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Cookies on your PC (and I don’t mean the tasty kind with chocolate chips) are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they are invaluable for remembering your information on webpages, showing you what links you have clicked on, what’s new, saving you having to log in, etc. On the other hand, cookies can also be used for nefarious purposes, such as tracking your PC activity and sending you spyware.

I have just run Ad-Aware on my computer and it picked up 347 cookies which apparently had the potential to “violate my privacy”. The last time I ran Ad-Aware was 4 days ago, so 347 tracking cookies in the space of 4 days is slightly worrying to say the least.

That’s why I am starting to use Karen’s Cookie Viewer which will pull up all the cookies made on your computer, give you information on each one and give you the option to delete them.

The advantage here is that you can launch a pre-emptive strike. If you visit, either deliberately or accidently, a dodgy website, you can then pull up Karen’s Cookie Viewer and see if that website has left any nasty surprises on your computer. If so, you can zap them right there and then. Otherwise, any cookies of a dubious nature will sit on your computer and grow roots until you finally run a spyware scan (whenever that may be). Better to find the cookie well in advance and send it on its way to cookie heaven before it can do anything adverse to your PC.

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