Anyone who uses the internet has probably come across this little tab at one point or another. You enter a new site, maybe to online shop, look at a recipe, or view the news, but can’t go further until you choose to accept or deny cookies from the website. Despite the delicious name, cookies are not always harmless. They can slow down your computer, track your data, and in rare cases contain a virus or malware. Let’s define exactly what cookies are, as well as some tips for freeing yours up!
What are cookies?
It’s an internet term you hear often, but it is normal to not know exactly what cookies are. Cookies are essentially little blocks of data that are generated by a web server while you are looking at a specific site. The cookies are then stored on your device (be that a phone or a computer) and used to identify your device in the network. If you visit the website again later, your cookies are recognized and identify you, as well as any passwords or data from the last time you visited.
So, cookies are not necessarily bad. They can make it easier to visit repeat websites, and automatically save data. But what if you want more privacy? What if your computer is acting up? What if (god forbid) some cookies contain a virus? Here are three tips for freeing up your cookies – and your computer as a result.
Clear the cookies in your browser
When surfing the web on a public search engine like Google, your data is saved and your online activity is monitored. This includes the cookies from various websites, which end up being stored in your browser. This helps to automatically fill in passwords, but it can also slow down your browser when you have too many. Generally, going through and completely clearing your cookies every few months is recommended. You can do this by finding the “Tools” or “Settings” tab, depending on which browser and what type of device you are on. Find the tool for “Delete all cookie data” (or some variation) and simply click it and confirm!
Switch to a private search engine
Next up, switching to a private search engine such as The Deep Searches keeps you from gathering new cookies at all! While cookies can be helpful, too many can hurt your computer. In addition, they can be used to track your online activity. With a private search engine like the one shown, you no longer need to worry about that! You can even save a few cookies in your public browser but conduct your usual activity in the private search engine to keep from accumulating new cookies. This helps to differentiate between the cookies you wish to keep and the ones you don’t!
Block or delete cookies by hand
On the topic of keeping only certain cookies around, you can also feel free to go through and block or delete certain cookies by hand! Instead of clearing all data as shown in the first tip, you can go through and remove all of the websites that you do not visit often or only went through once. This will take a longer time, but if you prefer the ease of having saved passwords and getting recommendations from websites, it could be ideal for you! Deleting the excess cookies will protect more of your data as well as speed up your browser without removing what you want to keep.
With these tips, you can free up your own cookies in no time! And if you didn’t know what they were before, you certainly do now!