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How to Clear Your Browser Cookies

Browser Cookies

Browser cookies are tiny files in a computer designed to hold specific data from websites the user visits. The first time you visit a site, a cookie is downloaded onto your PC. The next time you visit that site, your PC checks to see if it has a cookie from the site, and sends the information contained in that cookie back to the site. The site then ’knows’ that you have been there before, and in some cases, tailors what pops up on screen to take account of that fact. Cookies can be used to remember things like passwords, credit card details, addresses and items in a shopping cart. They inform things like results on google searches and targeted advertising, and can also be used to remember things like passwords, credit card details, addresses and items in a shopping cart. This poses a security risk as this information could obtained by malicious online hackers.

Third-party cookies are browser cookies that are set by a website other than the one you are currently on. For example, an online shopping website like eBay might have a Facebook like button on their site. That like button means that the cookies for that site can be read by Facebook, who could use that information for advertising.

How to Manage Your Cookies

Google Chrome:

  1. Click on the “Menu” tab in the upper-right corner, and select “Settings.”
  2. Select on “Show advanced settings,”
  3. Click “Content settings” to manage how your cookies are stored or enter the URL “chrome://chrome/settings/content”

From “Advanced settings” you can also select “Clear browsing data” to clear your browsing history or cookies.

Chrome gives you several different options for storing cookies. You can allow data to be stored, set it to only be stored until you quit the browser session, block all data storage or block third-party cookies.

You can also select “Manage exceptions” to enter sites where the rules you set don’t apply, or select “All cookies and site data” to individually delete cookies from sites or remove all cookies.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Select the “Tools” option in the top toolbar
  2. Click “Options.”
  3. Select “Privacy” from the menu and click “History”
  4. Set Firefox to “Use custom settings for history.”

You can choose to accept or block cookies, block third-party cookies, block specific third-party cookies that do not come from any site you visit, or prompt Firefox to ask for your permission every time it wants to store a cookie

When you have enables custom settings for your cookies, you can select “Show Cookies”. From there you can individually remove cookies or clear them all.

Safari

  1. Click on the Safari menu in the upper-left corner
  2. Scroll down to “Clear History,” to delete everything at once
  3. If you want to choose when history items are deleted, select “Preferences” from the Safari menu and choose from the drop-down options next to “Remove history items”
  4. In the top of the settings window, select “Privacy” to choose how cookies are stored.

Safari iOS:

  1. Go into the phone’s settings and select “Safari”
  2. Click “Clear history and website data” to delete all cookies.
  3. From the settings app, select “Privacy & Security” and “Block Cookies” to choose when browser cookies are stored.

 

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