How To Deal With SuperCookies
We’ve been told ever since we started using web browsers that it’s a good idea to clear out your cache and cookies periodically. This used to be a pain in the neck to get done, but with modern flavors of web browsers you can clear this information out easily. In IE8 and Firefox you can use the keystroke CTRL+SHIFT+DEL, then in IE8 choose to clear Temporary Internet Files and Cookies, and in Firefox choose Cache and Cookies.
But then there’s the SuperCookie. They are generated by that browser plugin we all love to hate, Adobe Flash.
The browser on its own cannot delete SuperCookies due to Flash not being a native component of the browser. No matter which browser you use on your PC, Flash will always store its own cookies.
And just where are SuperCookies stored? They’re buried deep.
On a Windows PC, launch an explorer window or Internet Explorer session. In the address bar, type %appdata%. When that window pops up, double-click Macromedia, then Flash Player, then macromedia.com, then support, then flashplayer, then sys and FINALLY.. we get to where the SuperCookies are stored.
Like I said, it’s buried deep. I wasn’t kidding.
You’ll notice a bunch of folders here, each with a setings.sol file in them. That’s the SuperCookie.
Where are SuperCookies stored on a Mac or Linux/UNIX?
I have no idea, but my best guess is that they’re in your user folder somewhere. If any of you Mac or Linux/UNIX users can find the location, please feel free to post a comment explaining where they are, because they are there if you use Flash.
How do you delete SuperCookies?
Adjusting Flash storage settings
This is, strangely, done via the Adobe web site. Click on each one of these links to adjust the settings:
- Global Privacy Settings
- Global Storage Settings
- Global Security Settings
- Website Privacy Settings
- Website Storage Settings
Close all your web browsers, then delete everything in the sys folder. Don’t delete the sys folder itself because that can cause problems. Just delete the content inside sys.
If using Firefox, you’re in luck because you can use the BetterPrivacy add-on. What this will do is delete all SuperCookies every time the browser is closed.
Do you have to delete SuperCookies?
Not usually. However if you use web sites that contain a good amount of Flash content and something “goes weird” periodically, chances are clearing out the SuperCookies will usually fix the problem.