Using the Cookie Manager

A cookie is a small amount of information used by some web sites. A web site that sets cookies will ask your browser to place one or more cookies on your hard disk when you visit the site. Later, when you return to the site, your browser sends back the cookies that belong to the site.

Before loading a web page that uses cookies, your browser handles the page's cookies by doing two things:

  • Accepts or rejects any requests by the web site to set (store) one or more cookies on your computer.
  • Accepts or rejects any requests by the web site to read cookies it previously stored on your computer. A web site can't actually read cookies or any other data on your computer—instead, your browser gets the cookies and sends them back to the web site.

In this section:

Specifying How Your Browser Should Handle Cookies

Managing Cookies Site-By-Site

Viewing Cookies

Removing Cookies

 

Specifying How Your Browser Should Handle Cookies

You can specify how cookies should be handled by setting your cookie preferences and by using the Cookie Manager.

To change your cookie preferences:

  1. Open the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Under the Privacy and Security category, choose Cookies. (If no subcategories are visible, click to expand the list.)
  3. Click one of the radio buttons:
    • Disable cookies: Choose this to refuse all cookies.

    • Enable cookies for the originating web site only: Choose this if you don't want to accept or return Foreign cookies. Cookies received through email (when the message contains a web page) are treated as foreign cookies.
    • Enable all cookies: Choose this to permit all web sites to set cookies on your computer and receive them back during subsequent visits. Note: If you select this option, and later choose to reject all cookies, you may still have some older cookies stored on your computer (though no new ones will be set).
  4. If you want to be notified when a web site tries to set a cookie, select "Warn me before accepting a cookie."

 

Managing Cookies Site-By-Site

To control cookies on a site-by-site basis:

  1. Open the Tasks menu, choose Privacy and Security, and then choose Cookie Manager.
  2. Choose "Unblock Cookies from this Site" or "Block Cookies from this Site."

When you are warned (while browsing) that a web site is requesting to set a cookie, you can click Yes to allow or No to deny the cookie. You can also select the option for your browser to "Remember this decision."

If you select "Remember this decision," you will not be warned the next time that site tries to set or modify a cookie, and your "yes" or "no" response will still be in effect.

If you wish to change a remembered response later, use Cookie Manager to edit your list of automatically stored cookies.

To stop automatically accepting cookies from a site:

  1. Open the Tasks menu, choose Privacy and Security, then choose Cookie Manager.
  2. Choose View Stored Cookies from the submenu. The Cookie Manager window opens with a list of all the cookies stored on your computer.
  3. Click the Cookie Sites tab. The web sites for which you have allowed or denied cookies are listed.
  4. Click to select the site from which you no longer want to accept cookies, and then click Remove Cookie. The next time you visit that site, you will be warned if the site attempts to set a cookie.

 

Viewing Cookies

To view detailed information about cookies:

  1. Open the Tasks menu, choose Privacy and Security, and then choose Cookie Manager.
  2. Choose View Stored Cookies from the submenu. The Cookie Manager window opens with a list of all the cookies stored on your computer.
  3. To see details for a particular cookie, click it. The table below explains the information you see.
Item Explanation
Name This is the name assigned to the cookie by its originator.
Information This string of characters is the information a web site tracks for you. It might contain a user key or name by which you are identified to the web site, information about your interests, and so forth.
Host or Domain This item tells you whether the cookie is a host cookie or a domain cookie.
A host cookie is sent back, during subsequent visits, only to the server that set it. A server is a computer on the Internet. A web site resides on one or more servers.
A domain cookie is sent back to any site that's in the same domain as the site that set it. A site's domain is the part of its URL that contains the name of an organization, business, or school---such as netscape.com or washington.org.
Path This is the file pathway. If a cookie comes from a particular part of a web site, instead of the main page, a path is given.
Server Secure This indicates whether the cookie was sent over a secure server. If a cookie is secure, it will only be sent over a secure (https) connection. Before sending a secure cookie, your browser checks the connection and will not send if the connection is not secure.
Expires This is the date and time at which the cookie is deactivated. The browser regularly removes expired cookies from your computer.

 

Removing Cookies

Important: To remove cookies, follow the steps in this section. Do not try to edit the cookies file on your computer.

To remove one or more cookies from your computer:

  1. Open the Tasks menu, choose Privacy and Security, and then choose Cookie Manager.
  2. Choose View Stored Cookies from the submenu. The Cookie Manager window opens with a list of all the cookies stored on your computer.
  3. Select one or more cookies and click Remove Cookie, or click Remove All Cookies.

You can also choose to prevent the removed cookies from being re-accepted later.

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Using the Password Manager

Many web sites require you to type a user name and password before you can enter the site. For instance, personalized pages and web sites containing your financial information require you to log in.

The user name and password you use at a particular site can be read by the site's administrator. If this concerns you, you may wish to use a different password at every site with which you register. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to remember every single password you've ever used.

Password Manager can help you by storing your user names and passwords on your computer's hard disk, and entering them for you automatically when you visit such sites.

In this section:

Using Password Manager to Remember User Names and Passwords

Entering User Names and Passwords Automatically

Turning Password Manager On and Off

Viewing and Managing Stored Passwords

 

Using Password Manager to Remember User Names and Passwords

When you enter your user name and password at a web site a dialog box appears asking, "Do you want Password Manager to remember this logon?" You can choose the following options:

  • Yes. The next time you return to the web site you'll see that your user name and password are already filled in.
  • Never for this site. Password Manager will not ask in the future if you want to save your user name and password for that site.
  • No. Password Manager won't remember the user name and password, but will ask again the next time you visit the site.

Password Manager saves your user names and passwords on your own computer in a file that's difficult, but not impossible, for an intruder to read. See Encrypting Stored Sensitive Information for information on protecting your stored user names and passwords with encryption technology.

 

Entering User Names and Passwords Automatically

If you use Password Manager to remember your user name and password for a web site, the next time you visit the site, Password Manager will automatically fill in your user name and password on the site's log in screen.

 

Turning Password Manager On and Off

Password Manager is on by default. To turn it off:

  1. Open the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
  2. From the Privacy and Security category, choose Web Passwords. (If no subcategories are visible, click to expand the list.)
  3. In the Password Manager section, deselect "Remember passwords for sites that require me to log in" to turn Password Manager off.

 

Viewing and Managing Stored Passwords

To see a list of the user names and passwords you have stored:

  1. Open the Tasks menu, choose Privacy and Security, and then choose Password Manager.
  2. Select Viewed Stored Passwords from the submenu. You see the Password Manager.
  3. Click the Passwords Saved tab. You see a list of all the stored user names. (Passwords are not listed.)
    • To remove a user name, click it and then click Remove. The next time you visit the web site, you will be asked to enter your password.
    • Click the Passwords Never Saved tab to see a list of the web sites for which you instructed Password Manager never to store user names. To remove a web site from this list, click it and then click Remove. The next time you visit the web site, you will be asked if you want Password Manager to save the user name and password for that site.

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Using the Form Manager

Many web pages contain forms for you to fill out—order forms for online shopping, information databases, and so forth.

Form Manager can save the personal data you need to enter when you fill out a form, by storing such information as your name, address, phone, credit card numbers, and so forth. Then, when a web site presents you with a form, Form Manager can fill it out automatically.

In this section:

Saving Information From Forms

Filling Out Forms Automatically

Form Manager's Automatic Notification Feature

What Happens If I Provide Personal Information to a Web Site?

 

Saving Information From Forms

When you fill out an online form, Form Manager normally detects the form and gives you an opportunity to save the personal data you entered into the form. Soon, Form Manager will have enough data to begin filling out forms automatically.

There are two ways to save personal data:

  • Each time you submit an online form that you've filled out, Form Manager asks if you want the information saved. Click Yes. (Note: Form Manager prompts you only if its automatic notification feature is turned on.)
  • After you fill out a form (but before you submit it), open the Edit menu and choose Save Form Data.

Form Manager stores your personal data on your own computer in a file that's difficult, but not impossible, for an intruder to read. See Encrypting Stored Sensitive Information for information on protecting your information with encryption technology.

To examine or edit personal data that Form Manager has saved:

  1. Open the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
  2. From the Privacy and Security category, choose Forms. (If no subcategories are visible, click to expand the list.)
  3. Click View Stored Form Data.

The Form Manager dialog box appears. Click the subcategories on the left to view or edit the corresponding data. To view subcategories that aren't visible, click a category's triangle to expand the list.

 

Filling Out Forms Automatically

To fill out an online form automatically:

  1. Go to the online form you want to fill out.
  2. Open the Edit menu and choose Prefill Form.

(Note that the "Prefill Form" menu item won't be accessible if the Form Manager hasn't yet stored any relevant information.)

 

Form Manager's Automatic Notification Feature

Form Manager is set to prompt you to save information whenever it detects that you have filled out an online form. To stop these messages from appearing on your screen:

  1. Open the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Under the Privacy and Security category, choose Forms. (If no subcategories are visible, click to expand the list.)
  3. In the Form Manager section, deselect "Save form data from web pages when completing forms."

 

What Happens If I Provide Personal Information to a Web Site?

If you provide personal information such as your name, phone number, or email address to a web site, it is free to store that information in its database and use it later. A web site might use this information to improve its service to you or target advertising to your interests. A web site could sell the information it has gathered to other companies.

One way to find out how a web site uses the information it gathers is to check its privacy policy.

Before providing personal information on an online form, you must decide whether or not you trust the company---just as you judge whether or not you trust a catalog company before you provide your credit card number on the company's order form.

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Encrypting Stored Sensitive Information

If you use Password Manager or Form Manager to save passwords and personal data, then this sensitive information is stored on your computer in a file that's difficult, but not impossible, for an intruder to read.

If you are not concerned about unauthorized use of your computer, you may not need further security. However, if your computer is in an area where unauthorized people have access to it, it's possible for a determined person to read the file containing your sensitive information.

For a greater degree of security, you may want to protect the file with encryption. Encryption makes it nearly impossible for an unauthorized person to view your stored sensitive information.

In this section:

Encrypting Stored Sensitive Information

Setting a Master Password

Changing Your Master Password

Logging Out of Your Master Password

What to Do If You Forget Your Master Password

 

Turning on Encryption

To turn on encryption for your stored sensitive information:

  1. Open the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Under the Privacy and Security category, choose Web Passwords. (If no subcategories are visible, click to expand the list.)
  3. In the Encrypting versus Obscuring section, select "Use encryption when storing sensitive data."
  4. Click OK. If you haven't previously set a master password, a new dialog box appears and leads you through the process of setting it.

 

Setting a Master Password

If you choose to encrypt your stored sensitive information, you'll need a master password. With encryption selected, you'll be asked for your master password at least once during a browser session in which you access any of your stored sensitive information.

If you choose encryption, but don't already have a master password, you'll be prompted to create one the first time you try to save or retrieve your sensitive information.

If your master password has not previously been set, you can set it yourself:

  1. Open the Tasks menu, choose Privacy and Security, and then choose Password Manager.
  2. Select Change Master Password from the submenu. You see the Set Master Password dialog box.
  3. Enter your new master password, and retype it to confirm the spelling.
  4. Click OK.

Make sure your new password is difficult to guess. For some guidelines, see the online document Choosing a Good Password.

 

Changing Your Master Password

To change your master password:

  1. Open the Tasks menu, choose Privacy and Security, and then choose Password Manager.
  2. Select Change Master Password from the submenu. You see the Set Master Password dialog box.
  3. Enter your current master password.
  4. Enter your new master password, and retype it to confirm the spelling.
  5. Click OK.

Make sure your new password is difficult to guess. For some guidelines, see the online document Choosing a Good Password.

 

Logging Out of Your Master Password

Normally, you are asked for your master password once during each browser session during which you access any of your stored sensitive information. However, you can log out of your master password so that it must be entered again before any sensitive information can be stored or retrieved. This is useful if you are going to leave your computer unattended for a period of time.

To log out of your master password:

  1. Open the Tasks menu, choose Privacy and Security, and then choose Password Manager.
  2. Select Log Out from the submenu.

 

What to Do If You Forget Your Master Password

If you forget your master password, you may have to reset it. In this case, you will need to clear all the sensitive information stored by Password Manager and Form Manager, because without your original master password you will not be permitted to use the information.

To reset your master password:

  1. Open the Tasks menu, choose Privacy and Security, and then choose Password Manager.
  2. Select Change Master Password from the submenu. You see the Set Master Password dialog box.
  3. Enter your new master password, and retype it to confirm the spelling.
  4. Click OK.

To clear all stored passwords and other sensitive information:

  1. Open the Tasks menu, choose Privacy and Security, and then choose Password Manager.
  2. Select Clear Sensitive Information from the submenu.

After you clear the saved personal information, you must remember all of the user names and passwords Password Manager had stored for you, because you will need to enter them when you visit the web sites that require them.

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Privacy and Security Preferences - Images

This section describes how to set preferences for images. To view the preference settings for images, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Under the Privacy and Security category, click Images. (If no subcategories are visible, click to expand the list.)

 

Image Blocking

Image blocking preferences allow you to control whether Navigator displays images:

  • Do not load any images. Select this if you do not want Navigator to display images.
  • Accept all images. Select this if you want Navigator to display all images.

 

Animated images should loop:

These settings control how many times animated images repeat their animation:

  • As many times as the image specifies. Select this if you want image animation to repeat as many times as specified within each image.
  • Once. Select this if you want image animation to occur once, overriding the number of times specified within each image.
  • Never. Select this if you do not want image animation.

7/9/2001


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