Originally Posted by Ghost
McAffee discovered a whole lot of issues on my computer. They seam to be ad-related cookies. I cannot compromise my security. So I installed adblocker to my firefox, I had not bothered to install it on the computer I took with me to my new address, but I did this morning (it is currently turned off, and I'm sure I am getting pasted with cookies).
McAffee and other "internet security" programs with anti-spyware/privacy scanning get their panties in a twist, or more accurately attempt to get their users' panties in a twist, about perfectly harmless (from a security perspective) cookies. How else do they sell their $59 annual renewals along with a hard-sell upsell to the $109/year "full Internet Security" package.
Cookies are a good thing at the core. Without geeking out too much, here's why. Think about when you log in to a site. Then you click to another page on the site. How does the site still "know" that you're logged in? How does a site "know" that you put something in your shopping cart? The web is what we programmer geeks call "stateless". You don't actually have an ongoing session with the website computer you're communicating with. Every single time you request a page and it sends it back, really it's a "Start, send, receive, Stop, forget I was ever talking to you." (yeah I'm vastly oversimplifying it.) Unlike older pre-web (and still prevalent) mainframe and other large systems where once you're logged on, you're on. I could get into CICS COMMAREA, TSQs, TDQs, 3270 terminal IDs, and other stuff that I haven't quite gotten out of my head even though it dates back to the age of beartrap bindings, but I won't. You're welcome. One of the biggest problems I found back in the 90's when my then-team started working with web developers where we on the mainframe were being a ginormous server for them, was that many of the old mainframe guys couldn't get their heads around how the browser didn't "maintain state" the way that the trusty old 3270 TERMID did. Had lots of fun designing a web-targeted search of mainframe data and explaining to the gang why we and the web developers needed to agree on how we were going to pass and persist state. If the mainframe at the time knew about cookies, we could have used that, but that was before OS390/zOS had a built in web services capability.
Now advertising cookies might be a bit "evil". But I'd rather see ads for ski gear, independent travel, airline miles earning opportunities, and science-fiction stuff when I'm on Yahoo or any site serving up google-ads, instead of womens' shoes, baby bottles, golf equipment, crochet needles, and badminton racquets. So if some ad tracking cookies know that I hang out at epicski.com, flyertalk, slashdot, trekmovie, travel-specific sites for southeast Asia and South America, and share that across sites, that's not so bad IMHO. As I've noted elsewhere in the tech suggestions forum, I'm using adblock but not blocking everything from epic. I also don't block everything from other sites if I find their ads semi-relevant and non-annoying.
So I don't think you should be really worried about privacy/security concerns from the cookies you're seeing, even from some ad cookies. If the ad cookies bother you, there are official opt-out sites (too lazy to look) that store a dummy cookie from each ad syndicator so that they don't save tracking data on you.
Now if we just could get rid of the darn Golfinator - that seems to be the only banner ad other than google text ads that are getting served here, and it's coming from a couple of different ad syndicators!
edit: PS McAffee blows chunks and slows every machine I've ever tried it on to a crawl. If you must payfor something, at long last Symantec no longer is a pig. Symantec Norton360 is a well-regarded, light-impact full "Internet Security Suite" without a lot of technobabble. If you want the technobabble and manual control, Symantec Internet Security is also now lightweight but flexible.
Me, I've switched almost entirely to COMODO Internet Security, which now combines their well-regarded (but high in technobabble) firewall with their Anti-Virus and HIPS (Host Intrusion Protection System). It is totally free including for commercial /business use (which is NOT the case with AVG, Avast, other "free" antivirus). I add to it their separate products, also free, COMODO Memory Firewall (protects against buffer overflow exploits) and COMODO BOClean (anti-malware monitor that is behavior-based). Total cost: $0.
I have to use Symantec Corporate Antivirus as provided by BigFinancialCo on the machines I have configured to VPN into work, because they check for versions of that, but they provide it to employees for free.
Only thing I need now is a current AV product that will run on Win98SE running in a Virtual PC VM on a 2nd-gen CRT iMac "upgraded" to OS9 from its original OS8, that will actually work in a 64M VM. Avast is crapping all over the floor so I'm about to try AVG. But I digress. If anybody wants some antique system tests of the site with Mac IE5, iCab for OS9, Opera 6 for OS9, or the final versions of Mozilla/WaCom for OS9, give me a yell. I still have systems with OS9 NS4 and Windows NS4 but I'm just terrified of what this would look like with them. Sorry, no IE4 or NS3 left anywhere.
Anything is better than McAfee IMHO, Ghost. Get yourself some better freeware AV/Firewall and anti-spyware. You'll think you just bought a faster computer!
Edited by MarkXS - 2/9/2009 at 04:28 am