Privacy - 3 - Third Party Cookies
What is a cookie ?
Pieces of data that a website uses to ‘remember’ your activity so that it provide ‘better’ services.
Types of cookies
First party - basically from the website you are visiting.
Third party - from other websites (not from the current domain/website). E.g. Google Adsense, Analytics, Facebook Like Button.
The most common use of third-party cookies is to track users who click on advertisements and associate them with the referring domain.
Learn more about cookies here - Cookie Guide
How do I view the cookies already stored in my browser ?
https://www.wikihow.com/View-Cookies - this site explains how to view and selectively delete cookies.
Is my browser accepting 3rd party cookies ?
Disable 3rd party cookies
Ideally, you should disable 3rd party cookies -
Disabling any sort of cookie “may” lead to some “degradation” in how you experience a website.
NOTE: Safari, Firefox and Edge block 3rd party cookies by default on their latest versions.
Incognito mode/Private browsing
Google’s explanation of what’s collected in Incognito mode - https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/7440301.
Basically, you are not hiding from your ISP or from the website - you are just not saving it in your local history.
Google’s incognito mode is doing its best to give intuitive controls to block 3rd party cookies - Chrome Privacy Blog
Tools I use on my browser to protect my data
Browser - BRAVE - https://brave.com/ - its based on chrome, works like a charm, comes with the best privacy settings by default and is intiutive and takes up much less CPU and memory as compared to Chrome/Edge. Available on Android and iOS as well.
Search Engine - DuckDuckGo - https://duckduckgo.com/ - search results are not as good as Google but whenever you want to use Google, go into Incognito/private mode. Use this as a default - works for most normal cases.
Browser extensions -
HTTPS Everywhere (You don’t need this if you are using BRAVE) - force all links on a website to be HTTPS - this should be mandatory - any company thats not communicating on HTTPS is simply lazy.
Privacy Badger (You don’t need this if you are using BRAVE) - blocks all tracking/analytics scripts
uBlock Origin - open-source ad/malware/tracker blocker - allows much more fine grained control over what’s blocked
Safari technology blog on how they are paving the way for more privacy - https://webkit.org/blog/10218/full-third-party-cookie-blocking-and-more/
Firefox side of things - https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2019/09/03/todays-firefox-blocks-third-party-tracking-cookies-and-cryptomining-by-default/
Excellent resource on how privacy settings in major browsers are changing - https://www.cnet.com/how-to/privacy-settings-to-change-in-your-browser-asap-chrome-firefox-safari-edge-and-brave/
Chromium privacy sandbox - https://www.chromium.org/Home/chromium-privacy/privacy-sandbox - initiative to improve default privacy of Chromium based browsers
Coming next -
- End-To-End encryption and what does it mean in messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal.