New “supercookies” affecting PC security worldwide
If you didn’t already know, cookies are a dangerous form of PC malware. Cookies attach themselves to your web browser and monitor your internet activity. Some cookies are good, and remind your browser to input frequently used data like your Facebook login and password.
However, bad cookies can cause immeasurable amounts of damage to your computer. They can monitor your banking information, direct you to malicious websites, install viruses on your computer, and steal your identity.
To make matters worse, recent news has suggested that something called “supercookies” are now wreaking havoc on PC security systems around the world. While they’re being called supercookies, this new form of tracking software isn’t really a traditional web cookie. Instead, it’s a unique number given to your PC that is read every time you return to a website. Instead of being used by malicious websites, supercookies are currently being used by websites like MSN.com and Hulu.com in order to monitor user activities.
This was deemed to be an invasion of privacy, which is why both of these websites shut down their supercookie tracking systems soon after the Wall Street Journal broke the news.
The problem with these supercookies is that they remain undetected by conventional anti-malware and anti-cookie scanners. They are incredibly intrusive, and lodge themselves deep within your computer so as not to be deleted.
Many people are unsettled by the idea that companies can install tracking data that is difficult to delete on their own computers. It’s essentially a form of data mining, which is why these companies have come under major scrutiny for their actions.
While only trusted companies like MSN and Hulu have been known to use supercookies thus far, it’s only a matter of time before hackers and virus creators learn how to implement these new forms of malware on their own websites. And when that time comes, you need to have the right PC security software in order to protect your computer.