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How To Control Cookies Policy

The use of cookies on the Ragged University website has been a subject of much discussion, particularly as new digital eticates and laws to reflect these are emerging. To respond to a necessary transparency, it requires both choice and information.  For this reason, here all the analytic and functional protocols are explained and also the information to control your internet information on a day to day basis is provided.

Golden Rule:

If you dont like it, block it !

Take back control of your computer

cookie monster

Firstly, we use Google Analytics which tells us a lot of anonymised information about the number of visitors to the website and how long they are staying etc. This is simply an important development tool for the website to make sure that improvements are made and ensure that it is a website which people are using.  Webdesign is more of an art than a science, so we use Google Analytics to see where we are going right and wrong.  These Google Analytics are not linked to any commercial affair and there is no advertising on the website, so there is nowhere for the information about the visitors to go.  We are looking into making this information available to the visitors for the reason of transparency.

“Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. The product is aimed at marketers as opposed to webmasters and technologists from which the industry of web analytics originally grew. It is the most widely used website statistics service…” (Wikipedia on Google Analytics)

There are also several other plugins on the Ragged Website which use cookies for functionality…

“A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user’s web browser while the user is browsing that website. Every time the user loads the website, the browser sends the cookie back to the server to notify the website of the user’s previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information (such as items in a shopping cart) or to record the user’s browsing activity (including clicking particular buttons, logging in, or recording which pages were visited by the user as far back as months or years ago). Although cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer, tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals’ browsing histories—a potential privacy concern that prompted European and US law makers to take action in 2011.” (Wikipedia on Cookies)

If you want to have more control over cookies

you can block them and manage them

with the following software

 Open Source Browser

By using the Mozilla Firefox Open Source Not For Profit web browser, it opens your ability to customise your browser for your own purposes.  All the software is free and has very good support from the open source community which are constantly updating and making available new options online.  It has a good reputation as a browser, and you can install specific security plugins which allow you to automatically block cookies or choose which ones you are going to allow onto your computer.

“Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed for Windows, OS X, and Linux, with a mobile version for Android, by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards.As of July 2013, Firefox has between 16% and 21% of worldwide usage, making it the third most popular web browser, according to different sources. According to Mozilla, Firefox counts over 450 million users around the world…” (Wikipedia on Mozilla Firefox)

www.firefox.com

firefox

Mozilla Security Add-ons

Once you have Mozilla Firefox installed, you then can visit their website and install security add-ons which allow you to control your internet experience more heavily by blocking or managing cookies…

“Mozilla Add-ons is the official Mozilla Foundation website to act as a repository for add-ons for Mozilla software, including Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and Mozilla Sunbird. These add-ons include extensions, themes, dictionaries, search bar “search engines,” and plugins. On January 30, 2008, it was announced that over 600 million add-ons had been downloaded from the site and that over 100 million add-ons automatically check the site for updates every day” (Wikipedia on Mozilla Addons)

 You can see their add-ons here:

addons.mozilla.org

addons

NoScript Security Suite by Giorgio Maone

The best security you can get in a web browser! Allow active content to run only from sites you trust, and protect yourself against XSS and Clickjacking attacks. In a little more detail…Giorgio Maone describes himself in this way as a webdeveloper: Hello, I’m a dad 24/7 and a software developer in my spare time. I’m committed to make the web a safer place and the browser more fun, for us and our children 🙂

There are currently 1,254 user reviews  and 2,284,096 users of this security plugin which you can reference (24th November 2013). Install it and you can block various cookies.

addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/noscript/

cookie

The general view of the Ragged project is to avoid infringing on people’s privacy and always to afford people the respect of transparency.  Cookies – it is what it is folks – everyone should have the choice to manage their public information, equally, these are useful utilities for webdevelopers to make good websites… The choice is yours.

A Bit More Information

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user’s web browser while the user is browsing that website. Every time the user loads the website, the browser sends the cookie back to the server to notify the website of the user’s previous activity. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember stateful information (such as items in a shopping cart) or to record the user’s browsing activity (including clicking particular buttons, logging in, or recording which pages were visited by the user as far back as months or years ago).

Although cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer, tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as ways to compile long-term records of individuals’ browsing histories—a potential privacy concern that prompted European and U.S. law makers to take action in 2011. Cookies can also store passwords and form content a user has previously entered, such as a credit card number or an address. When a user accesses a website with a cookie function for the first time, a cookie is sent from server to the browser and stored with the browser in the local computer. Later when that user goes back to the same website, the website will recognize the user because of the stored cookie with the user’s information.

Other kinds of cookies perform essential functions in the modern web. Perhaps most importantly, authentication cookies are the most common method used by web servers to know whether the user is logged in or not, and which account they are logged in with. Without such a mechanism, the site would not know whether to send a page containing sensitive information, or require the user to authenticate themselves by logging in. The security of an authentication cookie generally depends on the security of the issuing website and the user’s web browser, and on whether the cookie data is encrypted. Security vulnerabilities may allow a cookie’s data to be read by a hacker, used to gain access to user data, or used to gain access (with the user’s credentials) to the website to which the cookie belongs (see cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery for examples).

(Drawn from Wikipedia)

If you are concerned about cookies being on your computer, you can learn how to control your internet experience at AboutCookies.org, a website which teaches you how to delete and control cookies, which is brought to you by OUT-LAW, part of international law firm Pinsent Masons:

www.aboutcookies.org

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