Cookies are pieces of data that are saved in your web browser by the websites you visit. Third-party cookies have their origins on other domains than the website you visit. Most of the time, third-party cookies are used by ad services to offer you targeted ads that are based on your browsing history and your web searches. However, these cookies can raise privacy concerns as they can also be used to store your browsing history across websites that use the same ad services. This privacy concern is the reason why, in this article, we show you how to disable third-party cookies in all the major web browsers for Windows: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer. Let’s get started:
What does it mean to block third-party cookies?
When you visit any website, including Digital Citizen, at least one cookie is stored on your PC with the help of your web browser. This cookie is used to store details about your visit and your preferences so that you can browse the website without issues.
Most websites also store third-party cookies on your PC, from other websites and services. For example, they may use Google Analytics (used for analyzing the traffic of the website), Google AdSense (used to deliver ads on the website that you are visiting) and Facebook (used to provide you with access to like buttons or share buttons). Blocking third-party cookies in your web browser can stop some types of tracking by advertisers and other third-party entities. This blocking increases your user privacy.
How to block third-party cookies in Google Chrome
In Google Chrome, click or tap on the “Customize and control Google Chrome” button from the top-right corner of the window. It looks like three dots arranged vertically. In the menu that opens, go to Settings.
Scroll down and click or tap Advanced at the bottom of the window.
After you click Advanced, scroll down to “Privacy and security,” and click or tap “Content settings.”
You see a long list of permissions, split by type. Choose Cookies.
Now you see settings for how Google Chrome handles cookies. Set the “Block third-party cookies” switch to On, like in the screenshot below.
Close the Settings tab and, from now on, Google Chrome blocks all third-party cookies.
How to block third-party cookies in Mozilla Firefox
In Mozilla Firefox, click or tap the Open menu button in the top-right corner. It looks like three parallel lines. In the menu that opens, choose Options.
In the Options tab, choose “Privacy & Security” on the left. On the right, look for the Custom option in Content Blocking.
Click or tap Custom in Content Blocking, then select the checkbox Cookies, and choose “All third-party cookies (may cause websites to break)” in the drop-down list.
Close the Options tab, and Mozilla Firefox now blocks third-party cookies.
How to block third-party cookies in Opera
In Opera, click or tap the “Customize and control Opera” button on the top-left corner that looks like the letter O. In the menu that opens, click or tap Settings.
In the Settings tab, choose Advanced and then Privacy & security in the column on the left. Then, on the right, find and click Content settings.
In the Content settings, click or tap “Cookies (Allow sites to save and read cookie data).”
In the Cookies section, turn on the switch that says “Block third-party cookies (Prevent third-party websites from saving and reading cookie data).”
You can close Settings, and continue your browsing with Opera.
How to block third-party cookies in Microsoft Edge
Open Microsoft Edge and click or tap on the “Settings and more” button from the top right side of the window. Alternatively, you can press ALT+X on your keyboard. In the menu that opens, choose Settings.
In the Settings panel, choose Privacy & Security on the left side.
Here, look for the Cookies drop-down menu, and click or tap on it. You can see that Microsoft Edge is set so that it does not block cookies.
In this drop-down menu select “Block only third-party cookies.”
Click anywhere outside the Advanced settings pane, and you are done. Microsoft Edge now blocks third-party cookies.
How to block third-party cookies in Internet Explorer
In Internet Explorer, click or tap the Tools button from the top-right corner (the little gear). You can also use the ALT+X keyboard shortcut to open this menu. Then, choose “Internet Options.”
Go to the Privacy tab, and click or tap the Advanced button.
The “Advanced Privacy Settings” window opens. In the “Third-party cookies” section, check Block and press OK.
Close the Internet Options window and you are done. Internet Explorer now blocks third-party cookies.
What is your reason for blocking third-party cookies?
While blocking all third-party cookies may make your browsing history and data more private, it does not mean that all ad networks and third-party services stop tracking you. Some of them have dodgy methods for tracking visitors on different websites. However, you should see fewer targeted ads, and ad networks and social networks are going to know a little bit less about you. Before closing this tutorial, we would like to know your reason for blocking third-party cookies and what your experience was after doing that.