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New to the community....Handle Leaks?

  • 22 December 2018
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  • Anonymous
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Webroot has recently run a system analyzer and states that I have a possible handle leak in Dropbox and that there are cookies with possible personal info. 
 
How do I fix that?
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Best answer by Baldrick 23 December 2018, 00:15

Hi nette1293
 
Welcome to the Community Forums.
 
To be honest I would not worry about what System Analyzer is reporting re. memory leaks; it is just a baseline tool & given the app or app(s) that are likely to be reported as such, i.e., explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc., there is nothing that one can do about such leaks other than report them to the author of the app(s). And given that Dropbox is not a Webroot you will need to contact Dropbox support, and in my honest estimation they are unlikely to do anything unless a whole slew of users complain about the same thing.
 
So if your system is running fine/as per normal, i.e., you are not seeing any slow downs or strange happenings, then I would just ignore what the System Analyzer says in relation to this.
 
Now to cookies; in general or for the most part a cookie (or tracking file) will contain a string of text that contains information about the browser, i.e., some information that whilst it relates to you it would not generally be termed 'personal' information. And to work a cookie does not need to know who you are & where you are from; it only needs to remember your browser. 
 
In terms of more detail, these cookies are typically used for referral programs, sponsored links or adverts, for conversion and referral tracking and typically expire after 30 days, though some may take longer. Again, in the case of these and indeed most cookies, no personal information is stored, saved or collected.
 
However, some websites do use cookies to store more personal information about you, which they glean from your online activities such as user credentials entered, etc., and which, if the data held is not encrypted, could be read by other websites that you would want. 
 
This storage of data may in itself not necessarily be for nefarious reasons; it depends on how a website has set up its cookie feature. 
 
However, some websites use a combination of methods: on your browser they may create a cookie with unique but anonymous content; or on the server side they may create a file that logs that unique but anonymous content alongside any personal information that you have provided.
 
And the underlying issue is the user will not in general know which site is doing what in terms of the above.
 
So to many the best approach is to 'ban' cookies altogether; more safety but at the expense in most case of a richer more focused browsing experience and some limitations to site access, etc.
 
If you still feel that you need to clean your cookies then in most cases you can adjust the privacy settings of your browser to prevent cookies, and i some cases specific types of cookies, and clear them when you close the browser.
 
Alternatively you can use one of the many 'cleaners' applications to periodically clear them out...the one that most of us here in the COmmunity would recommend is CCleaner (the free version of that can be found HERE), and used with its default settings it is quite safe to use (at least I have never had an issue in the many years I have used it).
 
Hopefully that answers your question and provides some guidance?
 
Regards, Baldrick
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Userlevel 7
Hi nette1293
 
Welcome to the Community Forums.
 
To be honest I would not worry about what System Analyzer is reporting re. memory leaks; it is just a baseline tool & given the app or app(s) that are likely to be reported as such, i.e., explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc., there is nothing that one can do about such leaks other than report them to the author of the app(s). And given that Dropbox is not a Webroot you will need to contact Dropbox support, and in my honest estimation they are unlikely to do anything unless a whole slew of users complain about the same thing.
 
So if your system is running fine/as per normal, i.e., you are not seeing any slow downs or strange happenings, then I would just ignore what the System Analyzer says in relation to this.
 
Now to cookies; in general or for the most part a cookie (or tracking file) will contain a string of text that contains information about the browser, i.e., some information that whilst it relates to you it would not generally be termed 'personal' information. And to work a cookie does not need to know who you are & where you are from; it only needs to remember your browser. 
 
In terms of more detail, these cookies are typically used for referral programs, sponsored links or adverts, for conversion and referral tracking and typically expire after 30 days, though some may take longer. Again, in the case of these and indeed most cookies, no personal information is stored, saved or collected.
 
However, some websites do use cookies to store more personal information about you, which they glean from your online activities such as user credentials entered, etc., and which, if the data held is not encrypted, could be read by other websites that you would want. 
 
This storage of data may in itself not necessarily be for nefarious reasons; it depends on how a website has set up its cookie feature. 
 
However, some websites use a combination of methods: on your browser they may create a cookie with unique but anonymous content; or on the server side they may create a file that logs that unique but anonymous content alongside any personal information that you have provided.
 
And the underlying issue is the user will not in general know which site is doing what in terms of the above.
 
So to many the best approach is to 'ban' cookies altogether; more safety but at the expense in most case of a richer more focused browsing experience and some limitations to site access, etc.
 
If you still feel that you need to clean your cookies then in most cases you can adjust the privacy settings of your browser to prevent cookies, and i some cases specific types of cookies, and clear them when you close the browser.
 
Alternatively you can use one of the many 'cleaners' applications to periodically clear them out...the one that most of us here in the COmmunity would recommend is CCleaner (the free version of that can be found HERE), and used with its default settings it is quite safe to use (at least I have never had an issue in the many years I have used it).
 
Hopefully that answers your question and provides some guidance?
 
Regards, Baldrick
Userlevel 7
Badge +55
I agree with @ and in reality cookies are harmless and you can read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_cookie

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