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Recently, there were discussion about many sites which are tracking the user via browser ETags/cache poisoning. Is there a way that the casual user can protect himself from such attacks?

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Clear your browser cache often, there will be several places to clear out, depending on what OS and browser you use.

Vista and W7 IE8 and 9

Clean out this folder often, there will be odd numbered/lettered folders in here, delete them. This folder is hidden, even when you un-hide folders in Windows sometimes it still does not show when browsing in explorer, you have to edit the file path to include "/content,ie5" it will magically appear.

C:\Users\(your user name)\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5


Delete everything in this one regularly also

C:\Users\(your user name)\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files


Delete anything in this folder regularly, you can also mark this folder "read only" after you empty it, then the browser cannot write any new data to it. this is the Flash cookie folder for IE. I use this utility to make it easier to empty and disable flash cookies.

C:\Users\(your user name)\AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjects
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Clearing the cache often makes the cache useless, and this is not what I want. I was thinking about a more compicated solution (cacheblock for privacy invading site etc.), – Elazar Leibovich Aug 15 '11 at 16:04
That is a difficult proposal, how would it know is invading your privacy in the first place? persistent cookies use the same cache as legitimate websites, that is why the only real solution is to clear cache regularly, been doing it for many years, even before all the stories about cookies and spying/tracking started. – Moab Aug 15 '11 at 16:19
how does adblock know which sites are ads? They look just like pictures. The answer is black list, or, white list if you're paranoid. What you're purposing is, never display images. BTW regularly clearing the cache wouldn't help. You have to regularly clean the cache, the cookies, the HTML5 history and the flash cookies. Now let's see how you do that regularly. – Elazar Leibovich Aug 15 '11 at 20:09
"Now let's see how you do that regularly", Been doing it for years, not hard. White/Blacklists are useless for persistent cookies and all the trickery used to employ them which changes every day. – Moab Aug 16 '11 at 2:41
I still don't understand your false dichotomy. I agree that your approach gives a lot of security. But it's a good compromise to use whitelists against persistent cookies. For instancing allowing cookies from * would not allow any persistant cookies (google didn't use them so far), and would allow better experience in your gmail account. So for some people this is a reasonable compromise. – Elazar Leibovich Sep 15 '11 at 12:28

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