Sriram Viswanathan

Music, Software, Privacy, Poetry and more...

Privacy - 3 - Third Party Cookies

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 ? - this site explains how to view and selectively delete cookies.

Is my browser accepting 3rd party cookies ? - this site detects the current browser settings - including your ISP(Internet Service Provider), your location (city), if Javascript is enabled or not, if 3rd party cookies are enabled or not.

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 -

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 - - 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 - - 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

Coming next -

  1. End-To-End encryption and what does it mean in messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal.