Websites always used your IP address and your Cookies to collect information about your preferences, now they’re using that information to burn a hole in your pocket.
— Jack Lodge (@JCELodge) May 25, 2014
The Positive Purpose Behind Cookies
Cookies are files stored in your computer. Each website you visit drops a cookie in to your computer, and tags it with your IP address. The function of the Cookie is to create an activity log of your activities on the website. While this might sound like something that invades your privacy, the purpose of the Cookie is actually to record your preferences.
This means that every time you log into the website, the website checks your IP address to see if a Cookie has been created against it. If your IP address is found, it reads the details in its respective cookie (on your computer) and presents you with a version of the website that you prefer. This can include anything ranging from your preferred language, to the color of the website’s background, to the items you have favorite on the website.
Web admins must ensure that session cookies are tied to an IP address where the session was established http://t.co/w8XS5nhd
— TrendLabs (@TrendLabs) September 30, 2011
The Problem with Cookies
The problem is that every time you visit a website, it checks your IP to see if you are a returning user. If you are a returning visitor, it knows that is has to search for the cookie it dropped in your system the last time you visited.
The first time I witnessed a website using Cookies was when I develop a habit of buying books online. Now most online book stores let you browse through the first few pages for free; so you can see if you really like the book enough to buy it or not. Sometimes they give you the entire first chapter to read for free, after which you have to buy the book if you want to read more.
— William McGeveran (@BillMcGev) April 30, 2012
I noticed that the website would give me a limited preview of one book one day, and then the next day, but then switch off the limited preview the third or fourth day. This happened to me multiple times, confirming my suspicion that the website’s system was keeping a close eye on my preferences, and was pushing me to make a purchase. This was the website using my IP to detect my cookies and corner me into making a purchase.
Websites Use your Cookies & IP to Over-Charge You
This means that if you check out the airfare from Dubai to Hawaii once, the website will show you the normal rates, but if you keep checking it every day while you day dream and make plans, the price will eventually go up.
Oh and your website cookies that pump up the prices when returning to view a flight for a second time on the same IP address #TellMOL
— Ross MacKay (@rossmkdesign) October 17, 2013
This is because the website will know that you are interested in that particular flight. This will be topped off with a banner that reminds you of the limited number of seats remaining and the limited time left to book your seat.
Use VPN to Stay Ahead & Save
When you use a VPN, you don’t just posses the power of switching your IP, you posses the power of virtually moving to another country. This makes it impossible for websites to recognize who you are and they begin to treat you like a new user.
This means that they shower you with all their best discounts and best deals in order to convert you into a customer. Every time you log on with a VPN, odds are that you will get a new secondary IP address to cover up and cloak your primary IP address.
The website’s system cannot probe around your computer to search for the cookies that were dropped the last time, and will therefore identify you as a new user. As a result, the website will be unable to establish the same connection that it had with your computer as the last time. This will result in the formation of a fresh profile for your cookies.
Picking a Pocket Friendly VPN
When picking a VPN to pull the wool over the state-of-the-art websites of today, make sure you pick one that is both cost-effective, and has a large number of VPN servers. The larger the number of servers, the larger the number of IP addresses you can hide behind. But that doesn’t mean you go for the VPN service provider that has the largest number of IP addresses. Otherwise you will lose the money you were going to save from the whole exercise.
If you are new to VPN, make sure you go for a VPN service provider that has a money back guarantee. Also, try to go for one that has good compatibility. That way you can run it on your computer at home, on your tablet in the car, on and your smart phone in the office.
Whether you choose to use a VPN or not, make it a habit to delete your browser Cookies every time you are about to go online. Without a VPN to cover you fully, this will allow you to minimize your chances of getting recognized as a returning user by fifty percent on a good day. This will also help your browser run smoother.
Switching on a VPN will break the IP-Cookie connection for websites that you have previously visited. You can’t prevent websites from recording your IP address, because it is your virtual name-tag when you go online. But you can cover it up with a second name-tag using a VPN. A VPN is your best friend when you go online.