General Browsing IntroductionAs you are on my website I would presume that you are a person who browses the internet, so if you want to find out more about how much you are giving away just by browsing the internet read on.
About CookiesCookies are things that websites put on your computer. These are usually harmless (theoretically) and don't take up more than a few hundred bytes of space. So what do cookies do? Cookies basically collect data about you. Some are designed to see what content you view, others to save your login details for you.
In some cases the cookies are good as they help you in some way or another. For example they may remember things like your name and email address for you, so if you regularly fill in a form (such as a comment form) you don't have to keep re-entering the information.
Cookies can also he used to target advertising. Some cookies are designed to collect information about you so that the website relating to the cookie can show you advertising that is more relevant to you.
How can I get rid of my cookies?Getting rid of cookies is very simple, and most browsers have the option to delete cookies. This function is usually in the privacy options section of the browser.
Some browsers also give you the option to block all cookies, this will stop cookies being stored on your computer, but this will mean that the "good" cookies (that do things like fill in forms for you) will also be stopped.
What can websites see about me?Many people would be surprised at what some websites can see of them. All websites are stored on web servers, and these can see who accesses them, as there is no other way of getting to a website than going to it on its server, and requesting the information from that server.
Because your browser gets the information you see on your screen from a server, the server can get information from you, when you request information.
The sort of information that servers can collect includes: Your IP Address (which people can use to find out what general area you are accessing the internet from); What browser you are using; What operating system you are running; How long you spend on the site; What pages you view; What your connection speed is, and much more.
There is not much you can do to stop sites collecting this data about you, so if you are really conscious about who can see you on the internet, only go on essential and trusted sites, that you know won't use your information against you.
Summary of general browsing safetyThe web is a fantastic tool, with loads of information on it, so use it wisely, without giving too much away about yourself.