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Old 11-12-2012, 09:44 AM
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Test Your Browser's Cookie Handling and Privacy Management

This likely belongs in the Security section but because of a recent thread about cookie handling and privacy issues thought it a good idea to post this link here in PC Help because more people would see it.
Here is a test that will quickly analyze how your browser handles cookies and maintains your privacy.
Just click the link and it will quickly scan your browser and give you a read out of your browsers configuration and test its privacy ability also. Takes just a few seconds. It also will show you if you have a leakage of information.

You may get a surprise, hopefully its a good one.

http://www.grc.com/cookies/forensics.htm

I was very pleased because my Firefox version 16.02 scored completely with green ratings, top to bottom as shown by my print screen and no browser cookie leakage bug either!

Even though I rarely use IE but I do have it configured correctly in case I do use it, I decided to test it. While it had green scores on two sections it did show my IE had a problem in two areas and I was VERY surprised.

First-party session cookies
- These are temporary cookies set by the web site being visited (the first-party). They are not stored permanently and are retained only until the browser session is ended (the web browser application is closed).
First-party persistent cookies - These are permanent cookies set by the web site being visited (the first-party). They are stored permanently and will be retained either until their requested expiration date and time, or until they are manually deleted through some user action.
Third-party session cookies — These are temporary cookies not set by the web site being visited (the first-party) but rather by some other “third-party” web server referenced by the (first-party) site being visited. Being session cookies they are not stored permanently and will be retained only until the browser session is ended (the web browser application is closed).
Third-party persistent cookies — These are permanent cookies not set by the web site being visited (the first-party) but rather by some other “third-party” web server referenced by the (first-party) site being visited. Being persistent (permanent) cookies that are stored permanently, they will be retained either until their requested expiration date and time, or until they are manually deleted through some user action. These are the worst of all cookies since they are typically planted into a user's browser without the user's knowledge, permission, or expectation, after which time they can — and are — used to track users across the Internet compiling profiles of sites visited, search queries used, and collecting all manner of personal and private information.
I also had a Blue Browser Leakage bug in IE the presence of a web browser cookie leakage bug that cannot be prevented through the browser's cookie controls.
Here are the three I had in IE and info on them from GRC
Quote:
ICON "Favicons" are the icons used to identify websites in the URL address and "favorites" lists. Although they typically come from the same website as the main page, nothing prevents them from being provided by third-party servers. Therefore, Favicon cookies can be either first or third party.
EMBED Early sound and video enabled pages used the “EMBED” method to cause media players already resident on the user's computer to play their content. Since the media content could come from anywhere, cookies returned with embedded media can be either first or third party.
OBJECT The “OBJECT” element provides a general purpose method for including images, audio, Java applets, Flash animations and more. Since the source of these included add-ons could be anywhere, cookies accompanying OBJECTs can be either first or third party.

Now I had always followed the recommendation of having session cookies enabled since they are deleted when you leave the web page, imagine my surprise when I found this doesn't make much difference in IE...some of them are NOT deleted and this apparently is by design, because it doesn't matter if you don't have that enabled, because I tried it, and some of them still show on the test.
After deleting all History and Cookies, I tried resetting IE's Security and Privacy settings at various levels and still received the exact same results.
If you set everything at the very highest level of security on IE and don't allow session cookies then unfortunately it is almost impossible to use the browser at all.
I also am including a print screen of the site's chart showing what IE can do as far as cookie handling. This only goes up to IE 8 but based on my results testing IE 9, none of what they found wrong with IE 6 thru IE8 has been fixed. They also had a chart for Firefox but it only went up to Firefox 3. If my results for Firefox 16.02 are any indicator though it can do it all.

So if nothing else, this tells me I am right in rarely if ever using IE.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:25 AM
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I tested both of my browsers too, and came up with excellent results for FF and fair results for IE. I found in IE I would have to allow NO cookies from first, third, and session cookies, which means signing in to every site I need to be registered with. I thought things may be better with IE9, since MS states it is so secure.
I'll stick with FF, and thanks for the info.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billm65 View Post
I tested both of my browsers too, and came up with excellent results for FF and fair results for IE. I found in IE I would have to allow NO cookies from first, third, and session cookies, which means signing in to every site I need to be registered with. I thought things may be better with IE9, since MS states it is so secure.
I'll stick with FF, and thanks for the info.
You're welcome bill. I thought "maybe" IE 9 would be more secure too, though I don't like it so knew I wouldn't use it. But the only thing I found different are slide ups that tell me to enable, or disable some sort of addon...doesn't ever say what addon but you get that message quite often. Otherwise, other than that, the IE testing still showed pretty much same results as those older versions shown in the chart there so more secure? I don't think so. I'm with you bill, sticking with Firefox.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:47 AM
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hi judy: thank you for posting this. i have ff16 but i didnt do too well on 3rd party cookies. i went to tools and options but cant find a way to eliminate them. the old ff had a box you could check. help?
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over easy View Post
hi judy: thank you for posting this. i have ff16 but i didnt do too well on 3rd party cookies. i went to tools and options but cant find a way to eliminate them. the old ff had a box you could check. help?
Here's how to block those in Firefox.
Go to Tools, Options, Privacy, then look at my print screen.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:06 AM
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thanks. they all had check marks and i followed your screen so i'm cool. i owe you again.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:24 PM
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Thanks for the site Judy, my Firefox came out ok with no concerns. Just did a check of the wife's Google Chrome and it show all red for third party and persistent cookies so will have to take a careful look at her system
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:55 PM
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Wink

All my browsers show green..........don't use or even open I.E.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lester View Post
Thanks for the site Judy, my Firefox came out ok with no concerns. Just did a check of the wife's Google Chrome and it show all red for third party and persistent cookies so will have to take a careful look at her system
Lester.........here are my settings for SWiron,should be the same for Google.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:00 PM
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Even K-Meleon.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over easy View Post
thanks. they all had check marks and i followed your screen so i'm cool. i owe you again.
You're welcome over easy
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HARLEY View Post
Lester.........here are my settings for SWiron,should be the same for Google.

Thanks Harley, a quick check on the wife's computer showed she had third party cookies allowed so took that out and a couple of other changes brings a clean check - Thanks again
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:49 PM
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Judy do you have any idea how to correct the orange cookie, I see yours is blank also. They say its no big problem but it should be checked


http://i49.tinypic.com/2d14r9s.jpg

I blocked all cookies in IE but the test still shows all red in third party cookies
When I clicked "Advance" in tools I saw nothing under security for cookies
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candida View Post
Judy do you have any idea how to correct the orange cookie, I see yours is blank also. They say its no big problem but it should be checked


http://i49.tinypic.com/2d14r9s.jpg
Not sure what you are asking here. If that printscreen is of your browser test results you don't have any cookies showing orange so there is nothing to correct.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jholland1964 View Post
Not sure what you are asking here. If that printscreen is of your browser test results you don't have any cookies showing orange so there is nothing to correct.

I know Judy it was orange on the original page but blank on the image
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candida View Post
I know Judy it was orange on the original page but blank on the image
Where are you seeing this orange cookie listing? I had no orange listings shown on my test page and my print screen shows exactly what showed on my test result page.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jholland1964 View Post
Where are you seeing this orange cookie listing? I had no orange listings shown on my test page and my print screen shows exactly what showed on my test result page.


I will try and get a screen shot and mark it....you have the Icon blank on your image to did you not see it orange on the original? BRB
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candida View Post
I will try and get a screen shot and mark it....you have the Icon blank on your image to did you not see it orange on the original? BRB
My print screen is from Firefox. I have no orange cookies noted anywhere. I have only green on 1st party and absolutely no cookies whatsoever in 3rd party.
A blank Icon means No Icon cookie was received from the web browser

I did not do a print screen of IE but had no orange cookies showing there either. Had those blue ones which indicate a browser cookie leak which is worse than the orange ones which are stale cookies...old ones that continue to "rule" but none show on either browser at all.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:02 PM
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The orange one next to ICOM

The second paragraph talks about the orange one

http://i46.tinypic.com/d6vx4.jpg
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candida View Post
The orange one next to ICOM

The second paragraph talks about the orange one

http://i46.tinypic.com/d6vx4.jpg
No, I don't have any cookie at all in the Icon cookie area. The Icon in the address bar was removed with Firefox version 10 for security reasons which is what this refers to. See my attachments. It is just a "generic" Gray Globe icon showing there in Firefox. Most websites when using a fully updated Firefox version will have the gray globe, because they don't involve passing sensitive information back and forth and do not need to have verified identities or encrypted connections.
Note the WS Icon showing in the address bar in IE.
Yours is on a first party persistent cookie, meaning it is reused. As the web site tells you:
Quote:
These are permanent cookies set by the web site being visited (the first-party). They are stored permanently and will be retained either until their requested expiration date and time, or until they are manually deleted through some user action.
What version of Firefox are you using?
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