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Casino TechLet’s begin with a simple truth: anything you type into your computer could be saved, cached, archived and later retrieved without you ever knowing any of it happened.

For example, a few months back Chuck installed a new casino on his computer. He went to the deposit page and bam! the casino knew everything already: name, credit card type, number, expiry date, the works.

It turned out that his info had been saved into the Windows Registry by a previous program. Think of the Registry as Windows’ cached memory and internal structure rolled into one. So there it was, in a public section of the Registry, unencrypted, and available to any program that knew enough to ask for it.

The Registry isn’t the only place where personal information is saved. Cookies are another. A cookie is simply a little file created by a web site to record information about your last visit. The idea is that on your next visit that particular site they can read their cookie and thereby reestablish your browsing status with them.

While cookies make the web more convenient they also introduce a (small) security risk in that there is really no limit to what goes into a cookie. If the web site programmers are sloppy or careless, their cookie could contain whatever information you’ve given them, such as your credit card number and home address.

Of course many questions spring to mind: I just placed an order online so was my credit information saved somewhere on the computer? How would I know? How do I know what goes into a cookie when I save it? Can other programs access that data?

The short …