If you’ve recently seen ads featuring something you searched for online, you’ve seen the power of cookies.
“A cookie is a small piece of information on your computer that can follow you from site to site,” explained Alex Kubiak, general manager of privacy-focused search engine Startpage.com.
Follow Rich DeMuro on Instagram for more tech news, reviews, and great content.
Sneaky ones are called “third-party cookies”. These are on every website you visit, what we look for, what we buy, news articles we read, and the sites we visit. All this to help build a profile marketers can use to sell us targeted online ads.
“Every website you visit, every search you make is collected by data brokers and third-party cookies,” Kubik explained.
So, by visiting just one website, you may inadvertently share your browsing history with many other websites.
“Right now, it’s often not anything malicious, it’s to increase sales,” Kubiak explained.
The good news is that you can block these third-party cookies and win back at least some of your privacy.
If you use Chrome, there’s an easy new way to turn them off.
- Click the three little dots in the top-right corner of Chrome, near your user profile picture.
- On the left side menu, choose Privacy & security
- Click on Cookies and other site data
- Click on Block Third Party Cookies option.
That’s all! You have just regained at least some of your privacy online.
So why not just choose the bigger option to block all cookies? I do not recommend this as it will affect your overall experience on the Internet and make it difficult to stay logged into your favorite websites.
Alternatively, you can install an extension that can do this. Startpage makes one that you can add to Chrome for free, but it will change your default search engine to Startpage results. You can switch it back to Google anytime in Settings.
If you use Safari, you are already protected. Safari blocks third-party cookies by default. You don’t need to do anything extra.
Want to go further in your efforts to protect your personal browsing history online? You can switch to an entirely new web browser like Brave which it says will block ads, trackers and even has a VPN built in.
DuckDuckGo is similar to Startpage in that it promises not to track you when you surf the web.
Are the results as good as Google’s? Probably not, but if you’re most interested in your privacy, it might be worth the switch because these providers don’t require logins, so they can’t use your information for various products and services on the web. can.
suggest an improvement