Cakes – what could be wrong with such delicacy? Well, even a certain monster on Sesam Street is less in gluten today. Perhaps it is because his beloved middleman had his name back in the 1990s by the small data files that websites use to improve your experience … and track your business.
Cookies are stored on your computer when you use a web browser. The cookie file is read by the server at the other end of the connection. For the most part, cookies are good – without authentication cookies, you would constantly enter the user name and password when visiting websites, over and over again, on each page. Cookies also allow online shopping carts to work without losing all your items before purchase.
But even cookies can be used to track you. When you visit a website, you do not receive a cookie from only the server for that site, but also a tracking cookie from the advertisers on that site, called a [third party third party cookie] . They can be used to look at where you go when you visit a new site ̵
The problem is that blocking or deleting all cookies is almost devastating for your web experiences. Yet, each individual cookie lets you integrate your privacy. So what do you do?
An alternative is: Nuke all existing cookies. Then you can take some control back. How you do it depends on the desktop or mobile browser you are using. Google Chrome and Firefox Quantum users, I suggest you install the Click & Clean extension and use it to take care of cookies.
But there are manual methods.
Take advantage of the built-in controls in each browser to limit the cookies you receive. At least always block cookies from third parties / advertisers. It's not idiotic, because advertisers can find ways around the simple option, but it's a start. There are many extensions that help you control cookies in browsers such as Firefox and Chrome.
Google Chrome (desktop)
Click the three-point menu () in the upper right corner to get the Chrome menu and choose History – or type " chrome: // history "without quotes in the omnibox (aka address bar). Click Clear web browsing data on the left.
In the popup box, select the third and fourth boxes to delete cookies and clear cached images and files. Just select a time frame from the menu at the top.
To manage cookies in Chrome, type " Chrome: // settings / content / cookies " in the omnibox. You can tell Chrome if you want to allow data from local websites you actually visit, just keep the data until you close the browser or block cookies altogether. The best option: Block all cookies from third parties. You can also specify exceptions. If you block all cookies, you can still allow them for example Amazon and NYTimes.com, so you don't have to enter your password all the time.
Click on See all Cookies and Site Data to see a list of cookies actually installed locally on your computer. You can go through them one by one and remove as desired.
Google Chrome (mobile)
Open the menu via the ellipsis menu () in the lower part of the page. right (iOS) or upper right (Android) and select Settings> Privacy> Delete Browsing Data . Check out the section for cookies and point to Clear Browsing Data (iOS) or Clear Data (Android). That's all you can do; You do not get granular controls over existing cookies and cannot block third party cookies alone.
Mozilla Firefox Quantum
Click on the upper right hamburger stack () and select Options> Privacy and Security . Go to Cookies and Site Data. Click Clear Data and then check Cookies and Site Data and click to delete the entire cookie history. There is also a box to check for Remove cookies and website data when Firefox is closed .
Back to Cookies and Site Data, select Manage Data to select which sites should delete cookies. Under Managing Permissions create Exceptions to always (or never) accept cookies from selected sites.
Go to the three-point menu (]) and select Settings> Privacy> Cookies . You get three choices: Enabled, Enabled Exclusive Third Party or Disabled. To delete all cookies, on the Privacy window, select the box with Delete private data at the output . You will get another popup to select Cookies & Active Logins, among other settings.
Tap the burger menu at the bottom right () and check out Tracking Protection to get started. To go deeper, select Settings> Tracking Protection where you can select Basic or String. The latter is basically a private browsing mode. You can long press the URL field while using Firefox to see how many trackers that site has run and even disable tracking on individual sites.
But for true cookie control, go to Settings> Data Management> Cookies and turn them off. You can clear private data at the bottom of the screen.
Internet Explorer is (mostly) dead, long-lived Microsoft Edge. To clear cookies, select the menu with three points ()> Settings> Delete Web Browsing Data . Some options will be selected, but you can click or deselect the items you want to delete. Click Clear.
To manage cookies in the future, navigate to Settings> Advanced settings and browse to cookies. Click the drop-down menu and select one of three options: Do not block cookies, Block only third-party cookies or Block all cookies. Or go back to Clear Browsing Data and click on the link to manage permissions. This is where you can remove cookies from site to page or make a Clear All.
By default, Safari only takes cookies from websites you visit – not third-party cookies. You can make changes by going to the Safari menu (a toggle symbol) and selecting Settings> Privacy and looking at Cookies and Site Data> Manage Site Data. From there pick the places whose cakes you crush; Click Delete All> Delete Now to kill all cookies.
To manage how Safari manages cookies, the same options appear on Block All Cookies.
To manage cookies, Safari must accept, click on a site under Cookies and Website data to get Safari to ask websites and third party not to track you. Safari can ask every time, but it is up to individual websites if they will match or not.
With Safari, unlike other browsers, both desktop and mobile, you do not have access to the cookie settings by opening the browser itself. In iOS, go to Settings> Safari and select Block All Cookies for.
When you want to kill all cookies, select Clear History and Website Data . To kill, simply select cookie data stored by websites (and keep your history), scroll down to Advanced> Website Data . You get a list of the websites that store the most data. At the bottom of the list, click View All Websites to see the full list. Delete data for sites that you do not recognize or trust; you sleep better. Or clear them all by clicking on the bottom link: Delete all web data .