I do a clear out either immediately or before shut down.

Think something got through tag end of November and signed me up for more Junk E-Mails. Catch went up to about 20 a day for a while. Dropped back to 6 or 8 now and I've got things trained to deal with them automatically so I don't usually see them in the in-box, just clear junk to trash and gone.

Now if only I could auto-junk the darm "Janet-Worlds Greatest Astrologer" E-mails that have been cluttering into my in box for the last 20 odd years! The Macs tell me they think its junk and colour it appropriately but will they auto-junk the things. Nope! I guess the little spalsh of colour make s the in-box a bit less boring. If I do find a cure I maght actually miss them.

Clive

Fowlers Fury02/01/2022 21:22:51
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406 forum posts
91 photos

Posted here nearly a year ago:-

"It is infuriating now that when opening most websites, you're required to approve or reject "non-essential" cookies before it will load. I have though found one solution which works on 90% of websites. It's a free add-on for Firefox and Chrome called "Behind the Overlay". Firefox version:-

**LINK**

It places a small icon in the search bar, or you can Shift+Alt+x. When confronted by the cookie overlay, either click on the icon or use the 3 key combination and the cookie overlay disappears and access the site as normal. A few sites then block scrolling but there's a work-around described."

By now tho' more sites are circumventing "Behind the Overlay" by stopping progress from the opening page. Yet I still find it works very well for 80+% of web sites. The other 20% get caught with Firefox Focus (N.B. the "Focus" version affords even more protection than the normal Firefox).

Robin Graham08/01/2022 00:48:09
947 forum posts
296 photos

Thanks for replies, and apologies for not getting back sooner - rich tapestry of life and all that.

I think I've cracked it. I've discovered that I'm not as dependent on cookies for convenient logins &c as I thought - I can use Firefox's 'forget' without any terrible inconvenience.

Perhaps I shouldn't be concerned. I don't know. It's just that I don't understand the technology properly and I'm of a nervous disposition.

Robin

Chris Mate08/01/2022 04:51:55
146 forum posts
32 photos

Operations I am used to, then its easy. I think key is to gain some awareness. I am not an expert, and my methods may have holes in them.

-Don't open unknown e-mails.If theres a link, theres may be a cookie coming.
-Services:Have services disbled that is not necessary for your operations.

-If you install -TCPView- from Microsoft, it will tell you interesting stories you did not know about.
--Disable "Show unconneted endpoints" for a more quick uncluttered view

-All the others said about cookies & history.....You can be selective if you dont wan't passwords lost.


-Be ready to disconnect/pull your cable to Router at lapop(Easy at laptop) or computer (Not always in sight), or have the Router placed so its easy to disconnect from there. If you see data going you dont expect pull the cable and investigate. Router=Ip changes on startedup if you dont have a fixed IP adress, so I dont leave the router connected if not used.
-Keep eye on TaskManager the Network part. If you don't upload specificly , the bytes received should always be way more than the bytes send. Or any new Taskmanager like on Win 10 etc. I once used this simple feature to prove which PC/Laptop was infected eating up a bussiness data every month, asked everybody to keep their Taskmangers going for a week.
-DDOS attack settings in Router: There may be a setting="Source IP Blocking" I found if this setting is checked it may mess with your experience in strange ways.
--I always, thanks to TCPView, keep Router disconnected but started, then start the Laptop, Login,-wait till it loaded, then open browser let it load fully(View taskmanager activity), then I connect the Router to Laptop. Now a lot of crap is not loaded.
-Look at you Router TX/RX lights for activity expected or not.
-Look at your Laptop/Computer Disk light activity for expected or unexpected activity. On my Win 10 Dell I have a small mirror placed to see disc activity. If your PC is -installing-updates you dont want to mess with it when the disc is active my experience



Note:Experience with a cookie many years ago(Somewhat Funny).
Sometimes my Computer locked up for no reason out of the blue, I have to reboot to clear.
-I found my disk activity is 100% leaving Taskmanager with nothing going on but Computer extremely slow actually, the disk running in circles.
-I then found its if I connected to a cetain News Website only.
-I proved its a cooke from this website, however I cannot delete it....After 3 days of headscratching I found a way.
The cookie cannot be deleted, but I could transfer it(Cut-Paste) to the A-Drive disc. I could not delete it then from there either. So I tool the A-Drive disc cut it with scissors and throw it in the rubbish bin literrally.

-I then never visted the site for months, and never had the problem again.

 

Edited By Chris Mate on 08/01/2022 04:54:49

Edited By Chris Mate on 08/01/2022 04:58:00

Edited By Chris Mate on 08/01/2022 04:59:05

Edited By Chris Mate on 08/01/2022 05:02:19

Michael Gilligan08/01/2022 08:56:55
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20185 forum posts
1053 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 02/01/2022 18:00:34:

[…]

I think the EU was first administration to legislate that websites had to declared when they were using cookies : it was just before I retired so about 2010. However, the IT community knew cookies presented security issues almost as soon as they were invented: I did a course on them in the late nineties. […]

I agree with Farmboy's concern about many cookie selection pages being misleading. Often designed to fool users into thinking they've turned obnoxious cookie functions off, when the small print says otherwise or is ambivalent. I always read the small print and bail out if it's not crystal clear.

[…]

.

With your experience and expertise, Dave … You may be the best man to explain “Legitimate Interest

This is a claim which I find suspicious, but don’t actually understand; so [on principle] I ‘Object
… but what good does that do me ?

MichaelG.

DiogenesII08/01/2022 09:40:16
561 forum posts
221 photos

ROBIN -

Apropos your original post, yes you (probably) can (depends whether your Firefox has the same features as mine)..

I note your reply of this very morning, but will post this nonetheless, it might help someone..

Firefox > Settings > 'Privacy & Security' (from RH list),

Scroll down to 'Cookies & Site Data'

There's a 'tick box' to select 'Delete cookies & site data when Firefox is closed', and next to it, a label to access the menu of 'exceptions' which you will need to populate with the addresses of the sites whose cookies you wish to retain, these just need to be in the general form rather than of specific pages, i.e.
'https://www.model-engineer.co.uk' or 'https://www.trumptonsurgery.com'..

After some experimentation, I have my list down to this site, my bank, my local surgery, my favourite search engine (so that it remembers my disinterest in 'celebrity' news and that I live in the UK), XCWeather (most reliably accurate by a mile), Youtube, and Ebay.

Everything else gets deleted each time I close the browser.

Rarely, 'updates' to Firefox seem to lose addresses, which means that they have to be entered again, but of course that's no trouble - as long as one can remember the password..

For me, it all works very well - although I use the 'net a lot, it's mainly for browsing and buying - the suppliers I buy from either 'remember me' or I have an account, and I don't use social media or maintain a presence in other forums..

I do find that Youtube is a pain - Google wants to know everything about everyone, and as I don't want to retain it's multiplicity of cookies, it makes me sign in anew each time - on balance, something I can live with.

Hope this helps - D.

Howi08/01/2022 10:33:31
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359 forum posts
19 photos

The paranoia on here is frightening...........

SillyOldDuffer08/01/2022 11:53:02
Moderator
8695 forum posts
1967 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 08/01/2022 08:56:55:
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 02/01/2022 18:00:34:

[…]

...

I agree with Farmboy's concern about many cookie selection pages being misleading. Often designed to fool users into thinking they've turned obnoxious cookie functions off, when the small print says otherwise or is ambivalent. I always read the small print and bail out if it's not crystal clear.

[…]

.

With your experience and expertise, Dave … You may be the best man to explain “Legitimate Interest

This is a claim which I find suspicious, but don’t actually understand; so [on principle] I ‘Object
… but what good does that do me ?

MichaelG.

If only! I don't know what 'Legitimate interest' means either. As far as I know it's not bounded. Job for a lawyer!

As I understand our legal system, the government starts by setting an intent, which is translated into legalise by a parliamentary draughtsman. His efforts are examined by a committee, who spot mistakes and demand clarifications. After the committee is satisfied, the proposed legislation is debated by the Lower House, who can demand changes before voting it through. Then it goes to the Upper House who can send it back to the Lower House a few times for a rethink.

Done carefully the system works fairly well, but there are always ambiguities and mistakes, particularly when politicians rush legislation through to appease enraged voters! Ambiguities, of which I think 'Legitimate Interest' is an example, are left to the Courts to resolve. After listening to the facts of the case and legal arguments, the interpretation is decided by Twelve Good Men and True. Quite often ambiguities are deliberate: rather than rely on MPs to get everything right, it's left to the courts to add precision based on real-world examples.

I think a website user who challenged 'Legitimate Interest' would have to go to law unless a precedent had already been set. An example. Say you're a committed Christian, whose identity and activities are tracked by a website catering to Christian interests. 'Legitimate Interest' might mean it's OK for the website's owners, whoever they are, to target you with compatible Christian interest information. However, I doubt a British Jury would consider 'Legitimate Interest' to include the website's owners passing personal information to extremist religious groups so they could convert you!

This is where opinion kicks in. An extremist might well think converting unbelievers to the true faith is his sacred duty. The Jesuits believed the end justifies the means. An extremist is happy to carry on until told by a policeman it's illegal, and there's always a chance a jury might agree with him.

I don't know effect 'Object' has either. Be nice if the website turned data collection off entirely, but it might mean they only restrict how the information is shared. It's unclear.

Dave

Michael Gilligan08/01/2022 12:46:52
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20185 forum posts
1053 photos

Thanks, Dave

At least I now know that I am not alone in my bewilderment.

MichaelG.

SillyOldDuffer08/01/2022 13:26:33
Moderator
8695 forum posts
1967 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 08/01/2022 12:46:52:

Thanks, Dave

At least I now know that I am not alone in my bewilderment.

MichaelG.

I've just realised there's a mistake in my answer: I said ambiguities are resolved by a jury: pretty sure that's wrong - it's done by judges.

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