Privacy Series: Cookies Are Everywhere

You’re being tracked! Remember?

Today, we’ll continue sharing about how companies track and store your online behavior. And they often do store that data right on your hard drive!

Let’s talk about cookies. When you surf the internet and access different websites, many collect data about your visit and store it on your device. Nothing wrong with that, you might say. Though, we disagree. Why?

To understand why, let’s first realize what. What’re cookies? Pieces of information. About what? Your online behavior on a given platform. Used for what? It depends. Cookies might be used to customize your browsers’ display based on your preferences or help you continue shopping with whitelisted products on your online shopping card. At the same time, cookies might also be used against you, and third-party companies leverage that to profit from you.

Wait, but why? Because cookies are pieces of information that a web server sends to your browser and saves it on your device. If that information is openly stored on your device, it could also be accessed by the same web server — once you log in back on that platform. That’s how they access data about your behaviors — because you give them your ‘permission to do so.

When you surf a given website, you probably notice an annoying pop-up screen asking you to ‘accept all cookies or customize them’. Most people don’t care enough to customize the settings; they accept the ‘norm’. When you press ‘accept all cookies’, you also get so called’ third-party-cookies’. What a mistake! Why? Because they communicate all that data about you to external third parties that share and reshape that information.

Imagine all internet marketers having data about your preferences, favorite or typical shopping list, purchase behavior, and so on. That’s powerful data, and companies use that to profit from you. For example, you should know that these third-party cookies include ‘tracking cookies’ which use your online behavior history to deliver other, personalized ads. The list goes on.

Time to change that. Luckily, your browser settings and some external software will help you to fight your freedom back. First, you need to detect when you’re being tracked and then eliminate that.

One great tool we’d recommend is Disconnect, a browser extension that stops major third parties from tracking the platforms you go to. While you surf the internet, Disconnect automatically detects all suspicious connections from your browser, and even better — any other connection than the platform you are visiting.

Another tip: consider the complete opt-out of sharing cookie data with Network Advertising Initiative members. No more data leakage!

Lastly, always make sure to customize your cookies — don’t ever accept all cookies! Please, be mindful of your online behavior and remember — your privacy is your human right.

Thank you, Razer, for reading till now. Next time, we’ll share about fingerprinting, how to analyze and block it. Stay tuned!

About Raze Network

Raze Network is a cross-chain privacy protocol. It is built as a native privacy layer that can provide end-to-end anonymity for the entire DeFi stack. The Raze Network applies zkSNARKs to the Zether framework to build a second-layer decentralized anonymous module. The objective of Raze Network is to enable cross-chain privacy-preserving payment and trading systems while protecting the transparency of your assets and behaviors from surveillance.

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Raze is a trustless zero-knowledge proof system designed specifically for decentralized finance.