Privacy and personal security are becoming bigger issues for everyone, especially now that we know the U.S. government (and probably most other governments) have been spying on innocent citizens for many years.
Worse, advertisers spy on us all the time thanks to the proliferation of internet advertising and Google’s constant tracking of our every online move. What can you do about it? Not much, but there are a few things I do now that I did not do just a few years ago. Put another layer of protection between me, my Mac, and those who would track me with cookies.
Let’s take cookies, that ubiquitous HTTP internet tracking tool that adorns almost every website and advertisement. They’re everywhere. Browse through Safari’s Preferences > Privacy > Remove All Website Data > Details and you’ll see a huge list of cookies attached to your browser. They’re following you while you browse, collecting data, sharing data with others, selling data to the highest bidder.
Can you kill cookies?
Yes. It takes a few steps but cookies can be killed. Of course, cookies carry some value while you browse. The best thing to do with cookies is simple– delete them regularly. I use a Mac app called Cookie which does exactly that for each browser I use. It takes a bit of effort to set up Cookie but what it does is automatic from then on.
Cookie does more than just cookies, though. It removes cookies from Safari, Chrome, Firefox and other Mac browsers, and it deletes the browser history, local browser databases, the browser cache, and more. You can have Cookie perform the magic when the browser quits, or every so many minutes while the browser is running. It even gets rid of those notoriously messy Flash and Silverlight cookies.
Getting to a state of clean cookie takes just a few clicks to setup Cookie and from then on it’s mostly running in the background and cleans out the cookie trough every time you open or close a browser (or, on a set schedule, which can be handy).