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Targeted web adverts

wheels496
Newbie
Posts: 9
Registered: 20-03-2009

Targeted web adverts

I'm not hugely worried, well possibly slightly but more intrigued.
I've noticed over the past few months that I'm getting adverts, within web pages, relating to recent google searches.  Like currently, when I'm viewing sky news there is currently a banner advert relating to Comet and vacuum cleaners.  Prior to this it was hotel adverts for destinations that I have investigated over the past few months.
Is this normal?  Who is doing this?
Thanks
8 REPLIES
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,297
Thanks: 30
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Targeted web adverts

Could be Google.  Every time you visit a webpage it'll drop a small text file onto your computer called a cookie, advertisers use these to track you (totally anonymous, they do not know who you are) so if you visit Comet and Comet use Google Stats, Google will know you visited that web site so will be able to list adverts pertinent to you.
One way around it is to switch from IE to another browser with AdBlock (Firefox/Chrome, not sure about Opera) or switch off 3rd party cookies in IE settings, this will prevent 3rd parties from dropping cookies onto your computer (i.e. from doubleclick.net if you're on comet.co.uk).
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Targeted web adverts

I can't speak for the others but one big advantage of Firefox is the ability to limit a site to session cookies which are removed when you close Firefox.
I use Firefox with Adblock Plus and BetterPrivacy which removes Flash Cookies which are installed on your computer without any warning whatsoever.
These are my Firefox settings
There was an article in the Sunday Times today on this very subject
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Targeted web adverts

What Jim didnt say is that BetterPrivacy removes hidden cookies called LS, when you first install it in  Firefox it can find several hundred cookies you didnt know about
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,297
Thanks: 30
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Targeted web adverts

Chrome : Options > Under the Bonnet > Personal Settings > tick "Block all 3rd party cookies, no exceptions"
Internet Explorer:  Tools > Internet Options > Privacy > Advanced > Override Automatic Cookie Handling > First party (accept) / Third party (block)
I don't have Opera installed so don't know how to block third party cookies with that browser, sorry.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Targeted web adverts

Actually I did
Flash cookies = LSO's or Supercookies and I had 390 from all sorts of sites where I had blocked cookies
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,794
Thanks: 260
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Targeted web adverts

Yes the article in the Sunday Times was very interesting and certainly food for thought.
Highlighted
alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 78
Fixes: 1
Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: Targeted web adverts

Quote from: David
I don't have Opera installed so don't know how to block third party cookies with that browser, sorry.

Preferences / Advanced / Cookies / Accept Cookies Only From The Site I Visit
MrC
Grafter
Posts: 523
Thanks: 2
Registered: 17-07-2008

Re: Targeted web adverts

More general Opera cookie info at http://help.opera.com/Linux/9.52/en/cookies.html. It's for 9.52/Linux but should still hold for newer/other OS versions.