Read on to learn what tracking cookies are and how you can block them from tracking your online activity.
What Are Cookies, Where Do They Come from, And What Do They Do?
Tracking or browser cookies are small text files that are stored in the user’s browsers as they explore the internet. When a user revisits a site, the cookie will recognize them and customizes their experience. For instance, the site will now display targeted ads.
These appear when one visits a website that uses these tracking files. Subsequently, at whatever point you visit the website once more, your browser will send your data history to the server.
Presumably, these aren’t harmful. However, they can have a discernible effect on your browsing experience. Here’s what they do:
- Target cookies send your browsing details to various websites which are further utilized for direct advertising, targeted marketing, and display advertising
- Some cross the boundaries of the internet and share your personal information and basic information to any website. This data is then used for retargeting advertising
Tracking Cookies And GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Directive (EPR) are two founding pillars of online privacy and user rights on the internet. Both of these directives influence how the user or the website owner utilizes online tracking following the EU guidelines.
Under GDPR, these files will be allowed only if the user gives their consent to be tracked. Subsequently, the adware tracking cookie can no longer operate, process, or even collect personal information or any other data without the consenting authorization of the user.
Are Tracking Cookies Bad?
These files that record your data can be both acceptable and terrible. Undoubtedly, they don’t perform any activity all alone. They’ll be dropped quietly on your system to gather some information. Moreover, they won’t cause any damage to your computer. The ethical and moral qualities of these files will depend on your activities and endorsements.
Cookies are a centralized element for creating an innate, comprehensible, and consistent browsing experience. They merely track your activities on the browser and capture required data like password entries, currency, locations, language preferences, interests, and so on. However, this data can be easily exploited when it gets into the wrong hands.
Ways to Block, Stop, And Remove Tracking Cookies
Removing tracking cookies is easy. All you’ll need to do is delete them from your browsers.
Here are the steps on how to do so.
Deleting from Firefox
- Go to the menu options
- Visit the privacy tab and then tracking
- Under tracking, select the option ‘tell sites that I do not want to be tracked’
- Under the option history, select the option ‘firefox will use custom settings for history’
- After that, select what you want Firefox to remember and for how long
- You can also allow Firefox to clear your history every time you turn off the browser
Deleting from Microsoft Edge
- Click on the three horizontal dots on the top right side
- Click on ‘settings’ at the bottom of the list
- Next, select ‘view advanced settings’ at the bottom
- Lastly, select the ‘privacy and settings section’ and select the option ‘do not track request’
Deleting from Chrome
- Go to the menu settings
- Scroll down to the bottom and click on ‘show advanced settings’
- Visit the ‘privacy’ section and click on ‘content settings’
- Select ‘block third-party cookies and site data’ and ‘block sites from setting any data’
Apart from all these settings, you can also look for tools like CCleaner and AdBlocker for changing the preferences on the browser, applications, and the hard drive.
Unfortunately, there’s a huge security risk if your cookies are moved to a website with no encryption. To avoid any harmful situation and protect your data from getting saved on random websites, make sure to set-up the necessary browser settings alongside adding end-to-end encryption.