2: Delete tracking cookies

Updated: May 30

Here we discuss the privacy benefits when you delete tracking cookies.


In our previous post introducing how to block web trackers, we explained how sites track your web activity and “follow” you as you visit other web sites to “nag” you about a purchase or other follow-up action they wish you to take, and how they do this using “trackers” or “tracking cookies.” We outlined the following three things that could be done to minimize web tracking and ad serving:

  1. Delete tracking cookies

  2. Install ad-blocking, anti-tracking extensions to your browser

  3. Choose browsers that by default block tracking and don't collect browsing history

Here we discuss action #1:


Delete tracking cookies


Browser settings or options usually provide you the ability to delete cookies individually or to delete all of them, either from the beginning of time, or just ones since a designated timeframe. Deleting all cookies is the easiest thing to do, but has the effect of deleting even the “helpful” cookies. However, ask yourself which is more annoying or invasive: persistent ads that chase you around your internet activities, nagging you about purchasing an item you viewed, or the small inconvenience of re-entering what a more benign cookie has saved, such as login credentials or a login challenge question. Moreover, saving of your login credentials and/or authentication challenge questions may be convenient, but it is also an added risk if your device is lost or stolen.


If you conclude that the volume of tracking cookies is an invasion of your privacy, there are many articles that can guide you step-by-step on deleting cookies, either in their entirety or individually. Consider deletion of the tracking cookies that have accumulated on your computer or device. Three of the many articles on how to remove tracking cookies that provide easy instructions can be found on the following sites:

As to blocking tracking cookies preventively, some browsers, such as Firefox and Safari, block some tracking cookies, but in addition in our next blog post, we discuss anti-tracking and ad-blocking complementary extensions to your browser.


Take-away: Delete tracking cookies from your computer or device.



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