No one likes tossing out cookies, but privacy gurus say clearing them off your hard drive is one of the best ways to 0diggsdigg protect your ID from falling into the hands of online thieves. But if Adobe Systems has anything to do about it, keeping your browser’s cupboard free of cookie crumbs is going to remain a task that won’t be easy for you to accomplish. And this has identity theft experts worried.
What it means to you
In addition to seeing a lot more ads relating to searches you performed and sites you visited, experts say Adobe Systems’ “Flash cookies” (and traditional cookies, too) can leave consumers open to identity theft.
Cookies, the little bits of stored information embedded in web browsers that remember sites you visit, help advertisers target you for their latest marketing promotions. All that personalized attention makes surfers feel known and cared for, as ads claiming such things as “Local mom in (your city) made thousands doing this …” show up while they’re online.
Unfortunately, the cookies, particularly the Flash version, can also lead to your personal details being at risk for identity theft. “Flash cookies can store much more information than the standard cookie, are usually undetected, and can remain indefinitely on a hard drive,” says Scott Stevenson, founder and CEO of Eliminate ID Theft, a credit-monitoring agency. And depending on where you’re surfing the web, some of that information can be hacked into by identity thieves.
Where you are when surfing the web is important. George K. Tsantes, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Intersections Inc. says the most important question you need to ask regarding Flash, or any other type of cookie, is this: Does the cookie in question reside on a trusted computer?… To read the rest of the article, please click here.