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Date Sent:      April 25, 2013
Subject:           New Cookie Choices
From:               John Bondon

Chocolate Chip Cookies I'm a big fan of cookies. And not just the kind you eat. In the real world of life, soft & chewy home baked chocolate chip cookies are my favorite. But in the online world, your internet browser uses cookies too. Browser cookies are little text files on your computer that store information to help identify you and maybe some of your personal preferences for the website you are visiting. But browser cookies often get a bad rap. A lot of people think browser cookies are bad. And that's really not true. Browser cookies actually help to IMPROVE your browsing experience. For one, they help websites like our hiking website, to customize the content you see. But more importantly, they help to make your web experience safer and more secure. Personally I would NOT recommend visiting your bank website if it DIDN'T offer you a (browser) cookie! (Of course, a real one with each visit would be nice too!)

The reason so many people think you should not accept or routinely delete your browser cookies, is because these little text files can also be used for evil. Evil in the form of invading your privacy. Cookies, super cookies, and zombie cookies potentially allow internet marketers to track your online behavior in ways that is not possible with any other medium.

And just as cookies can help enhance your security, evil doers can use cookies to impersonate you. Which is why if you use a shared computer, such as the one at your local library or a school computer lab, you should most definately always delete your browser cookies before you walk away!



With this in mind, I've decided to change the way the hiking website stores your cookie. Our hiking website also relies on detecting your cookie in order to remember you. That cookie used to remain on your computer for 6 months before expiring. Useful for someone who doesn't visit our website routinely but wants to RSVP from time to time without needing to log in by clicking the special link contained in the Weekly RSVP (Wednesday) email. And though I am not aware that anyone has ever taken over someone else's EBCHG session or account, the potential risk is there. And I know some of our members do use a shared computer at least from time to time.



Personal Cookie Preference Setting Therefore, I created a new setting in your profile so that you can choose for yourself how you would like your cookie stored. Since I really can't create a one size fits all setting here, I leave the choice up to you. You get to select what works best for YOU!

If you only access the hiking website from your own home computer, and it's only you and your spouse who ever use that computer, it should be no problem if you prefer to keep your cookie saved for a longer time frame. That way you can access the site at any time to update your RSVP selection, without the need to provide the special funny looking web address contained in this Weekly RSVP email.

But if, on the other hand, you most often use, or have the potential to use, a shared computer or one at a public location (such as a library or airport), I would suggest you select the option to NOT store a cookie on your computer. In your case you will need to click the RSVP link contained in one of my Weekly RSVP emails in order to update your RSVP responses.

If anyone tried to access the website in the past few days to change their RSVP choices and suddenly encountered an error about not being recognized, now you know why. :)

To change your own cookie preference, simply click the Modify My Settings link contained at the bottom of this email and scroll past the Hide my LAST NAME? section to the Remember Me for future visits? section. Choose Remember Me for Future Visits if you prefer to RSVP without clicking on the special link contained only in this Weekly RSVP email. Or select Do Not Remember Me if you use a shared computer or simply don't want a cookie stored on your computer longterm. Once you've made your selection, remember to click the Update my Info button to save your choices.

If you have any questions or concerns about this new choice, or about cookies in general, or you've got some amazing chocolate chip cookie recipes you'd like to share, simply REPLY to this email!

Happy Hiking!

:) John

Happy Trails,

John




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