Browser Cookie Tips For The Paranoid Internetter

If you hadn’t heard, Google is intending to shake up the way it does advertising by customizing it based on your search patterns.

How does the big G know how to do this? They’ll be reading your browser cookies to make it work.

If this doesn’t bother you, browse as you normally would.

If it does bother you that the big G is going to be reading your cookies in a way that makes you uncomfortable, here are some quick ways to kill cookies fast.

Deleting all cookies every time the browser closes (Firefox)

Tools, Options, Privacy, set Keep until: to I close Firefox

Like this:

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Overriding default cookie settings (Internet Explorer 7)

Start, Control Panel, Internet Options, Privacy (tab), Advanced (button)

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Tick the option to override automatic cookie handling. The easiest one to use is "Prompt" for first and third party cookies. Yes, this may be annoying to be prompted every time a cookie comes by, but at least you know when and where they’re coming from.

Alternatively, you set each to "Block" but check "Always allow session cookies". This should allow for normal web site use that requires cookies (like Gmail and Hotmail) but not retain any when the browser closes.

There is no option I could find to delete all cookies automatically when the browser closes, however you can delete them manually.

Start, Control Panel, Internet Options, General (tab), Delete (button under Browsing History)

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Hit the Delete cookies button here to delete them.

Does browser cookie reading bother you?

Some privacy advocates say that Google’s decision to custom tailor ads based on browsing habits is wrong. Is it? Let us know.

Comments

  1. In Firefox, you can also choose to disable 3rd party cookies.
    This will stop AdSense. See:

    http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/plugin/browsers.html#safari

    for example.

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