Whenever you go to a website, everything you see is downloaded to your computer and stored. Also, whenever you select preferences on a website, this information is stored in what is called a “cookie”. That way, when you go to your favorite news website again, it reads your preferences from the cookie and takes you right to your personalized page. The settings for how long this information is to be stored are set in your browser. Also, your browser stores the history of websites that you have visited.
Herein lies the problem, hackers can setup a website that looks legitimate. When you go to this website, it could use a software program that reads your history cache and tell what sites that you have been on. They may also be able to access your cookies. Why is that so bad you ask? Well, say you give this bogus site a name and password, to sign up for a fake newsletter or such. Most people like to use the same name on many sites. It could also be the name you use for your company login. Also, you do use different passwords for different sites right? If you don’t, they now have your username, password and a list of your other sites that you visit. You didn’t give them your credit card number too did you??
Okay, so how to protect yourself? Don’t order online, unless you feel the site is legit. Don’t use the same password for your online backing and your social networking accounts. Delete your history and temporary internet cache whenever done on a secure site, like banking, ordering online, or any government or military accounts. Check your internet browser help for instructions on deleting your internet history.