Protecting Your Privacy
For this reason, most cookies are relatively safe, do not track data that the website does not need, and definitely do not infringe on your privacy.
However, there are a handful of giant ad networks that do profile your web browsing and interests over a long period of time, and cookies are the easiest and most accurate way for them to do this. If you are concerned about how cookies affect your privacy, we’ve put together a guide that will help you decide what to do.
Should I Disable Cookies?
The answer is usually no. While you can disable cookies, you will lose too much functionality on many of the websites for this to be practical. You may not be able to log in to your accounts or you may experience disruptions of service on other sites that refuse to serve you without cookies. For this reason, it is generally a better idea to clear your browser’s cookies often.
However, you can easily try it out if you want and decide to switch back at any time. Most browsers allow you to automatically allow or deny cookies right from your privacy settings.
How to Block Third Party Cookies
If you’re concerned about your privacy, you can take steps to disable third party cookies. To do this, go into your browser’s security settings (typically Preferences/Settings > Privacy > Cookies > Third Party Cookies)
We’ll walk through the steps to disable third party cookies in several popular browsers.
- Click on the “Safari” button on your top menu bar and select “Preferences”.
- Choose: “Privacy”.
- Change your settings as desired.
- Go to Preferences (From toolbar on Mac) (From the three horizontal lines in the right-hand corner on Windows).
- Click “Advanced” or “Advanced Security Settings”.
- Click “Content Settings”.
- Click “Cookies”.
- Block Third Party Cookies.
- Update cookie settings as desired.
- Open Preferences (From “Firefox” in Menu on Mac, from “Menu” on Windows).
- Click “Privacy”.
- Click “Use Tracking Protection”.
- Update your cookie access as desired.
Microsoft Edge/ Internet Explorer
- Click the … button in the top right corner.
- Choose “Settings”.
- Scroll down to “Advanced Settings”. Click on it.
- Select “Block Third Party Cookies”.
While cookies can help you stay logged in to your accounts, make websites more personalized to your needs, and provide other services, it can be best to periodically remove them. You may occasionally want to clean all of your cookies, which can be done using your browser settings.
Cleaning your cookies will delete your website settings, log you out of websites, and will also delete shopping cart and other saved items. For these reasons, you should only clear cookies once you no longer have use of them.
Computer Cleaner Software
PC cleaners and Mac cleaners can delete all of your cookie, as well as other temporary files. We’ve reviewed the 3 most popular computer cleaners, which are CCleaner for Mac, CleanMyPC, or CleanMyMac.
In most cases, cookies are harmless, add value, and make browsing the web easier. If you’re concerned about your privacy, disabling third party cookies is more than enough for most people. However, you can regularly clean your cookies without harming your computer or your browser, and you can do so as often as you would like.
You can also visit your browser settings to update cookie access, change your cookie settings, and to ban or block certain cookies from downloading to your computer at all. This allows you to easily control your privacy based on the websites you access, use, and trust.