Browser Cache, Cookies and More


What are these cache and cookies I always hear about?

Panicware is proud to remove the mystery behind these cache and cookies we often hear about. While both of these items are very important to your browser and enhancing your surfing experience, there have been many "rumors" or misunderstanding as to how they can be used to track your surfing habits.

In Internet Explorer both the cache and cookies are stored in a common location called "Temporary Internet Files". In other browsers such as Netscape Navigator, the cookies are stored in a single file, and the cache is stored in its own folder.

Browser Cache - What does it really hold?

The browser cache plays an important role in providing smooth and speedy surfing experience. The cache, pronounced "cash",  is a temporary holding area for images, sounds, videos, and other items that may appear on a web page that you visit. The way the cache works is by eliminating the need to re-download an image or web page if the content has not changed since your last visit.

The size of the cache varies depending on the size of your hard-drive, and if you have manually altered the size in your browser. Typical cache size is 10% of your hard-drive space.

Browser Cookies - Can I eat them?

A cookie is simply a piece of information that a web page stores on your local computer. Browser cookies were initially designed to allow web pages to store user specific pieces of data on a the client (your machine) computer. This allowed web sites to pass information between pages, or remember information for returning visitors, such as a login name, or web site settings. But, like most well intentioned technologies, developers found new ways to exploit this technology. Web sites can use cookies to track the viewing habits of web surfers. For example, if you visit a web site that places a cookie on your system, then visit another site that "knows" to look for this cookie, the people tracking this information can start to learn something about your surfing habits. This information is typically used to created advertising campaigns targeted towards a viewers surfing habits.

What are session cookies?

Session cookies are cookies that only stay "alive" while you are surfing a particular web site. When your browser is closed, these cookies are immediately discarded.

Can cookies place viruses on my computer or erase data?

NO. Cookies are not programs, they are simply small files that contain text information that are placed there by a web page. Since cookies are not programs, they cannot erase data or contain viruses.

Browser and Windows History

Does my browser and operating system keep track of what I do?

Both your browser and Microsoft Windows keep track of certain pieces of information in order to provide a more pleasant computing and surfing experience. These history trails can be invaluable at times. For instance, if you found and interesting piece of information on a web site, and then later moved on to other web sites, the browser history provides an easy to follow trail back to the previous web site.

Unfortunately these history items also provide a way for others to view and gain an understanding into what you have been doing, searching for, etc. on a particular computer, and it is often desirable to remove these history trails.

Can I clear out these history trails?

All of these history trails can be cleared. There are various methods in which to clear these history trails, and some of the options are not readily accessible from your desktop. Panicware products provide an easy to use and straight forward method in which to clear all of these history trials at once, or clear each of them individually. Click Here for more information on automatically cleaning your tracks!

Browser History

Most web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Netscape keep a list of the most recent web sites and links that you have visited.

Browser URL History

The URL, or drop-down URL history as is sometimes referred, typically contain the last URL (web site links) that you have typed into your browser.

AutoComplete Forms and Passwords

When you visit a web site that requires a user login and password, Windows can optionally keep track of this information so you do not have to type the login/password in each time you visit the site. Although the login and password information is encrypted so that people cannot view this information, any user at your computer can gain access to your web sites because Windows will automatically fill in the login and password information.

Recently Viewed Documents

You will find the recently viewed and/or opened documents under your Start Menu. Windows keeps a list of the most recently accessed documents here.

Windows Find History

When you use the Find option under the Start Menu, Windows keeps track of the last files you searched for, making it easy to repeat the find process.

Windows Run History

If you run programs from the Run option in the Start Menu, all of those programs are kept in a list so you may easily run those again.

This web site is a hobby for me. However, the time and money involved makes this hobby an expensive one. I, alone, spend on average 4-6 hours a day ensuring the information is of the highest quality and the web site is maintained and available at all times. If you have benefited from this site and find it enjoyable, any donation amount, from 50 to $50, would help keep the site up and running.
Thanks and enjoy the site!

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