Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Techpedia Daily 6: Tracking Cookies? Why?

Got tracking cookies? Everytime you run a security scan, it tells you there are threats. 32 Cookies that can send data to third parties. Mostly harmless, but whats the point of having them.

You COULD block out cookies of individual sites but that would take a while. Heres the easy alternative.

Basically block third party cookies. Safari and Opera refer to it as "Only from sites I visit (not advertisers)" and people understand that more and choose that option. Other browsers refer to it as "Allow third party cookies" and most people leave it checked. Heres how to disable third party cookies in the top 5 browsers as well as some notices about doing this.

Basically, blocking them means if you visit for example, "youtube.com" you will only get "youtube.com" cookies, not from the ad providers such as "doubleclick.net" Screenshots of where to change these settings are provided at the end of the post.

Note: Blocking 3rd party cookies may cause problems especially with add-ons like Google Toolbar and LastPass. Allow cookies from those sites.

Internet Explorer

In your Internet Options under Privacy, click on Advanced, and there should be a radio button to block third party cookies, as shown below. If any add-ons rely on cookies (such as Google Toolbar), you may need to add their site to the Exceptions list.

Mozilla Firefox
Go to your Options (Windows and Mac) or Preferences (Linux) and on the Privacy tab, un-check Allow Third Party Cookies. Note: If any add-ons rely on cookies (such as Google Toolbar), you may need to add their site to the Exceptions list in addition to mozilla.com and mozilla.org for you may experience problems installing experimental add-ons. Alternatively, you may install this add-on (Targeted Advertising Cookie Opt-Out-TACO) for Firefox to set permanent opt-out cookies instead to avoid any further problems.

In your Preferences, on the Security tab, check "Only from sites I visit" on the Allow Cookies section.

Google Chrome
Google Chrome does not provide an option to block 3rd party cookies, but only restrict how they can be used. In your Options, under "Under the Hood", choose "Restrict how third-party cookies can be used" under cookie settings.

Go to your Preferences. Then go to the Advanced Tab and under Cookies in the sidebar, check the radio button that reads, "Accept only cookies from the site I visit."

Third-party tracking cookies are generally harmless but they can get annoying.

Thanks for reading Techpedia. As always, you can contact me using the Digsby widget in the sidebar, leaving a comment in the comments section, or sending an email to techpedia.mail@gmail.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment