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Firefox total cookie protection

Firefox has created an excellent third party cookie prevention system which seems to be better than any of their competitors. Here's how it works.

Cookies, the good and bad

Firefox has improved its handling of cookies to give you more privacy.
Cookies are often useful. When I go to a news site I use and sign in, they can check my cookie and see what the categories of news I've chosen to receive. Some metasearch engines let me configure my search. A cookie indicates which other search engines to include in the search. A cookie from my bank lets them know I've signed in from that computer before, so it doesn't require a code to be sent to my cell phone.

These useful cookies have one thing in common. The site that sets them uses them. They aren't set or used by some other site.

Firefox says,
We’ve enhanced the privacy of the Firefox Browser’s Private Browsing mode with Total Cookie Protection, which confines cookies to the site where they were created, preventing companies from using cookies to track your browsing across sites.

All the bad cookies let other sites use the cookies meant for a particular site. Let's say I get some news at OregonLive and it sets a cookie. Then Facebook and Amazon and SpyOnYou.com all grab that cookie and use its information to build a profile about you. This is because without this total cookie protection there is one cookie jar for all your cookies. With Firefox now there is a separate cookie jar for each website and Firefox tries to maintain their separation.

Other Options

Both Vivaldi and Brave do a good job protecting you from third-party cookies, but neither as slick as Firefox. I use an add-on called Cookie Autodelete which allows the cookies to be placed, but unless I whitelist the site, all cookies are deleted when I leave that site. I wrote about it a few years ago.

Further reading

Date: September 2022

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