QUESTION Webtrends Live pops up whenever I bank online. The firm's website claims that it only gathers information and isn't malicious, yet several sites claim to remove it if you download their software. Spybot and Norton seem to ignore it, and banning third-party cookies in Firefox makes no difference. Neil Barnard
HELPROOM ANSWER Webtrends is a tracking cookie. It's one of dozens of such cookies that you'll find in any browser cache. It isn't spyware as such, but you can prevent its installation if it's worrying you. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools, Internet Options, Privacy, Advanced and tick the 'Override automatic cookie handling' box. Under First-party Cookies select ‘Prompt', and under Third-party cookies select 'Block'. When cookies try to install themselves in the future, click 'block'.
Note, however, that you may be unable to use your online banking service if it requires these cookies to be installed.