Cookie Settings in Browser

Manage your browser cookies for better privacy

Want to clear your browser of all cookies stored locally on your computer? Cookies, sometime called web cookies or tracking cookies, are small pieces of text sent by a server to a web browser and then sent back by the client every time it accesses that server.

Cookies are used for several different purposes including authenticating, session tracking, and maintaining specific information about users, such as their site preferences or the items in their shopping carts.

Though cookies can be quite useful, they also raise privacy concerns because they track user behaviour across the Internet. Another problem with cookies is that they may not always provide accurate identification of a user and can be exploited by hackers.

Cookies are quite common on many major websites and do not contain any spyware or viruses. They are simply pieces of data that help differentiate users. It’s worth understanding the difference between first-party cookies and third-party cookies first. The main thing to understand is that third-party cookies are the ones used to track you across multiple websites.

You may have noticed that if you searched for plane tickets one day and then started browsing other sites, the ads showing up on the other sites might be all geared towards flights, hotels, or something travel related. Those are third-party cookies in action.

To increase your privacy, but maintain convenience, you can disable third-party cookies and allow first-party cookies. You can also use an add-on or extension like Disconnect that has become very popular recently. You can easily manage cookies in Chrome, Firefox, IE and Safari by following the instructions below.

For Microsoft Internet Explorer:

  1. Choose the menu 'Tools' then 'Internet Options'
  2. Click on the 'Privacy' tab
  3. Select the appropriate setting

For Microsoft Edge:

  1. Choose the 'More' tab then 'Settings'
  2. Click on the 'Advanced Settings'
  3. Select the appropriate setting

For Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Click on the settings icon and then click on 'Optios'
  2. Click on the icon 'Privacy'
  3. Find the menu 'Cookie' and select the relevant options.

For Chrome:

  1. Choose the menu button and then 'Settings'
  2. Choose 'Show advanced settings'
  3. Find 'Privacy' tab, then click 'Clear browsing data'

For Safari:

  1. Mac users, click on 'Safari' in the top nav bar and then click on 'Preferences'
  2. Click 'Privacy' and you can set your cookie preferences right at the top
  3. Click 'Remove All Website Data' button to delete all cookies.