By now, you are probably thoroughly accustomed to visiting websites that ask you upfront whether you want to accept cookies. However, once you’ve accepted you might be wondering how you can easily remove or auto-delete these cookies
In this context, the word ‘cookies’ refers to small packets of data a web server places on the computer of someone browsing a website.
To be more exact, these cookies are stored as text files on the device’s web browser used for perusing the site. The cookies will proceed to amass data about how the website visitor uses that site.
These words might initially alarm you, but it’s crucial to remember that cookies can enhance the user experience. For example, cookies can save login details to spare you having to retype them on repeat visits to the site.
However, cookies can also have adverse implications for your privacy — such as when saving your personal information. For this reason, you can benefit immensely from reading up on cookie auto-delete procedures.
A Look at Various Types of Cookies
How keen you are to engage in a cookie cleanup could depend on what kinds of cookies you know are sitting on your computer. As can be seen from the following definitions, cookies vary in what data they collect.
- Session cookies: These don’t tend to last long, as they go into a temporary folder and are cleared when the user closes the browser. These cookies also don’t gather personal information.
- Persistent cookies: You can expect these to go away upon an expiration date inserted into the cookie’s code. This date is selected by the website responsible for placing the cookie on the web browser.
- Third-party cookies: What is the ‘third party’ here? It is basically an advertiser, data partner, or analytics tool that, with permission from the ‘first party’ (the website you actually visit), tracks you online.
It is possible to set up a cookie autodelete mechanism for any of these cookies. Still, it bears emphasis that some auto cookie delete processes can be much easier to utilize — not to mention just more effective — than others.
Do Web Browsers Offer Cookie Auto Delete Functions?
Cookie auto-delete functions are baked into many popular browsers, with what steps you follow to utilize these functions likely depending very much on the software itself.
With Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge, you would basically head into the application’s ‘Settings’ and, there, a ‘Privacy’ section.
Alas, you could still run into one big catch: the browser in question might not automatically delete any cookies until you exit that browser.
This limitation can prove a surprisingly big hindrance if you are often pressed for time. You could find yourself needing to work at the computer for many hours in one go, and too easily forget to close the browser now and again.
Even if you use a PC only in a personal — rather than work-related — capacity, you might be in the habit of putting the computer to sleep, rather than shutting it down, on occasions when you will be away for a while.
You could even be inclined to leave the device to sleep overnight. In this situation, you may neglect to shut the web browser beforehand unless you remember to do so for cookie cleanup purposes.
How iolo's Privacy Guardian Can Help
Our privacy and identity theft protection software, Privacy Guardian, included with System Mechanic Ultimate Defense can shield Windows PC users from a wide range of threats to their online privacy.
Many of those dangers can arise due to cookies — but Privacy Guardian comes with cookie auto-delete features designed to be easily configurable.
You might be horribly familiar with spending time at an online store only to later see products from it featured in adverts that appear on other websites you visit. When such ads do appear, tracking cookies could be to blame.
Fortunately, you can set up Privacy Guardian to automatically delete not only tracking cookies but also web browsing data on a regular basis. You can even specify the times when the cookie auto-delete processes will kick in.
That way, you will be able to rest easy knowing that Privacy Guardian will quietly get on with removing those cookies even when you are super busy.
You Might Not Want All Cookies Removed…
It’s crucial not to overlook how effective cookies can be at stripping friction from the experience of using a website.
For example, it’s thanks to cookies that products you put into an online shopping cart can still be there even if you temporarily leave the e-commerce website for a short time.
Basically, cookies can enable a website to ‘remember’ you so that you don’t have to ‘reintroduce’ yourself to the site when you revisit it.
For this reason, Privacy Guardian allows you to whitelist specific websites so that, when the software’s cookie auto-delete functions are in action, cookies from those particular sites are left untouched.
As a result, you will be able to continue regularly using those websites in your usual way while other cookies — those you don’t really need — are banished.
How to Get Started with Privacy Guardian
Don’t underestimate how strengthening your online privacy can guard against identity theft. Data siphoned via cookies could fall into the hands of people who would use it to commit online crimes.
These cookies can also, if left to accumulate in high numbers, take up an awful lot of space on your computer and consequently slow it down.
Fortunately, iolo’s Privacy Guardian makes for a great-value package. With your initial purchase of the software, you will be entitled to use it for up to a year before you must pay a renewal fee to keep access to Privacy Guardian.
The software is compatible with Windows versions 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and 11 — and a 30-day money-back guarantee means you can feel comfortable sampling Privacy Guardian before you decide whether to more firmly commit to it.
We advise you to visit the iolo website’s Privacy Guardian page for further details on how we can assist you in securing the privacy of your online life.