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volume 3 number 5 1998 TipSheet

Welcome to the May issue of MicroMetric's TipSheet.

This monthly newsletter is targeted at addressing the needs of our customers.

This month we'll continue with a series of tips on the Internet.

Tip 179   The way the cookie crumbles Category:   Internet

Everyone is curious about cookies. We've all heard they're harmless, and for the most part they are. Cookies exist to help you access Web sites more quickly. What they do is identify you to a site so you don't have to go through an identification process each time you visit the site. The downside is that cookies are used to gather personal information about you. Cookies are planted to collect information about your interests and build lists, which marketers use to target you with junk e-mail, snail mail, and possibly even phone calls. To be fair, the larger companies don't use the information unless you tell them it's OK. You'll often be asked if you prefer not to receive e-mail. However, some sites don't offer the option. All of this is fairly harmless, and it isn't illegal by any means. But anyone obtaining information by 'tapping in' to a Web site is certainly breaking the law and will be prosecuted if caught. No one can get information that you haven't entered yourself. Unfortunately, if you're nervous about cookies, you'll find that an increasing number of sites won't display properly if you refuse to accept them. If you'd like to eliminate cookie use and still be able to access certain sites, what you need is a way to convince those sites that you've accepted cookies, when you really haven't. A program called Cookie Crusher can handle this job for you, and you'll find it at 'http://www.thelimitsoft.com/cookie.html.' We haven't used this utility extensively, so we can't yet provide a complete report. But if you download Cookie Crusher, you can use it free for 30 days. If you like it, you can register for $10.

Tip 180   Cookies for all? Category:   Internet

There is a common belief that any site you connect to can read all the cookies on your disk. Although you may consider cookies to be a security threat, only the sites that issued them can read the cookies. Sites that you visit cannot read the cookies from another site--not yet anyway.

Tip 181   Internet connection troubleshooting Category:   Internet

Problems with ISP connections? Make sure you have Win95 Service pack 1 and Kernel32 Update (both are at http:/www.microsoft.com/windows95/). The original Win95 (950a and 950b) had a problem with TCP/IP sockets.

Tip 182   Using the Internet on a network Category:   Internet

If you are using the internet on a computer that is set up to share files, it maybe possible for other people on the internet access your files. To make sure that this doesn't happen, click START and select SETTINGS | CONTROL PANEL | NETWORK. In the networking windows choose the CONFIGURATION TAB |FILE AND PRINT SHARING. Next, make sure that both of the boxes are unchecked.

Tip 183   Is it secure? Category:   Internet

There are a number of secure sites available on the Internet. For example, you can invoke a secure Microsoft site by entering 'https://microsoft.com' into the Address box and then pressing Enter. How can you tell when you're visiting a secure site? Look for the lock icon at the bottom right side of the Status bar. If you're going to make a purchase via the Internet, you might feel safer with a secure site. So try the https version of the URL. We located several businesses with secure sites, among them book-seller Amazon at 'https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/subst/index2.html/7019-7029053-445091'

Tip 184   More on secure sites Category:   Internet

In our last tip, we discussed secure Web sites. When you locate a secure site, you can add it to your Favorites folder. The only catch is that Microsoft Internet Explorer will convert the URL to the standard http:// form. To make sure you navigate to the secure site, choose Favorites|Organize Favorites. Locate the URL in question and right-click on its icon. Choose Properties and click the Internet Shortcut tab. Now modify the Target URL by adding an �s' after the http. Click on OK. When you get back to the Organize Favorites dialog box, click on Close.


Copyright 1998, MicroMetric, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Permission to copy in total, with this statement and copyright, is hereby granted.

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