It’s easy and convenient to stay logged in to frequently used services, but getting into the habit of logging out as you exit is a very simple way to reduce your exposure to tracking, especially on mobile devices. This applies particularly to anything financial, all social media and services such as Google AdWords. It can be quite hard to find log-out options on some sites, but a quick search can identify you.
Cookies track your behaviour on a site and will tell you it’s to remember your preferences in order to deliver you the best experience on that site. There’s some truth in that, but it also sends lots of useful market data to the site’s owners. Deny cookies unless you feel it’s essential.
A very eye-opening process is to go through the cookies stored on your browser and kill off everything, then notice how often you’re prompted to accept them as you browse (make sure you have password details etc to hand if you do this). Your system will store cookies from sites you haven’t visited in ages. There’s no benefit to you in these cookies being on your system.
Cookie exploits are rare, but they do happen. Reduce your exposure wherever you can.
Posted in: Security