Many Mac users are increasingly concerned about privacy. Are you? Everywhere you go on the internet you leave tracks. The cookies that web sites leave on your browser are tracks that tell someone else what you did, where you went.
Is it possible to manage browser cookies, or even exist online without using cookies? If you’re concerned about privacy you may like using Safari Cookies. It’s not a cookie monster. It’s a cookie manager.
All Cookies Are Not Chocolate Chip
The cookies stored by your web browser are not necessarily evil, though some would argue that cookies are a necessary evil.
Basically, a cookie is a piece of text information stored by your browser.
That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Browser cookies are used to store web site preferences, shopping cart contents, and can track your page-by-page viewing of specific sites.
Unless you delete cookies in your browser, or prevent their storage in the first place, cookies tend to stick around. I’ve switched to Google Chrome as my main browser because I prefer some of Chrome’s privacy features.
If you’re worried about privacy, and you’re a Safari user, you’ll enjoy the extra burden of cookie management using the Safari Cookies app. As if managing bookmarks wasn’t enough overhead for using a browser, now we can manage something else to cleanse data that may incriminate our behavior.
Safari Cookies is easily installed in Safari. The automatic mode keeps track of cookies from sites that are in your Bookmarks, Top Sites list, or in Safari’s History list.
The typical setting is to accept cookies only from sites you visit and to block cookies from third parties and advertisers. Other options include removing all managed cookies, or all non-favorite cookies.
Here’s where the fun begins. Click the Cookies tab and scroll through all the cookies you’ve accumulated. Whew. What a mess.
Uh oh. See that cookie from that site you don’t want anyone to know you visited? See those online gambling cookies? Suddenly, cookies don’t look so innocent, do they? Check the cookies list on your teenagers browser and you may be shocked at what you find.
Cookies leave a trail of web site visits. Safari Cookies manages those cookies. It also manages Flash Cookies. What? You didn’t know that Flash leaves cookies, too?
Some cookies are useful and innocuous.
Many are not and may leave a trail you don’t want others to follow.
Safari Cookies is a nearly set-it-and-forget-it utility which helps alleviate your fears and pains and worries.
For example, Safari Cookies will automatically remove non-bookmarked cookies when you quit Safari. Ditto for the Flash cookies.
Other settings give you more control over the cookies you keep. In the age of snooping and spyware, a little paranoia goes a long way. If you don’t want someone to track which sites you visit, it’s best not to leave an easy-to-follow trail.
Caveats with Safari Cookies? A few. It’s priced right as donationware, but Safari seems to slow down and stutter when using Safari Cookies (I have hundreds and hundreds of bookmarks, hence lots of cookies). If it works for you, great. If not, uninstallation is a click away.