Friday, February 24, 2012

Who’s Tracking You? How To Manage The Browser Cookies On Your Mac

Cookie StumblerGuess what? You’re being followed. Google knows all about you and wants to know more. Every web site you visit sticks a tracking device onto your Mac browser.

Why do you think Google gives you all those services for free? Because they want your permission to be tracked and hunted down like the prey we’ve all become. To Google, you’re the product. They track information about you and sell it to the highest bidder.

And it all starts with cookies.

Check Your Browser Cookies Now!

Check your cookie tracks in Safari this way. Open Preferences and click on the Privacy icon. Then click on the Details button.

Here’s what you get.

Safari Cookies

I remove the cookies from Safari every couple of days, and there are still over 220 web site stored cookies.

Can you manage cookies? Yes. There’s an app for that.

Cookie Stumbler is an elegant Mac app that lets you manage cookies on your Mac’s browsers. First, it scans all the cookies and gives you a report.

Cookie Stumbler

You’ll see how complex cookies can get when you try to view them in Safari. Cookie Stumbler gives you options for managing cookies, deleting cookies, and preventing cookies from being drooped into your browser.

It works with Safari, Chrome, Camino, and others. It even handles Adobe’s infamously dangerous Flash cookies to eliminate the cookies that track you and the sites you visit on the web.

The auto scheduler function lets Cookie Stumbler clean cookies so you don’t have to. The only thing I don’t like is the licensing method. Cookie Stumbler Basic is nominally priced, but the ongoing subscription for updates can raise the price.

Still, if you’re more than a little paranoid, Cookie Stumbler might reveal and eliminate a large number of incriminating tracks you leave while browsing the web.


  1. hometown boy says

    Privacy is going to be a big issue in the future. Advertisers demand more information. Users want to give less and less information.

    Google may be the worst offender ever.

    Apple’s record is leaning more toward protecting privacy, but they’re in the advertising business, too, so don’t expect a white knight.

    I use Safari and dump cookies regularly. And, I use Chrome and do the same after every session. Mac browsers need a way to be completely private while online.

  2. Stephen Keese says

    I use Ghostery (free app) that blocks all tracking cookies before they get placed in Safari. Every time I go to a new page, a temporary window pops up on the right that lists the blocked cookies. Please there is an icon in the Safari address bar that I can click any time to see the list of blocked cookies for that page along with their urls. The icon has a badge showing the number of blocked cookies for those who care.