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Flash ‘Cookies’ and Security Settings

I’ve found that a large percentage of Internet users don’t realize just how they are being tracked on a website. Most people are aware of HTTP Cookies, but very few realize that browser plugin technologies like Adobe Flash also maintain data about a user’s activities.  Worse yet, while HTTP Cookies are limited to 4k, Flash can store up to 100k per website.

Clearing of standard HTTP cookies is relatively easy to do in mainstream browsers.   However, while Flash is almost ubiquitous, it’s settings are not easy to locate… in fact you cannot even find them in your browser or computer settings, you have to visit a website!

When you visit this link you will first see the sites and amount of data they have stored about you,
http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager06.html

Secondly, if you look on the other tabs or follow the next link you’ll be able to control Flash access to your microphone and webcam (provided that you have them connected).
http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager02.html

Other tabs will allow you to control various settings related to updates and global security settings, as documentation is provided for each tab it should be relatively easy for you to decide which configuration you prefer in each case.

FYI – I can see some real potential for misuse of these settings if they could be altered externally by a motivated hacker.

References:

Cheers!

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