Browser Security Essentials for User Privacy Part 4

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Continuing from the previous post, we will discuss now what are session cookies and persistent cookies and how to handle them.

Session Cookies are sometimes used in authentication in order to log-in a customer into a restricted area, like chat clients, e mail, bank accounts and other authentication based user access websites, to record your visit and amount of time spent at a website and give seamless access to all the web pages associated with that website. 

Session cookies are also time duration sensitive and record your activity when using a website, if there isn’t any activity for a stipulated period of time, some websites prompts to re enter the authentication credentials to prove that it is the original user who is using the account, since there are so many ways that an account can be compromised. Always remember to clear the cache and other personal details like search forms, address bars and history of the browser when using a public terminal and also do not forget to close off the browser before leaving. 

The closing of the browser terminates all the connections with communication ports through which the data traverses on the machine. This all information is stored in an Internet Protocol header (IP header) and other memory registers on your system. There are so many other ways to work with IP headers. So when the browser window is closed it terminates all those ports involved in communication at that particular moment of time. So when a new Browser is opened it has to initiate all the requests to establish a new connection with new set of values.This in many ways helps protect your privacy.

Communication technologies have converged fast, 4G networks are already deployed in many parts of the world particularly in some markets in Scandinavia, North America and South East Asia. More and more devices are hooking up, more technologies and gadgets are developing at a rapid pace, the more the security issues are involved with all the devices which we use for our daily communication needs, and it is highly advised to update your understanding and techniques of using these technologies, so that we do not fall victim to attacks and loose our precious data and time.

And now we will come to discuss Persistent cookies, these are the cookies which note a user's preferences and other needs like customer settings like language, mode and other user preferences while visiting a site and stores this information in the cookie to be placed onto your system. So when you make the next visit, it is easy for us to be offered services at a faster speed. But the problem with these set of cookies is same as ever, that it could be used to target you knowing your preferences, if a malicious user gains access to these cookies. So it will be up to you to clear the cookies when you visit a site. Or the level of trust you place with the site being visited.

So you need to focus on how to set privacy settings on your local browser, if you're using multiple browsers, you need to understand where you need to look for the privacy settings in different browsers. You need to understand how to clear cookies from your system, how often and when.

In the upcoming posts we will look into how other types of persistent cookies( which are almost impossible to remove), flash objects and scripts pose serious privacy issues for a user and how to deal with them.

The reason to take these issues seriously is, it is not all the time that a user can know in any way that his accounts are being used unscrupulously. Sometimes there is every chance that you will never know, how your personal accounts have been abused.

2 comments:

Valleyz said...

HI

beela jhones said...

Thanks for sharing this descriptive post. I really don't know much about browser cookies. But after reading your post I am able to learn about cookies.

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