Ever wonder what happens to all the information Web sites ask you for? Internet Explorer 6 gives you the tools to take control of your data.
Privacy has long been a concern of Internet users. Every time you fill in a form to download shareware or get access to a Web site you probably ask yourself "What happens to my data? Have I just doomed myself to an eternity of junk-emails from pornographers, multi-level marketers and other scam spam?"
And what about cookies? How many of these things are truly needed to "personalise the online experience" and how many are from unscrupulous marketers trying to spy on you?
What is it?
How to use it
Previously, the only options available to IE users were to accept all cookies, reject all cookies or to be prompted every time a Web site attempted to set a cookie. This meant that users had to choose between allowing any Web site to track their movement with cookies, blocking all cookies (even those required for access to a Web site) or being constantly pestered by cookie alerts every time a site was visited.
IE6 allows a much finer level of control, with six cookie management settings and additional fine tuning settings. These can be configured from Tools > Internet Options on the IE6 menu bar or from the Windows Control Panel (Figure 1).
The best solution would be for sites in this situation to create P3P files - but for those that do not, IE6 gives you the flexibility to work around such issues without compromising your privacy by overriding cookie handling rules for specified destinations. For example, to solve the IAG problem:
More information on P3P can be found on the Microsoft Web site at www.microsoft.com/PressPass/press/2001/Mar01/PrivacyToolsIEfs.asp and msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/security/privacy/privacy_entry.asp or from the W3C Web site at www.w3.org/P3P.
Click "Edit..." at the bottom of the Privacy Options screen (Figure 1)
- Enter "aprl.com.au" and click the "Allow" button
David Peterson is a principal consultant at Peterson IT Consulting (www.PetersonITConsulting.com) - providing eBusiness and security consulting services. He can be contacted by email at david@PetersonITConsulting.com.