Tracking cookies are basically like your average browser cookie, except they have some kind of special code embedded into them that sites can read to tell how many times you have been to some site, etc. As far as threats to system security go, these are pretty minor.
You can delete them all you want, but every time you go back to some site that sets a tracking cookie, it will just be put back. Granted usually with a new code, so it screws up the results companies hope to get from using tracking cookies.
This is one of the things I like about Firefox over IE. It's much easier to manage cookies. I tell Firefox to ask me what to do every time some site wants to set a cookie, and when in doubt, I say to allow only session cookies. That means the browser gets rid of them every time I close it.
As for the other problem... This seems to be one of the bits of malware making the rounds lately. I think over on the virus and security forum there's a topic or two relating to exorcising your system of this pest. To help prevent future problems, here's some tips on keeping a smooth running system.
TIPS FOR A SMOOTH RUNNING SYSTEM
The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. They won't solve any existing problems you have, but if you follow them all you should be able to avoid virtually all problems in the future.
Things you should NOT do
1: Use Internet Explorer (1)
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express (2)
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet (3)
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs
Things you SHOULD do
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser (4)
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running (5)
3: Always have a firewall running (6)
4: Install all the latest security updates (7)(8)(9)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address
(1) Sadly sometimes this is unavoidable, so only use IE when the site absolutely will not work with any other browser and you cannot get that information/service anywhere else, and only use IE for that one specific site.
(2) Outlook and Outlook Express are very insecure, and basically invite spam. Possible replacements include Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora, The Bat, and dozens of others.
(3) When it doubt over whether or not to allow some program, use Google to find out what it is and whether or not it needs access to the Internet. Otherwise, denying access is the safest course of action, since you can always change the rule later.
(4) On Windows your options include: Mozilla Firefox, Seamonkey, Opera, Flock, and Safari. It doesn't matter which one you pick so much as that you pick one of them and use it over IE.
(5) AVG Free and Avast are available if you need a decent free virus scanner
(6) XP/Vista's firewall is probably good enough for 99% of all Windows users, but other options include ZoneAlarm, Outpost Firewall, and Comodo. If you have a router with a firewall built into it, there is no need for any of the aforementioned firewalls to be running.
(7) Microsoft's usual system is to release security updates every second Tuesday of the month.
(8) Use of Windows Update on Windows operating systems prior to Windows Vista requires Internet Explorer, and is thus a valid exception to the No IE rule.
(9) Service packs should ALWAYS be installed. They frequently contain security updates that will ONLY be found in that service pack.
If you know what your doing please help me and if at all possible i dont want to install any more programs on my computer but if i definatley %100 need them please tell me.
Ok so i installed AVG's free Antivirus software and i love it only one problem...Tracking Cookies!!! they wont go away they are like roaches first thing i want to know is...
1.What is a tracking cookie and...
2.What does it do?
Now i already did is what any normal person would do i found out where they were and deleted them but guess what they wont go away i delete them they come back i even unplugged my computer from the internet and they still kept comming back and now AVG's tracking cookies pop up wont leave me alone i alredy set it to automaticly delete them but that of corse didnt work and its terrible for gaming.
I believe that it is a virus that AVG dosent detect and every time it is deleted the virus remakes the cookie.
Now my next big problem is Antivirus XP 08. I installed a XP home addition soft ware kit that i got from walmart and everything went fine but when it booted up my desktop wasnt the default pic with the hills or what ever it is instead it is a ugly blue that said my computer was infect with spy ware and must get a antivirus program ASAP so before i could install my own my computer was alredy installing its own it was called Antivirus XP 08 being a smart little noob i stopped it but it was too late and it was alredy scanning it said i had over 2000 infected files under windows files now thats when i flipped and i turned it off i deleted it but now i cant change my desktop picture and screensaver because the tabs are gone! so im stuck with the warning even though i have software and windows recognises it.
Now i also have a lovely screen saver that scared the crap out of me its the blue screen of death but now i know its a fake because every 15 minutes the same thing pops up and i Ctrl Alt Deleted it and it just takes me back to my desktop.
So please help the poor little noob fix his computer.