Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am looking for a tool that will be able to (ideally) proactively block tracking cookies in a browser as I don't really like to see the relevant ad from the sites I visited on other web sites. After a quick search I found that the recommendations would be to disable cookies completely, to sign up for yet another service that may cover you from certain ad providers or to clean cookies manually.

I would prefer solutions for FF.

Are there any better solutions available?

share|improve this question
    
Edit your question to include the Browser you use, some solutions are browser specific. –  Moab Dec 15 '11 at 17:20
    
I found a fairly simple way was to view cookies and search for 'ad', 'click', '_utm', 'track' and delete each of those in turn. –  icc97 Jul 18 '13 at 15:04
    
I can hardly call it simple. It's not reliable as many of the trackick cookies would have other names, sometimes meaningless. You would also have to do this everytime after you visited a page. Your solution is reactive, there are better proactive solutions that just constantly block and remove 3-d party tracking cookies. –  oleksii Jul 18 '13 at 15:08
    
Indeed, that's why its a comment rather than an answer –  icc97 Jul 18 '13 at 15:20
    
I wanted to clean up my massive set of existing cookies without deleting cookies that were useful, I don't think Ghostery looks at your existing cookies just your new ones. –  icc97 Jul 18 '13 at 15:32
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Ghostery is a Firefox add-on designed to block different tracking methods and it optionally displays the blocked domains as a popup.

Description:

Ghostery sees the "invisible" web, detecting trackers, web bugs, pixels, and beacons placed on web pages by Facebook, Google Analytics, and over 600 other ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers - all companies interested in your activity.

Note that if you want to go further you should use:

  • Better Privacy for Flash Local Shared Objects
  • Noscript to limit external requests which could help tracking you (and also a few dozen different attack vectors which can be mitigated/blocked alltogether, really a great piece of code)
  • AdBlock Plus with a list dedicated to privacy (suggested lists generally blocks ads only)
  • Delete everything listed in "Clear Recent History" automatically on close (Preferences/Privacy/History)

Two screenshots to tighten your privacy settings in Firefox:

"Preferences" "Settings for clearing history"

share|improve this answer
add comment

Some extensions that you could try:

Disconnect

Stop third parties and search engines from tracking the webpages you go to and searches you do.

  • Disable tracking by third parties like Digg, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo, without requiring any setup or significantly degrading the usability of the web.
  • Truly depersonalize searches on search engines like Google and Yahoo (by blocking identifying cookies not just changing the appearance of results pages), while staying logged into other services — e.g., so you can search anonymously on Google and access iGoogle at once.
  • See how many resource and cookie requests are blocked, in real time.
  • Easily unblock services, by clicking the toolbar button then services (and reloading current pages) — e.g., so you can play games on Facebook.

Do Not Track Plus

Stop worrying about ever-changing privacy policies and take the first step towards getting control back over your information.

DNT+ keeps an eye out for advertising companies and social networks looking to gather your personal information.

  • Free tool that puts you back in control of your information
  • Best available blocking stops more than 600 trackers
  • Compatible with Mac or PC for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer
  • Automatically updates to catch new trackers

Beef Taco (Targeted Advertising Cookie Opt-Out)

Sets permanent opt-out cookies to stop behavioral advertising for 100+ different advertising networks, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, all members of the Network Advertising Initiative, and many other companies.

AdBlock Plus with Fanboy Tracking List or EasyPrivacy

Fanboy Tracking List

Blocks 3rd party Tracking, Statistic Collecting and other code which breach your privacy. It is Recommended to use this list if you do not want your personal information to be collected by websites and Ad Companies.

EasyPrivacy

EasyPrivacy is an optional supplementary subscription that completely removes all forms of tracking from the internet, including web bugs, tracking scripts and information collectors, thereby protecting your personal data.

This extension may also be of interest:

Collusion

Discover who’s tracking you online

Collusion is an experimental add-on for Firefox and allows you to see all the third parties that are tracking your movements across the Web. It will show, in real time, how that data creates a spider-web of interaction between companies and other trackers.


Note that except for Beef Taco, all Firefox extensions listed here are also available for Chrome. An equivalent of Beef Taco for Chrome is Keep MORE Opt Outs. Collusion for Chrome (made by the same people who made Disconnect) can be downloaded here.

share|improve this answer
add comment

The free version of AVG picks up 'tracking cookies' and so offers you options of removing the ones it picks up as 'trackers'.

Pretty sure i've seen Malwarebytes pick up them too!

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.