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Cookies Are the Original Ransomware


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http://in.pcmag.com/opinion/114570/cookies-are-the-original-ransomware

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Cookies Are the Original Ransomware

BY JOHN C. DVORAK 
  MAY 17, 2017, 6:30 P.M.

If we didn't let browsers track our every digital move, ransomware wouldn't exist.

cookies-are-the-original-ransomware_44m7

The existence of ransomware—and probably 90 percent of all malware—can be blamed on the now-defunct Netscape, which invented the trackingcookie other browsers quickly adopted.

OpinionsCookies are pieces of information the browser surreptitiously writes on your machine. They can be useful for things like remembering passwords and settings, but have raised privacy concerns over the years due to their ability to track web activity.

 

Thus, the first ransomware message came from advertisers and website operators: "we are not showing you this content unless you allow us to use cookies on your computer."

 

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Hahah, I don't know about modern ransomware not existing if not for cookies, but yeah, I HATE it when a website tries to force me to allow cookies (or ads for that matter) just to be able to view their content.  Unless it's something absolutely essential that I just cannot find anywhere else, I just close the page/navigate away when they do that and there have been extremely few cases where I couldn't find whatever was on that page that I was looking for elsewhere.  I have my main browser (the one I use for actual web surfing and research) set to prompt me every time a webpage tries to save a cookie on my system.  I get the option to allow the cookie, block the cookie and a checkbox to apply my selection to all cookies from that website (which means that via the checkbox I can easily set it "always allow" or "always block"; guess which one I usually pick ;) ).

Cookies are quite tasty, but keep em' outta my browser cuz I don't like crumbs on my internetz :P .

As for ads, same deal.  I know websites are just trying make money/support themselves, and while I realize I'm paying my ISP, not them, I still have to look at it the same way I look at cable/satellite: I'm not paying them to advertise to me.  Heck, that's the very reason I cut the cord and no longer own a TV and just watch all my shows/movies online (Amazon, Netflix and Vudu are my friends (though not Hulu cuz they force you to watch ads no matter what, even if you pay em', or at least they did the last time I checked, and no iTunes because I don't want to install any third party software just to watch an MP4 stream).  Honestly, it wasn't so bad when there was just one or two unobtrusive ads on a page or when they kept them all relegated to a slim bar on one side of the page (usually the right), but these days they're right in-line with the real content or worse, popping up and covering it, or even worse still, playing video and/or audio distracting you from the content you're actually there for.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/24/2017 at 2:58 AM, exile360 said:

Hahah, I don't know about modern ransomware not existing if not for cookies, but yeah, I HATE it when a website tries to force me to allow cookies (or ads for that matter) just to be able to view their content.  Unless it's something absolutely essential that I just cannot find anywhere else, I just close the page/navigate away when they do that and there have been extremely few cases where I couldn't find whatever was on that page that I was looking for elsewhere.  I have my main browser (the one I use for actual web surfing and research) set to prompt me every time a webpage tries to save a cookie on my system.  I get the option to allow the cookie, block the cookie and a checkbox to apply my selection to all cookies from that website (which means that via the checkbox I can easily set it "always allow" or "always block"; guess which one I usually pick ;) ).

Cookies are quite tasty, but keep em' outta my browser cuz I don't like crumbs on my internetz :P .

As for ads, same deal.  I know websites are just trying make money/support themselves, and while I realize I'm paying my ISP, not them, I still have to look at it the same way I look at cable/satellite: I'm not paying them to advertise to me.  Heck, that's the very reason I cut the cord and no longer own a TV and just watch all my shows/movies online (Amazon, Netflix and Vudu are my friends (though not Hulu cuz they force you to watch ads no matter what, even if you pay em', or at least they did the last time I checked, and no iTunes because I don't want to install any third party software just to watch an MP4 stream).  Honestly, it wasn't so bad when there was just one or two unobtrusive ads on a page or when they kept them all relegated to a slim bar on one side of the page (usually the right), but these days they're right in-line with the real content or worse, popping up and covering it, or even worse still, playing video and/or audio distracting you from the content you're actually there for.

I hate that so much. Whenever a website tries to make me do that, I just leave the website. I find that the browser addon uMatrix does a good job because I can block cookies by default and only allow them if I want to and trust the website.

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