Best Cookie Manager ?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Q Section, Nov 1, 2003.

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  1. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    Hello Everyone

    Please respond with your idea of the best cookie manager program. Please only respond if you have tried several and have personal knowledge of them. It will not help if you just say, "My xyz program is so good and I like it and it does what I want." We are looking for a comparison of the better programs to learn to make an educated choice.

    Thank you so very much!
     
  2. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Actually QSection, you may want to qualify the parameters for this question a little more... Your sig line says you are using IE5.5, is that still true? Cookie managers may depend upon browser choice, so full qualification of your conditions will help the responses, I'd think.

    For example, if you'd be willing to goto IE6, those people who have tried some third-party cookie managers but ended up selecting the built-in manager in IE6 might be able to compare and contrast the benefits...
     
  3. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    Hello LWM

    OK the responses should be those that work with IE 5.5 and /or IE6. We had 5.5, got it corrupted, temporarily went to 6 and just now found and downloaded 5.5SP2. :D
     
  4. sig

    sig Registered Member

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    I haven't used a separate cookie manager in years (I use Proxomitron instead which has other functions also). Webwasher also has some cookie management feaures. But two apps specific for cookies I have used were CookieWall, freeware from AnalogX http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/network.htm and CookiePal which has a limited time free trial version and sells for $15 http://www.kburra.com/cpal.html

    The info on this site may appear dated, but I think most of these apps are still available if not all: http://www.cookiecentral.com/software.phtml?type=pc

    Since various browsers allow for varying amounts of cookie control and cookie managing may be built into other privacy/security apps, there seem to be only a few standalone cookie managers to choose from, if you're looking for just that. I did like CookiePal, though. I'm not sure I can give you a whole lot of reasons why. Ease of use, info available when you want to look at the lists of cookies you are blocking and the ones you have on your system. A nice little app. Is it the best? Perhaps using a combination of a kind of host file block list and browser cookie settings may be the most efficient for some people. It all depends on what you want.
     
  5. crockett

    crockett Registered Member

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    Hello QSection :)

    This thread you may be interested in.

    http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=14890

    It contains a few links to recent discussions on several cookie managers.

    Also contains interesting screenshots by JayK regarding cookie-management.

    Rgds, Crockett :cool:
     
  6. Amerk_5

    Amerk_5 Registered Member

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    I like Cookie Monster which is freeware. It only handles the cookies already on your system & it works with many browsers. I use it with Mozilla 1.5, Mozilla Firebird 0.7, & IE 6.

    I really like the new feature that can search your bookmarks & favorites, match them to the cookies & then select them all so they can be easily added to your preserved (saved) cookies list with one click. I think this a great feature for first time users who have tons of cookies.

     
  7. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

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    Q - Since you're using IE, my hands-down recommendation goes to Cookie Muncher (which can be d/l'ed from here: http://www.webattack.com/get/cookiemunch.html ).

    The concept behind Cookie Muncher is quite simple - it "eats" all cookies within a half-second of their arrival, leaving only the "pointer" behind in TIF (which, of course, you should have set to be emptied upon shut-down/re-start).

    It allows you to stay logged in anywhere you have to do that - as long as you don't close your browser entirely. IOW, you can leave a page - if you only have one window open - go to another page, then come back and still be logged in.

    It also provides the ability to not have the cookies "eaten" by changing their attributes to "read-only", but I don't even bother with that as I have several other programs that automatically kill cookies regardless of what their attributes are (you can safely assume I see no need for cookies that hang around, here).

    I really haven't found too many programs that are as beautiful in their simplicity of concept and execution as Cookie Muncher - if you don't want to be bothered with/have to deal with cookies, period, it's the one to get. Pete
     
  8. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    If you're using IE6 and want to use a cooking manager, just use the built in cookie manager. just promp for first party cookies and block all 3rd party cookies. :)

    You can also use a program like MRU Blaster from Javacool. :) you can find links for MRU Blaster here on this forum (in the Mru Blaster part of the forum).

    As someone pointed out there's a good program called cookiewall from Analog x. Theres a link that someone else posted here in this post for cookiewall.
     
  9. Amerk_5

    Amerk_5 Registered Member

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    Also, if you're using IE you can use IE-SpyAd to stop all kinds of bad cookies. You apply the .reg file which adds tons of sites to the Restricted Sites Zone in IE which then prevents those sites from setting cookies.
     
  10. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    Hello notageek

    If you have a bit of time you might wish to glance at this. It is an article with tests outlining the usage of IE 6.0 cookie managing feature and the lack of full control it allows and how it is spoofed. It is written by the author of IE-SPYAD. BTW - we are already using MRU-Blaster but thank you anyway for mentioning it.

    Best wishes

    Thank you everyone for your input. We can still take any other opinions anyone wishes to contribute. We will post our choice after a bit.
     
  11. notageek

    notageek Registered Member

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    Thanks QSection. I read that article about IE6 cookie manager. I don't use IE that mush I mainly use Mozilla. But when I do use IE i do use the cookie manager that comes with it. I mainly use IE for this site and a few other forums. :) But give cookiewall a try it's rather good here's the web page http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/network/cookie.htm
     
  12. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    As a matter of fact I'm the founder/only member of the CFC, the Cookiewall Fan Club.

    Alas, due to overwhelming succes we can't accept anymore members :rolleyes:
     
  13. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    I looked it, interesting article showing the interactions between security zone settings, with IE p3p cookie managements/Advanced cookie settings.

    It seems though that there isn't anything really wrong with the cookie manager. The article argues that the default settings based on p3p standards are weak, because even doubleclick has privacy policies and hence are accepted under the medium policy.

    But if you look at results of "override" and "optin" you can see that users of the "Advanced" cookie options have nothing to worry.

    "While the new cookie handling options in IE6 do provide users with a more finely grained means for controlling cookies, the vast majority of IE6 users will find these options much too confusing and involved to be of any real use. Still worse, the default Privacy settings of IE6 are simply too lax for users to expect any meaningful improvement in the protection of their online privacy by IE6 straight "out-of-the-box."

    He argues that the settings are too complicated for a beginner and the defaults are bad, NOT that the features are insufficent . For most members on wilders who are willing to study it for a few mins, the cookie manger in IE 6 is more than sufficent.

    Still I found this interesting

    "1. First-Party Cookies Forced On User

    The popup/popunder ads at www.msnbc.com and abcnews.go.com appeared in a new IE window with an address bar. Each contained a new address (other than the primary site being visited). In other words, at msnbc.com and abcnews.go.com there medimum were two first-party sites: one for the main site being visited, and one for the popup/popunder ad. "

    It seems strange popups should be considered first party cookies Oh well, that's why we have popup blockers.

    Also there is mention of a bug where medium privacy options accepted a cookie when it should not have, but I don't use that settings anyway.
     
  14. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    Wouldn't that be the same as converting them to a session cookie? Or are we talking about something different?
     
  15. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

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    JayK - No, I don't consider it to be the same.

    A "per session" cookie is still there on your HD during the length of the session - with CM, it's not - only the TIF "pointer" is.

    During the session (with CM running) you have the advantage of not having to log in over and over, you still get all the features that useful cookies provide (letting you see current posts and whatnot) - but you don't have the concern of wondering what those cookies would actually have the capability of doing if they were actually present on your HD (or what other cookies or malware could glean from them if they got on your system).

    The major dis-advantage of all the other programs I'm seeing mentioned here for coookie-control is that you have to make decisions about each and every cookie that you come across.

    For me, I can see absolutely no real value to having cookies on my HD to begin with - I can see possible dangers from having them there (supercookies of various types are out there, and there are many good tools to examine them with).

    I don't want to have to take the time to make decisions about each one (not even once).

    I don't need them, they're not necessary, some of them are a possible danger and I haven't experienced any kind of problem by not having them - CM removes all concern.

    Cookies simply aren't an issue here, either time-wise or security-wise.

    That's just from my point of view, though. Pete
     
  16. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    2 comments here, one technical, one practical.

    TECHNICAL

    I'm not certain, but I have read that session cookies are not saved on the hard-disk but merely kept in memory. The pointers are in the TIF.

    Here's a example

    "Per-session cookies are stored in memory and are only available during an active session, in other words, while you are on the Web site. Per-session cookies do not permanently record data and are not stored on your computer's hard drive. Per-session cookies do not give the Web site access to anything else on your system, including any private information about you. Only the Web site that placed the cookie can retrieve it. Unlike persistent cookies, which are stored on your hard drive for a length of time set by the Web site, per-session cookies are cached (stored in memory) while you are visiting the Web site and are deleted from your cache when you leave the Web site. If we did not use per-session cookies, moving around on the Web site would be a much slower process."

    Other sites refer more specificly to "cookies with no expiration date" as per session cookies. You can google up more references with "cookie is stored in memory only". Am I hopeless confused? Please clarify if what Cookiemuncher does is the same as a per session cookie.

    Makes me wonder what browsers like Mozilla do, when they convert cookies to session...

    PRACTICAL

    Assuming that we have 2 classes of cookies

    1) Real session cookies - cookies with no expiration date and hence are only kept in memory and

    2) "Fake" session cookies - cookies merely set to expire today, and more importantly are kept on the hard-disk,

    What are the difference between the 2 cookies? Information stored on the cookies in memory is still readable by the server isnt it?
     
  17. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

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    If my take on where/how per session cookies are stored is wrong, my apologies. It should be easy enough to check - if you're allowing per session cookies only (and they're supposedly not on your HD) then you shouldn't be able to find them - ever - in the actual "Cookies" folder on your computer, wherever that might be. (I know mine never has any in it of any kind).

    My point remains - if you're using CM, you don't have to worry about any of this . Pete
     
  18. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    I know, I was hoping you would know the answer, so I wouldn't have to check. I'm lazy that way.

    If you look at some of the threads about cookie managemet, mozilla and opera have the ability to convert cookies to session only (assuming it works by storing them in memory only ,that's why i was curious), it takes the place of CM .
    for non-ie browsers.
     
  19. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

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    JayK - The thread was started as a request as to what was best for someone who was using IE5.5.

    I'm trying not to hijack the thread. Pete
     
  20. JayK

    JayK Poster

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    o_O Who said anything about you hijacking the thread? I only brought up mozilla and opera because of the discussion about session cookies and the fact that they had a feature that might be the same as the one in cm.

    Anyway some guy already posted links to threads with much more discussion of options, I just thought it might be interesting to discuss exactly what CM does that is special, but never mind forgot I asked.
     
  21. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    Hello again

    We use cookies only for the many forums we visit regularly. These cookies as you all are aware allow us to leave a forum and then re-enter without having to re-input the username and password. If it was not for that we would not need cookies to our knowledge. We are temporarily using IE6 and have the cookie control set to:

    First party accept
    Third party block
    Always allow session cookies

    We will be looking into the cookie management programs mentioned above. We appreciate all your input very much. Thank you all again.
     
  22. FluxGFX

    FluxGFX Registered Member

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    Since everyone is talking about cookie management here for IE or Opera......

    I was wondering around the net to find something similar to CookieWall from analogx but for Mozilla base browsers. I haven't found anything of near or close to CookieWall and was wondering if we had a couple of expert cookie hunters here that could enlighten me.

    WinXP Pro SP1
    Mozilla Firebird 0.7
    ---------
     
  23. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I have in use two Cookie Managers that work with ALL browsers that I know of...

    1) Cookie Pal- Costs $15. Free trial. It's a real-time cookie manager. I've had mine for >5 years, & they still let me upgrade to latest version. It's a very mature & stable program, stringently maintained by its programers.

    http://www.kburra.com/cpal.html

    2) Cookie Monster- Free. It's an on-demand cookie manager. As is true for ANY on-demand cookie manager, you should shut down your browser when managing cookies. Otherwise, most browsers re-instate cookies almost as fast as you delete them.

    http://www.wonder-hosting.com/~ampsoft/

    I prefer not to have a bunch of stuff running when I'm surfing, so I mostly use Cookie Monster nowadays.

    HTH..........bellgamin
     
  24. FluxGFX

    FluxGFX Registered Member

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    bellgamin,

    Thx,
    I was actually looking for something like http://www.kburra.com/cpal.html and not On Demand... something live. I'll check that out.

    If I like what I see I might just use softice on this piece of software :D
     
  25. FluxGFX

    FluxGFX Registered Member

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    Irt would appear that Cookie Pal is not able to see Firebird or mozilla..... bummer
     
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