The ISO27000 Newsletter - News & Views on the ISO/IEC Security Standard

ISO17799 News - Issue 2

Welcome to the second edition of The ISO27000 Newsletter, designed to keep you abreast of news and developments with respect to 17799 and related information security issues. The newsletter comprises a combination of inclusive articles and the identification of useful and topical sources on the web.

This edition covers:


LESS THAN 1% OF WEB USERS REJECT COOKIES

The results of a recent survey of one billion pages from high-volume Web sites concluded that cookies were rejected only 0.68% of the time. Chief Privacy Officer at WebSideStory, the U.S. company which carried out the survey, said: "Although some Web surfers may not know how to disable cookies in their browsers, such a minute percentage indicates that cookies are simply not a big concern among most Internet users". However, the use of cookies has also raised concerns over consumer privacy. For example, a recent lawsuit against the Internet advertising company DoubleClick accused the company of illegal "cookie-frenzy". Also, Amazon has admitted to using cookies to determine product pricing, and may give first time visitors to their Web site (or those who disable their cookies) larger discounts than regular visitors. (From an article published on www.theregister.co.uk)

What is a Cookie?
For the unaware, a cookie is a small text file placed on a user's computer by a Web site which can log information about the user and the number of visits they make to the site. Web site owners claim that cookies are beneficial to the user, allowing faster access and 'personalization' of the site for that user. However, the use of cookies also raises a number of security issues.

The following guidelines are appropriate:

  • You should be aware that confidential data may be stored by means of a cookie saved on your PC and accessed by a Web site whilst you are browsing - most likely without your knowledge.
  • Where possible, avoid entering confidential data on Web sites or other Internet resources
  • To turn off automatic cookies, select the security function from your browser toolbar and set "receive cookies" to "off".
  • Alternatively, cookies may be monitored by the use of cookie management software.
  • Ensure that you disable cookies from sites which might potentially share your details with third parties.

 





 

 





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