*Note: I once posted this on my old blog, which is no more, so here it is again.  Enjoy. Learn.


Have you ever opened your e-mail and see banner ads?  Sometimes you see them, sometimes you don’t.  That’s because the ads themselves are so small, they’re virtually invisible.  These ads are called web-bugs (or web beacons), small graphics files, and are all but invisible.  They are normally the size of just one pixel (a tiny dot).  Web bugs are referred to as clear GIFs.  The web bug isn’t attached to the e-mail message directly.  It’s located in a separate file on a separate web site that is linked to the e-mail message’s code.  The web bug is activated when you open the e-mail message and the e-mail program finds and locate the referenced file.  When the web bug is accessed, your browsing is tracked and a cookie is placed on your hard drive {file}.  This form of cookie abuse is made possible because modern e-mail is nothing more than a web page delivered to your inbox.

Quote time : “Computers now constitute, or will soon constitute, a dangerous threat to individual privacy…It will soon be feasible to compile dossiers in-depth on a citizenry.” —Horst Feistel (1973), German-born cryptographer.