Third-Party Cookies in Your Browser – Why and How to Delete Them

third-party cookies

Why You Should Delete Third-Party Cookies in Your Browser

More often than not, browser cookies are a handy and convenient thing. They enhance user experience and make it much more streamlined than it would be otherwise. But, these data files also have another purpose, to track you. Every time you load up a website, you’ll get a cookie from the site’s server, but also a third-party tracking cookie from the advertiser that’s featured on the site.

So, occurrences like targeted ads and special offers tailored towards your interests that keep popping up on unrelated sites, all happen because of third-party cookies.  Third-party cookies have long been a big issue for privacy advocates, even though these data files most often don’t collect any sensitive personal information. Still, letting every single cookie through can compromise your privacy and even make you more vulnerable to hacker attacks. So, what can you do about this problem? Read this week’s Zlog to learn what they are, how they work, and why you should delete browser cookies.

What Are Third-Party Cookies?

As the name says, third-party cookies come from a third-party server, not from the website you’re accessing. You can find examples of third-party cookies on almost every site you visit. Some of them don’t even notify you of their presence and can only be discovered by more tech-savvy users who take the time to check the code of a website. And, the more websites you visit, the more information they will collect and have about your browsing habits.

With this said, keep in mind that third-party cookies are very different from first-party cookies. The latter come from the site you visit and serve to make your experience more convenient, without being intrusive. All of the data you enter on the first-party server stays within the website’s domain and isn’t used for any other purpose.

Why do Websites Allow Third-Party Cookies?

They are primarily used for data gathering and marketing purposes. Cookies are one of the biggest revenue channels for advertisers and content creators. Since they help advertisers gather a lot of useful information, they provide more possibilities for targeted advertising. The website get’s paid for storing third-party cookies, while the advertiser gets valuable user data in return.

Why You Should Delete Browser Cookies

There’s no arguing that cookies are extremely useful moneymaking tools. But, now that we’ve covered how they work and what their main purpose, is let’s switch sides for a second and look at it from the user’s perspective. There are several significant reasons why you should consider disabling all third-party cookies. Here are the three biggest ones:

  • Cookies collect a lot of data, including a great deal of info on your browsing habits. They are not a very privacy-friendly tool if you’re aiming for maximum anonymity online.
  • Having a lot of cookies can affect your browser’s performance. Clearing third-party cookies can speed up your browser and make it more functional.
  • Some cookies open up your device to hacker attacks. Attackers can exploit certain flaws by performing cross-site scripting attacks, through which they can inject your device with malware, snatch all of your valuable information, login details, and passwords that the cookies have collected.

How to Delete Browser Cookies

Deleting third-party browser cookies is extremely easy, and you can do it in just a few clicks. Most browsers offer a “delete cookies” option you can click on to erase all of the cookies in your browser. This will effectively increase your privacy and keep you safer on the Internet. That said, while this is a convenient way of taking care of your cookie problem, the issue with this is that you’ll also be deleting all other cookies that actually improve your user experience.

The best way to go around this is to use an add-blocker or similar app that has a built-in cookie-blocking feature. It will allow you to block websites from further injecting cookies into your browser while keeping all of your useful information and login credentials so you don’t have to type them every time you open up the site.