Casting Out Devils

Speaking Conservative Truth to Evil-Doers

Blocking the Adobe Tracking Cookie

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Several weeks ago, my free version of AVG Antivirus discovered the tracking cookie on my computer.  AVG would remove it during a scan, labeling it a medium threat, but it would not block it or remove it in real time, nor would my free version of Outpost Firewall block it.  Every day, one or more text files containing the cookie would show up on my PC, and I had to scan with AVG to remove it, or delete the file manually.  AVG also found a reference to it in an index.dat file.

According to my online research, is a tracking cookie used by Adobe, used to sell the user’s browsing habits to commercial interests (and who knows who else).  Apparently, as in my case, the cookie is placed in the following folder in the user’s administrative account:

c:/Users/[account name]/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Cookies

A reference is also placed in the index.dat file in the same folder.  If one deletes the index file, it will be recreated automatically.  Apparently, a special program is required to delete an index.dat file.

After some experimentation, I seem to have hit upon a solution, which has successfully prevented implantation of a cookie file as well as a reference in the index file for over a week.  Early on, I had attempted to use the cookie filter utility in my 2007 copy of WinPatrol (freeware version for Vista), without initial success.  The utility invites the user to type in text characters that WinPatrol is to filter, prompting it to block the file.  A closer reading of the small print later revealed that the filter only “sees” those characters in the file name itself.  Of course, I could not predict what the file name would be, since the file names I had seen appeared to be totally random.

My solution?  Since all the file names I had seen contained a mix of letters, symbols, and numerals, I typed in, one at a time, the symbols @, $, and #, as well as the numerals 0-9, separately.  I could also have typed in all the letters of the alphabet, respectively, but that hardly seems necessary.

So far, this method has been 100% effective in blocking all cookies of that type.  Mind you, it will also block any other cookies to which those filters apply, but I do not need to use any.

I should mention that along the way to this solution, I also discovered the Abine DoNotTrackMe cookie-blocking plug-in for Firefox.  It failed to block the cookie, but it has blocked over 1000 other browser cookies in the last couple of weeks.

For the record, I am not advertising for any of these companies, and am not remunerated in any way.

© 2013 Paul A. Hughes


Written by biblequestion

November 8, 2013 at 12:15 AM

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