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Spyware Cookies Are A Half Baked Idea
Michalis 'BIG Mike' Kotzakolios

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Many people today have heard about spyware and how it does everything from tracking web surfing habits and producing an inordinate amount of pop up advertisements to actually stealing vital personal information without a computer user's awareness. However, a question related to this is that of spyware cookies: are they the same thing?

For years people have found cookies to be bothersome by their very nature. Not truly software, cookies are data 'particles' which web sites and advertising windows utilize to keep track of web surfing activity. They are, in effect, a form of computer short-term memory. This is exemplified by the "shopping cart" used in online purchases -thus a tally of multiple items being purchased.

While spyware cookies are often thought of as synonymous, the truth is that they are anything but this. While they do function in some minor similar ways, their uses are extremely different. For example, cookies are not covertly sent to computers connected to the internet. Nor are they surreptitiously embedded in other software, such as the duplicitous "Trojan Horse" spyware. As well, as opposed to spyware cookies are usually set by a website editor for the purpose of helping, rather than hindering a person at his or her website.

However, there is one instance in which the term "spyware cookies" could be accurate. This is when cookies are used as consumer tracking devices. This allows an advertiser to know exactly what sorts of products a person tends to purchase, as well as which specific brands. With this knowledge true spyware can be put into place (if the consumer is unsuspecting), though of no fault of the cookies themselves, thus directing advertisements and even whole websites to the user, without his or her consent (and often to the tune of great annoyance).

To make matters worse, if said spyware is indeed installed, the Orwellian scenario grows. If a person wishes to view the advertisement of a specific merchant, often subsequent spyware will block these ads, covering them with the advertisements of competing companies. It goes without saying that this is a highly unethical business practice.

Once again, it should be reiterated that cookies themselves are not the culprit, while spyware is entirely culpable.

BIG Mike is a well known author, developer and Adsense expert as well as the owner of Niche Maniacs - a unique Adsense Marketing System designed to build long-term passive income streams from Adsense, Amazon, YPN, Chitika and other PPC services.

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