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Support Center » Knowledgebase » Is CLAD not clearing cookies - I see PURPLE links ?
 Is CLAD not clearing cookies - I see PURPLE links ?
Article Please read the following explanation about PURPLE and BLUE links, and how that relates to cookies, cache and posting in general

There are 3 (three) separate and *absolutely independent* places where browsers store local data (actually there are more, but since everyone is always talking ONLY about cache/purple links/cookies, we will address only those 3).

  1. CACHE. Cache is a place where browsers store EXACT COPIES of web pages that they have visited recently. Except exact byte-to-byte copy of each HTML (js, css, etc) page NOTHING else is stored in the CACHE. No data that reveals who visited those pages, what data was sent to request them, what buttons were pressed on them, what data was input by the user in the web forms - nothing of that sort is stored in the CACHE. The only piece of information except byte-to-byte copy of the HTML that is stored in the cache, is DATE AND TIME when that page was loaded last time. But that data is not accessible by javascript in the web pages and CANNOT BE SENT to remote website, no matter how badly they want it. Browsers just do not have a feature to provide that information. If you are still in doubts, go look into the place where CACHE is stored. For Inernet Explorer, it is in %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5. Open that location NOT in windows explorer, but in some file manager like FAR or Windows Commander. Under that folder, you will see a bunch of other folders, if you enter any of those - you will see what I mean. Just a bunch of html, jpg, js, css etc files that are downloaded from the web - NO PERSONAL INFO!!! For Firefox, cache is located at %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\*.default\Cache. Same story here - only copy of the web content. No personal data located here.
    CONCLUSION as far as CACHE is concerned: there is no personal data of any nature stored in the browser cache, so cache cannot be used to tag you. Cache processing mechanism does not even allow outside world to request any information from your CACHE - that is part of web browsers security. Therefore, whether you clear cache or do not clear it - WILL HAVE NO EFFECT on your posting whatsoever.
  2. HISTORY. This is where Purple links come from. History is a place where specific URL that you visited (like http://x.com/zzz.html), along with date/time stamp, is stored. When the browser displays links on your web page, it queries history database to see if those links have been opened recently (by comparing today's date/time with the last date/time of URL access (click)). If URL is found in history and date/time on it is recent - the link is highlighted in Purple color. If not - it is displayed blue. NOW, we are interested as aways in whether remote website can make use of that information to tag us somehow. Technically - the answer again is NO. You cannot access history information from Javascript or by HTTP request. History is used internally by the browser to highlight visited links and to show you what pages you have been opening today, yesterday, a week ago etc. You can make sure that we are telling the truth by reading this official specification of javascript "history" object here: http://docs.sun.com/...-10/history.htm. History DOES NOT contain any personal information just the same way as CACHE does not. You can make sure of that if you look at the files where history is stored. For Internet Explorer - it is %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\History. For Firefox - %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\*.default\places.sqlite. If you have some basic SQL knowledge - you can make SQL query to that database of Firefox - and you will see confirmation of my words.
    CONCLUSION as far as HISTORY is concerned: there is no personal data of any nature stored in the browser history, so history cannot be used to tag you. History processing mechanism does not allow outside world to request any information from your HISTORY - that is part of web browsers security. Therefore, whether you clear history or do not clear it - WILL HAVE NO EFFECT on your posting whatsoever. Remote website will just not be able to notice it. BUT, History is used to highlight visited links. So it may trick you into an illusion that remote website can see those purple links too. BUT IT CAN NOT.
  3. COOKIES. Cookies are used by the websites to store website-specific information on your computer. Now, THIS IS DANGEROUS. This is in reality THE ONLY mechanism that remote website can tag you with. Cookies for Internet Explorer are stored under %USERPROFILE%/Cookies - it is a folder that has a bunch of .txt files in it. For firefox, cookies are stored in %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\*.default\cookies.sqlite and they are also dangerous in the same way.
    CONCLUSION as far as Cookies: It is really necessary to clear cookies to remain confidential.

We are NOT going to convince you that There Is No Way Remote Website Can Tag Us Except Using Cookies. Although we do not know any way that this can be possible, it does not mean that such way doesn't exist. The goal of this story is to STOP SPECULATIONS ABOUT PURPLE LINKS. Purple links are not the way to tag you, and we are 1000% sure of that. If remote website have any means to tag you BESIDES using cookies, be sure - it is not Purple Links. It must be something else.  For those of you who are still in doubt and do not believe what I said. Use CCLEANER. This piece of software is able to clear cookies, cache and purple links. To calm down our users that have allergy for purple color, we even added an option to CLAD under settings/browser, where you can turn on CCleaner and it will clear purple links for you. In reality, it WILL NOT affect your posting success in any way, because of the reasons I explained above. But it will make you feel better if you do not like purple color.



Article Details
Article ID: 33
Created On: 17 Jun 2010 7:23 PM

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