Different browsers have different privacy settings that can stop or limit cookies and tracking technologies.  In deciding which browser to use, consider which browser provides the best privacy settings for you.

To understand what privacy settings a browser provides look under the help menu or tools menu.  Menu items to look for are Options or Privacy. Most browsers allow the user to delete cookies.  But remember the next time you visit a site they’ll put cookies on your browser again. Some browsers provide ways to add Extensions that can manage or block cookies.  Browser Extensions can be powerful tools to protect your privacy and stop tracking.

However, if you block cookies entirely you’ll limit your browsing experience.  You’ll end up entering information repeatedly each time you visit a site.  Consider blocking only 3rd party cookies, those cookies that are placed on your browser by advertisers, and allowing 1st parties cookies, those cookies put on your browser by the site you're visiting.  This way you’ll enjoy the benefits of the site remembering you but stop the advertisers from tracking you.

Controlling Flash Cookies and Device Fingerprinting

Popular browsers now allow users to control or delete Flash cookies.  Check to make sure you have the latest version of your browser if you don’t see options to control Flash cookies.  Remember if you delete Flash cookies you’ll get them back the next time you’ll visit the site.  Consider blocking Flash cookies altogether.

Private Browsing

Many browsers are now offering private browsing. But what is private browsing?  It really depends on your browser.  Most often it means in private browsing mode cookies, browsing history, search records, or files downloaded during the session will not be retained.  But features vary from browser to browser.  The intent of private browsing mode is to keep your browsing private from other users using the computer.  Be warned though those cookies already on the browser will still communicate to third parties.  Additionally, private browsing may not stop device fingerprinting to track your online activity.

Opt-out Cookies

Opt-out cookies tell advertising networks not to track your browsing habits.  However, not all advertisers will honor those requests.  Also, if you delete all cookies you’ll be deleting opt-out cookies as well.  For more information check the tools the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) and Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) offer.

Do Not Track

Do Not Track is a setting in your browser that tells sites and ad networks that you do not want to be tracked.  They are legally required to honor your preferences, but as of today, most tracking companies do not do so.

Learn more about how you can block ads and trackers Click Here