In case you are wondering; what are cookies, how do I check if cookies are already enabled on my browser, how to enable cookies?
In this article, I hope to answer your questions about cookies as I believe these are important questions that need answers, especially if you feel your online activities are being monitored, and you’d like to take control.
So, what exactly are cookies?
Cookies are simply small text files generated by sites we visit. They are used to help websites remember that you’ve previously visited or logged in to a site. Most websites now require that you enable cookies in your browser to be able to log in to their website.
Why Cookies Have a Bad Reputation
I bet the big question is, Should I enable cookies? What most people don’t like about cookies is the fact that they are largely used to harvest information, track your behaviour, and do re-targeting.
Therefore, knowing the types of cookies out there, how to enable them and where to draw the line in enabling cookies will give us some kind of balance between the good and the bad.
What are First-Party Cookies?
The good cookies per se are the ‘First-party’ cookies, and they’re pretty safe. They are stored on the main website you are visiting. Let’s say you visit Amazon. First-party Cookies will allow Amazon to collect analytics data, remember language settings, and also perform other useful functions that provide a great user experience.
If you decide to block ‘first-party’ cookies, you’d have to sign in every time you visit Amazon website as your login details will not be saved and you won’t be able to shop for multiple items from an online shop because your cart would reset every time you add an item, that sounds really aargh!
What are Third-Party Cookies?
These are the notorious cookies that follow our every move, lol. They are cookies created by websites that are not the original website you visited or are visiting.
Third-party websites are mainly for online advertising purposes and tracking. They are used by companies to track your traffic and online activities even when you’re not directly on their website.
For example, if you visit a website like Adidas that has a Facebook like button, although you weren’t on Facebook, Facebook now knows that you’ve visited this site.
When next you log into your Facebook account, you’ll get adverts on your Facebook feed that are related to the Adidas website on Facebook. Many people find this intrusive, and rightfully so, these are so-called bad cookies.
How to Enable/Disable Cookies in Google Chrome
Firstly, I am sure you’d want to know if cookies are already enabled on your chrome browser. To check, follow these steps:
- On your Desktop computer, Open the Chrome browser
- At the top right-hand side of your screen, you’ll see the More icon, click on that, and then click on Settings.
- The next thing to do is to go to the Privacy and Security tab and click on Site settings.
- When in Site Settings, Scroll down until you see Content
- Click on Cookies and other site data, This will bring up the General settings page for Cookies. Here you can view the current Cookies settings on your Chrome browser.
- When you are in the General settings page for cookies, you get the option to either:
Allow all cookies – If you click on this you will enable first and third-party cookies, which means websites will be able to keep you signed in and you will get personalised ads as your browsing activity will be monitored.
Block all cookies (not recommended) – I personally wouldn’t encourage you to block all cookies, as this will give you a bad browsing experience.
Block third-party cookies in Incognito – If you do browse Incognito, you might need to disable cookies. While in Incognito, sites can’t use your cookies to see your browsing activity across different sites; for example, to personalise ads.
How to Enable Cookies in Chrome on Android
On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app
At the top right side of your screen you’ll see the More icon, Click on that and then click on Settings.
Click on Site settings
Now click on Cookies.
You can either:
Block all cookies (not recommended)
Block third-party cookies in Incognito
or Block third-party cookies
How to Enable/Disable Cookies in Edge Browser
On your Desktop computer, Open your Edge browser.
At the top right-hand side of your screen, you’ll see the More icon, click on that
If you scroll to the bottom of the More menu ,there is an option for Settings click on it.
In the Settings page, you need to find and click on Site permissions
At the very top of Site permissions, click on the Cookies and site data tab to access the cookies settings options.
The next stage is where you choose your preferred Cookies settings, change your cookies settings to what you want.
In Edge, you get two tabs with toggles for setting cookies. Therefore, you can toggle the switch to choose whatever cookies setting you prefer.
When the switch is highlighted blue, it means you have either:
Allowed sites to save and read cookie data and/or Blocked third-party cookies.
After choosing your preferred settings, you can go back to browsing as normal, the settings save automatically.
How to Enable/Disable Cookies in Internet Explorer
In this guide I will use demonstrations from IE version, If you have got IE version 9 and higher the layouts are the same.
At the bottom of Tools option, click on Internet options
Select the Privacy tab in the pop-up options. On the sites tab of Privacy, you can choose to never allow websites to request your physical location, just tick or untick the box and click on the OK tab when done.
Next, you’ll need to click on the Advanced tab to choose your preferred Cookies settings. Here, you can choose to Accept, Block, or Prompt First-party and/or Third-party Cookies. Click on the OK tab when you are done.
I hope you’ve found this write up helpful. Please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like me to cover.
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