Posted by Chuck on February 16, 2017
Portals

Published on February 16th, 2017 | by Chuck

17

Be Careful with Ebates Cookies and Tracking

Wow, that was weird.

My friend Keith got an email from Ebates about the Ebates 14% Valentine’s Day sale, and he forwarded it to me as a heads up. Many hours later, I went through Ebates and made some purchases to take advantage of the increased portal offer.

This morning, I decided to check if the cash back posted yet, and I noticed that the name showing on my Ebates account was ‘Keith,’ not ‘Chuck.’ When I had clicked Keith’s email link, the browser had me cookied into his account, and HE got credit for all 25 purchases I made. Why, oh why, do these things always have to happen on big purchases.

ebates image

Lucky for me it was a friend’s link, so no money loss. But wow, this was a surprise to me. And Keith was sure surprised to see dozens of random Ebates credits popping up in his account.

Ebates won’t let you see the other person’s personal info, and if you try clicking on My Account it prompts you to login. BUT to go shopping, it doesn’t force you to login first (which is great, by the way, since it saves time when shopping). Logging into your account will clear out the old cookies and get you back to your own account.

I used to use incognito for shopping, but then I discovered ‘super cookies’ which carry over in private browsing and negate part of the benefit of using incognito. Since then, I started taking it easy and shopping within my main browser, and I’ve had great success with tracking.

Well, now we have a new reason to use private browsing. I recall noticing a similar thing with MyPoints and maybe Swagbucks too. Keep this in mind.

I should really set up a separate Chrome profile, just haven’t gotten around to it since I’d have to save all the passwords there again.



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Sam
Sam

Avoiding this is very, very easy – always have a dedicated browser to go through portals and always go to the website directly, never follow links. After making purchases clear all private data and don’t use that browser again for non-portal activity.

Sam
Sam

Using “incognito mode” on your normal browser is temping fate.

NinjaX
NinjaX

yea. dedicated browser is honestly the easiest. then ccleaner it.

MD
MD

If you use LastPass, you won’t have to save the passwords again 🙂

Steven F
Steven F

25 purchases holy heck!

screw ebates
screw ebates

Ebates does not have clear policy of tracking, call a good lawyer

J.
J.

You must have been sleeping because every time I click from ebates its says congratulations, my name and you are on your way to fill in the blank store.

MarcoPolo
MarcoPolo

That’s why I use Sandboxie.
You fire up your browser sandboxed and after you are done get rid of all the cookies by deleting the contents of that Sandbox.
There is a free version available but this is one of the software I actually paid for since it works so well and have saved me from some pesky websites.
You can also avoid being tracked by google and such by using multiple sandboxes for each.

NinjaX
NinjaX

theres only a fraction of people who read this blog that would understand what sandboxie is and its overkill for shopping purposes. however, r/churning has a pretty strong presence of tech developers and coders so i guess you just never know.

Josh
Josh

> That’s why I use Sandboxie.

… or Qubes OS.

Cristi

One year on black Friday, I kept getting emails about cashback from J. Crew even though I hadn’t made any purchases. By the end of the day, I had about $250 cashback in my account. E-bates actually sent me a check for it at the end of the quarter! No idea what happened there but it was pretty sweet.

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