How to Control Cookies and Similar Technologies
Microsoft provides browser controls to help you manage cookies. You can also accept cookies but opt out of their use to behaviorally target advertisements. For instance, Microsoft’s advertising preference and opt-out controls are available at http://choice.live.com/advertisementchoice/.
Browser Controls to Block Cookies.
Most web browsers automatically accept cookies but allow you to modify your browser setting to block cookies. For example, in Internet Explorer 11, you can block cookies by taking the following steps:
Instructions for blocking cookies in other browsers are available at each browser’s privacy statement.
Please be aware that if you choose to block cookies, you may not be able to sign in or use other interactive features of Microsoft sites and services that depend on cookies, and any advertising preferences that are dependent on cookies may be lost.
Browser Controls to Delete Cookies.
If you accept cookies, you can delete them later. For example, in Internet Explorer 11, you can delete cookies by taking the following steps:
Instructions for deleting cookies in other browsers are available at each browser’s privacy statement.
Please be aware that if you choose to delete cookies, any settings and preferences controlled by those cookies, including advertising preferences, will be deleted and will need to be recreated.
Browser Controls for “Do Not Track” and Tracking Protection.
Some newer browsers have incorporated “Do Not Track” features. Most of these features, when turned on, send a signal or preference to the websites you visit indicating that you do not wish to be tracked. Those sites (or the third-party content on those sites) may continue to engage in activities you might view as tracking even though you have expressed this preference, depending on the sites’ privacy practices. Because there is not yet a common understanding of how to interpret the DNT signal, Microsoft does not currently respond to the browser DNT signals on its own websites or online services, or on third-party websites or online services where Microsoft provides advertisements, content or is otherwise able to collect information. We continue to work with the online industry to define a common understanding of how to treat DNT signals. In the meantime, users may continue to opt out of targeted ads from Microsoft as set forth below.
Internet Explorer (versions 9 and up) have a feature called Tracking Protection that helps prevent the websites you go to from automatically sending details about your visit to third-party content providers. When you add a Tracking Protection List, Internet Explorer will block third-party content, including cookies, from any site that is listed as a site to be blocked. By limiting calls to these sites, Internet Explorer will limit the information these third-party sites can collect about you. For more information about Tracking Protection Lists and Do Not Track, please see the Internet Explorer Privacy Statement or Internet Explorer Help.
Advertising Opt-Out Controls.
Individual advertising companies may also offer their own opt-out capabilities plus more advanced advertising choices. For instance, Microsoft’s advertising preference and opt-out controls are available at http://choice.live.com/advertisementchoice/. Please note that opting out does not mean that you will stop getting ads or see fewer ads; however, if you do opt out, the ads that you receive will no longer be behaviorally targeted. In addition, opting out does not stop information from going to our servers, but it does stop our creation or updating of profiles that might be used for behavioral advertising.
Third-Party Analytics Controls.
Some of the cookies we commonly use are listed in the following chart. This list is not exhaustive, but it is intended to illustrate the main reasons we typically set cookies. If you visit one of our websites, the site may set some or all of the following cookies:
Identifies unique browsers visiting Microsoft sites. It is used for advertising, site analytics and other operational purposes.
Contains the ANID, a unique identifier used to help identify which ads a customer may like. It is also used to preserve your choice to opt out of behaviorally targeted ads from Microsoft, if you have chosen to associate the opt-out with your Microsoft account.
Contains a country code as determined by reverse IP address lookup.
Microsoft account authentication
Authentication cookies (e.g., RPSTAuth, MSNRPSAuth, KievRPSAuth) used when you sign in with your Microsoft account.
Contains an encrypted version of your country, postal code, age, gender, language and occupation, if known, based on your Microsoft account profile.
Appears on co-branded sites where Microsoft is partnering with an advertiser. This cookie identifies the advertiser so the right ad is selected.
Maintains information about which ads you clicked on and where you clicked on the ad.
Records your decision not to receive behaviorally targeted ads delivered by Microsoft.
In addition to the cookies Microsoft may set when you visit our websites, third parties may also set cookies when you visit Microsoft sites. In some cases, that is because we have hired the third party to provide services on our behalf, such as site analytics. In other cases, it is because our web pages contain content or ads from third parties, such as videos, news content or ads delivered by other ad networks. Because your browser connects to those third parties’ web servers to retrieve that content, those third parties are able to set or read their own cookies on your device and may collect information about your online activities across websites or online services.
Our Use of Web Beacons
Microsoft web pages may contain electronic images known as web beacons - sometimes called single-pixel gifs - that may be used to help deliver cookies on our sites, count users who have visited those pages and deliver co-branded services. Sometimes we include web beacons in our promotional email messages or newsletters to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon.
We sometimes work with other companies that advertise on Microsoft sites to place web beacons on their sites or in their advertisements to let us develop statistics on how often clicking on an advertisement on a Microsoft site results in a purchase or other action on the advertiser's site.
Finally, Microsoft sites may contain web beacons from third parties to help us compile aggregated statistics regarding the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns or other web site operations. These web beacons may allow the third parties to set or read a cookie on your computer. These companies may collect information about your online activities across websites or online servers, however, we prohibit third parties from using web beacons on our sites to collect or access information that directly identifies you (such as your name or email address). You may be able to opt out from data collection or use by these third-party analytics companies as described under “Third-Party Analytics Controls” above.
Other Similar Technologies
In addition to standard cookies and web beacons, websites can use other technologies to store and read data files on your computer. This may be done to maintain your preferences or to improve speed and performance by storing certain files locally. But, like standard cookies, these technologies can also be used to store a unique identifier for your computer, which can then be used to track online activity. These technologies include Local Shared Objects (or "Flash cookies"), HTML5 Local Storage and Silverlight Application Storage.
Local Shared Objects or "Flash cookies." Websites that use Adobe Flash technologies may use Local Shared Objects or "Flash cookies" to store data on your computer. To manage or block Flash cookies when using Windows, go to the Control Panel and select Flash Player. For other operating systems, learn more at http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager.html.
Silverlight Application Storage. Websites or applications that use Microsoft Silverlight technology can store data on your device using Silverlight Application Storage. To learn how to manage or block such storage, visit the Silverlight Privacy Statement.
Microsoft uses the information we collect to operate, improve and personalize the products and services we offer. Information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information collected through other Microsoft services to give you a more consistent and personalized experience in your interactions with us. We may also supplement this with information from other companies. For example, we may use services from other companies to help us derive a general geographic area based on your IP address in order to customize certain services to your geographic area.
We also may use the information to communicate with you, for example, informing you when a subscription is ending, letting you know when security updates are available or letting you know when you need to take action to keep your account active.
Microsoft provides many of our sites and services free of charge because they are supported by advertising. In order to make these services widely available, the information we collect may be used to help improve the advertisements you see by making them more relevant to you.
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