To some degree, we’re all familiar with cookies as they relate to websites. Most of you are aware that they are out there and serve some purpose. Some of you know that websites use them to store information locally on your computer. There are also those cookies that track information about you and your web habits and report it back to the website that gave you the cookie.
Right about now, you may be thinking you don’t like that idea. Me neither!
Yet, even worse are those cookies that track your activities, gather information and report it back to a website that you’ve never visited – a third-party website. The 2o7 cookie is one such cookie. What is this 2o7 cookie? Let’s take a look at it. The 207 cookie is intended to track web usage and other information. The exact information that the 207.net cookie will track varies from user to user. The information is gathered and reported back to 207.net allegedly anonymously. Meaning, that it contains no information that can be used to identify that the information came from you. This is hard to verify as there are many, many versions of the 2o7.net cookie. I’ll get into that in a second.
Who Made 2o7 Tracking Cookie? A marketing firm called Omniture creates the cookies that report back to 2o7.net. They do this on behalf of their customers, which include such heavy-hitters as eBay, Wal-Mart, Expedia and Ameritrade. That’s why it’s hard to tell exactly what the cookie you have may be tracking. eBay will want different information than Ameritrade. One may be tracking the effectiveness of an e-mail campaign, while the other may be tracking their banner ad campaign.
Omniture set up the 2o7.net domain name as a way to maintain a degree of anonymity and to put the load of all these cookies onto a server that is used for nothing else.
From a technology point of view, this is a good practice. From a public relations point of view, it’s a flipping disaster!
How Does this 2o7 Cookie System Work?
When you visit a site that is a client of Omniture, the site drops the cookie onto your computer. The cookie tracks the information it’s designed to track and sends it to the 2o7.net site. Now, Omnitrade does operate other domains that their cookies report to as well, but 207.net seems to be the most popular.
Omnitrade compiles the data into something meaningful and sends that information to their client. If that’s the case, then these cookies are relatively innocuous. However, some clients may also request to have that information sent to someone else as well. That’s where things get a bit colluded. Who are they sending it to? For what reason? Is it really anonymous? Is the 2o7 Cookie Bad?
People that look at the cookies and see the 207.net part and then visit the 207.net domain would see nothing – a blank page. Then they would do a whois on the domain name and find that it is owned by Omniture. Not knowing who in hades Omniture was, things seemed, dare I say it, ominous? (Omniture does now have a page there that explains the generalities of the cookies.)
The other aspect to these cookies is they do take up resources. They do affect your Internet speeds and your computer speed. It may be an insignificant amount or it may bring you to a near-standstill.
Yet overall, cookies aren’t that bad. There are bad ones, but for the most part they are very helpful. They store information such as website preferences, login information and such, that make it easier to use many websites.
How Do I Stop the 2o7.net Cookie?
If you are still unsure about the 2o7 cookie, you can delete it and block 3rd party cookies from being set again. You do NOT need special software for this. Omniture does have a page that can help you with this, but guess what? Yep, it sets another cookie. The opt-out cookie only works for the browser and computer that you set it on. So if you use Firefox on your home computer, that’s the only one the opt-out cookie will block from 2o7.net.
Here’s a small tutorial on how to block 3rd party cookies in Firefox, then in Internet Explorer.
How to Block 3rd Party Cookies Like 2o7 in Firefox
It’s pretty easy, yeah. Click on Tools in the top toolbar. Then click on Options. Just like below.
When the Options window opens, click on the cute mask for Privacy, then uncheck the accept third-party cookies checkbox. Now, you will receive only cookies that report back to their originating site. Pretty easy!
Block Third-Party Cookies Like 207 in Internet Explorer
Pretty much the same as Firefox, really.
Click on Tools in the menu bar, then click on Internet Options.
When the Internet Options window opens, click on the Privacy tab. Now you’ll see the slider. To block only 3rd party cookies, slide the slider to Low. Realistically, having it on Medium at the least is probably safer.
Now with all that done, you have no worries about the 207.net cookie.