In this guide, I’ll tell you how to block cookies not to be tracked when you’re browsing the Internet. I’ll explain how to block cookie both from computer/Mac and smartphone, through all the main browsers.
Table of Contents
- What are cookies?
- Block cookies on your computer/Mac
- Block cookies on Android
- Block cookies on iOS
What are cookies?
Cookies are small databases stored on the device during Internet browsing and allow websites to track the identity and preferences of users. For example, cookies allow you to connect to Google, Facebook, Instagram or Amazon without logging to your account each time.
They are divided into two categories: first-party cookies and third-party cookies. The first-party cookies are installed on the device (eg computer, smartphone) directly from the sites we visit (eg Google, Amazon). Third-party cookies, on the other hand, concern services external to the sites and are often advertising-related.
Both are very useful, but sometimes they are used in a fraudulent way to track our online activities without permission. So how can you defend yourself? You can defend yourself in two ways:
- you can block the cookies of all the websites except those you trust.
- you can use the Do Not Track function which is included in all the main browsers.
Block cookies on your computer/Mac
To block cookies on Google Chrome browser:
- Open Chrome on your computer or Mac and click on the three vertical dots (top right)
- From the menu that appears, select Settings.
- Then scroll down the page and click on Advanced.
- In the Privacy and Security section click on Site Settings.
- Then select Cookies, and then if you want to block all cookies, disable the option Allow sites to save and read cookie data (recommended). Instead, if you want to block only third-party cookies, then activate Block third-party cookies.
To activate the Do Not Track function, instead, go back to the main screen, in the Setting page of Chrome. In the Privacy and Security section enable Send a “Do not track” request with your browsing traffic.
To prevent cookies on Firefox browser:
- Open Firefox on your computer.
- Click the button with the three horizontal lines (top right), and then select Options from the menu that appears.
- In the new screen, select Privacy and security,
- Scroll down until the Cookies and website data section, and click on Block cookies and website data
- Now, open the drop-down menu and choose All cookies, if you want to block all cookies; choose All third-party cookies if you prefer to block only third-party cookies, or choose Cookies from unvisited websites, to block only cookies from sites you haven’t visited.
If you want to add exceptions: click the Exceptions button on the right. Then type the URL of the site you want to add as an exception and then click on the Allow button. Finally, click Save to confirm the changes.
To activate the Do Not Track function: in the Privacy and Security section, look for the Send a “Do Not Track” signal to sites item and select the Always option.
To prevent cookies on Microsoft Edge browser:
- Open Microsoft Edge, click on the button with the three horizontal dots, at top right, and select Settings from the menu that appears.
- Go to the Privacy and Security section and look for the Cookies item.
- Then, in the box under Cookies choose between Block all cookies or Block only third-party cookies.
To enable the Do Not Track function, in the Privacy section, enable the Send a “Do not track” request option.
If you are a Mac user with Safari browser:
- Open Safari from your Mac and click on the Safari menu (top left).
- Then select Preferences and choose the Privacy tab.
- Now, in the Cookies and Website data section, put the checkmark next to Always Block. But you can even choose one of the other options: Always allow, Allow from current website only, or Allow from website I visit.
To activate the Do Not Track function, in the Privacy tab, in the Website Tracking section, put the checkmark net to Ask websites not to track me.
- Start Internet Explorer from your computer and click on the gear icon at the top right.
- Then select Internet Options from the menu that appears.
- In the window that opens, select the Privacy tab and click on the Advanced button.
- Now, put the checkmark next to Replace automatic cookie management and select the Block option both under the Cookies item and under of third-party cookies. If there is the checkmark next to Always accept cookies, remove it.
- Finally, click the OK button.
If you want to add exceptions, in the Privacy Tab, click the Sites button, and type the address of the site you want to add to the exceptions. Then click on the Allow button.
To activate the Do Not Track function: click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the main browser window. Then select Security from the menu that opens and select Active Do Not Track request and click the Activate button in the window that opens.
Block cookies on Android
Do you use the Chrome browser on your Android smartphone or tablet and would you like to block cookies? Yes? Then follow the next steps.
- Start Chrome app on your device. Then tap the three vertical dots button at the top right, and select Settings.
- In the new screen, select Site Settings and then click on Cookies.
- Now disable the option Allow sites to save and read data from cookies (recommended). If you prefer to block only third-party cookies, leave the switch on ON but remove the checkmark from Allow third-party cookies.
To activate the Do Not Track function, instead, go back to the Chrome Settings screen, and select Privacy. Then choose Don’t track and in the next screen turn the switch on OFF.
If you use Firefox on your Android smartphone or tablet, to disable the cookies:
- Open Firefox on your device, and click the button with the three vertical lines at the top right.
- From the menu that appears, select Settings.
- Now, in the new screen, choose Privacy and then select Cookies.
- From the menu that opens, you can choose between Disabled (to block all cookies), and Active (to block only third-party cookies).
To enable the Do Not Track function: in the Privacy section, enable the Anti-Tracking option.
Block cookies on iOS
If you are an iPhone/iPad user, to prevent cookies:
- Take your device and tap on the gear icon to open the iOS Settings and Then select Safari from the screen that opens.
- In the new screen, scroll down to the Privacy and Security section and enable Block all cookies.
- Finally, confirm by clicking on Block all in the window that opens.