Some people seem really concerned about cookies. The worst offenders, they argue, are so-called “tracking cookies,” which supposedly allow companies like Doubleclick to track your movements on the Internet.
If you think this is a big deal, fine. You don’t need anti-spyware software to get rid of these cookies. Instead, take the following two steps:
- Delete all currently saved cookies from your computer. In Internet Explorer, click Tools, Internet Options and then click the Delete Cookies button on the General tab. In Firefox 1.0, click Tools, Options. Click the Privacy icon in the sidebar and then click the Clear button to the right of the Cookies heading.
- Specify that you want to block all third-party cookies. In Internet Explorer, click Tools, Internet Options. On the Privacy tab, click Advanced. Click to select the Override automatic cookie handling check box, and then click Block under the Third-party Cookies heading. In Firefox 1.0, click Tools, Options. Click the Privacy icon in the sidebar and then click the plus sign to the left of the Cookies heading to expand your list of options. Click to select both options: Allow sites to set cookies and for the originating web site only.
There. You’re done. You’re completely protected from “tracking cookies.”
But (I can hear you asking) what about first-party cookies? Well, if you’re visiting a Web site, they already have your IP address, and they have a record of every page you visit on their site and everything you type into a form. If you’re really that concerned about a Web site, you might want to avoid visiting it. But if you’re really worried about first-party cookies, open Internet Explorer’s Advanced Privacy Settings page and then click the Prompt option under the First-party Cookies heading. With Firefox, you can use an extension or set the ask me every time option. After you save these settings, you’re in complete control.
Here’s what your IE options should look like:
And here’s what Firefox options look like:
Now can we agree that there’s no need for an anti-spyware program to do something so simple?