Learn all about cookies tracking (and how to stop it)

Nwachukwu Glory Last updated: September 11, 2022 Read time: 20 minutes Disclosure

This extensive guide is an A-Z booklet on cookies tracking and how you can block it on browsers alongside effective methods to stop it.

Sneak peek at cookie tracking

Cookies – tiny bits of text files – store various users’ information generated during internet surfing via web browsers. Website servers mostly drop these cookies in your browser, which remain stored there, and send back the collected data. The websites then use these cookies to streamline your browsing experience upon subsequent visits. Nonetheless, cookie tracking is also a favorite practice of websites, adversaries, hackers, spies, and other third parties. Thus, it threatens the users’ online privacy and secure web browsing. This guide elaborates all the details of cookies alongside the best possible workarounds to stop them.

You may have heard of cookies tracking without fully understanding what it is all about. Cookies are tiny bits of code that run on JavaScript, saved on the user’s web browsers. Government and intelligence agencies use it for surveillance.

The malicious actors available on the internet even use it to hack online users. At the same time, companies use cookies for tracking website users’ activities to personalize marketing content.

Marketing practices have drastically changed over the years, and digital marketing has come to replace traditional marketing. It means many organizations now deploy cookies and browser fingerprinting to monitor and study web users’ behaviors and preferences.

Cookies are intrusive, and they gain access to your personal information and send feedback to the tracker. Cookies tracking has caused many privacy concerns worldwide because it is of the easiest and efficient ways of tracking people on the internet.

Cookies can track you down no matter the type of browser you use, the device you have, and no matter your ISP. However, this article would show you effective ways on how to protect yourself from cookies tracking.

We will explain how companies monitor your browsing behavior with cookies. How they monitor your search preferences, store personal information about you, such as your login credentials, and so much more. And then, we will talk about how to stop them—everything step-by-step.

What are cookies?

Cookies are online tools that companies use to track internet users through their web browsers. It is not the only tracking tool, but it is one of the most efficient out there.

They are lightweight text files that store various user information types gathered from the user’s web browser. These tiny bits of test files are used to customize your browsing experience, collect information for marketing, and track the time spent on a web page. They know the sites you visit, the number of time you spend on each site, and can also store personal details about you.

Aside from storing the websites you visit, cookies also take notes of your clicks and inputs. Some cookies would store your information on your web browser, while others would send back your information to the website server (External). Cookies are also used by organizations to make suggestions. For example, a news website would take note of the article categories you view to make further recommendations to you.