Let’s talk about cookies — not the kind you eat, but the ones that hold all the information your browser saves from websites you visit. Cookies are tiny files that contain your logins, user names, passwords and ads you’ve seen. Basically, they’re little trackers that follow you around the web, which means they have a ton of data on you and your browsing habits.
There are good things about them, though: One of the biggest benefits is keeping you logged into those websites you visit. You don’t have to enter your user name and password each time you go to the site. After all, who wants to deal with entering more credentials during the day?
Here’s another example. Say you put items in your Amazon shopping cart, but you don’t check out. A cookie sends that information back to Amazon, so when you return to the site later, all your stuff is still in your shopping cart.
Convenient, right? Not so fast
There are also third-party tracking cookies that follow you around the internet. They collect your every move, bundle up that data and report back to marketing companies. Now, advertisers can reel you in by sending personalized ads based on websites you’ve looked at.
If you’ve been a Komando fan for a while, you’ve probably heard me say it’s good to remove your cookies from time to time. Scrub these tasty little trackers from your computers, laptop and even your phone. I mean, the less tracking, the better, right?
But there is one cookie you may not have heard of. It’s the supercookie. You’ll want to know more about this one.
So, what exactly is a supercookie?
Regular cookies are simple to remove. Just click a setting and your browsing data and cookies are gone into the intergalactic bitbucket.
Not so with supercookies. These are trackers you can’t remove.
That’s because your internet service provider inserts a supercookie into your connection. It tracks every single thing you do online, plus every website that you visit.
Think about every site you went to in the last month, from online stores to social media apps. You’ve probably Googled some phrases you wouldn’t want to explain. I’m willing to bet there are a few websites you’ve been to that would you’d prefer to keep private.
A supercookie uniquely identifies any device using that internet connection. You can’t remove it because it’s not stored on your device. And get this: Even ad blocking software can’t stop a supercookie either.
Here’s the secret your ISP doesn’t want you to know
You drop a ton of cash each month on your internet service provider. Thus, you’d think these companies would take your money and go. Instead, they slip a supercookie into your connection.
This is a big deal because supercookies are designed to sit in your computer permanently. They’re harder for users to detect. Even when you find them, they’re a huge pain to remove because you can’t delete them the same way you’d cut off regular cookies.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation found that a supercookie also lets advertisers essentially resurrect deleted cookies from a user’s device and link them to new ones. Thus, they’re sneakily circumventing the strategies users take to prevent tracking. See why it’s called a supercookie?
What can you do about supercookies?
You can’t remove them. You can’t see them. Your ISP automatically slips them into your connection to collect all your data, like where you go and what you do online.
The only way to get around a supercookie is to use a VPN.
Not all VPNs are the same; you have to be smart about selecting the right one. You want a VPN that’s fast and secure. Make sure to find a VPN that won’t track you because some of the free ones do.
I’ve used ExpressVPN for years. You just hit connect and instantly whatever you do online is encrypted and not available to your ISP’s tracking. ExpressVPN keeps everything you do in RAM, meaning it’s not saved to a hard drive or server anywhere and that’s important.
What you do on the internet is your business and no one else’s
I’ve arranged a special deal for my readers who value their privacy. You can get three free months of ExpressVPN when you sign up for a one-year package. It’s just a few dollars a month. It’s totally worth it.
You have locks on your doors and curtains in your bedroom. Do the same with your internet connection.
Sign up now while you’re thinking about it -> Get 3 months free when you sign up for one year at ExpressVPN.com/Kim.