Firefox Takes Aim At Cookies

John Lister's picture

Firefox has added a new feature letting users remove all traces of visiting a website, including cookies. It builds on the browser's existing technology that makes it harder for a single site to track users across the web.

Both features aim to tackle the problem that tracking and other records of online activity come from a variety of sources. Visiting a particular site creates several pieces of data on a computer, while cookies are made more complicated because the site that places them on a computer isn't always the same as the site that access and uses the cookie.

Total Cookie Protection

The existing feature, which rolled out in February, is called Total Cookie Protection. It affects the way cookies are organized on the user's computer. In simple terms, they are organized into separate buckets (or perhaps that should be "cookie jars") by the site the user was visiting when the cookie was placed.

That means online businesses can't create a single cookie to track activity across multiple sites and will find it harder to link together data from different cookies on the user's machine. It's by no means foolproof, but should definitely reduce unwanted tracking.

It also means users can clear all the cookies placed by a particular site, whether a cookie is designed for that site or placed on behalf of a third party such as an advertiser.

Forget Everything

The new feature lets users clear all data created by visiting a site. It's activated by viewing browsing history, right-clicking on an entry for a particular site, then selecting "Forget About This Site." (Source:

Doing so not only clears all cookies set by the site (including third party) but it also removes it from browsing history and deletes any locally stored files such as code scripts or cached images. The idea is to make it much simpler to carry out a task that currently involves multiple steps and some potentially time-consuming searches.

The feature comes with Firefox version 91, which also catches up with Chrome on secure websites. Firefox will now take any site address and look for a secure (https://) version by default. Only if it can't find one will it attempt to load the insecure (http://) version. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Would you find these features useful? Do you feel you understand what cookies get on your computer and where they come from? Do you often clear part or all of your browsing history?

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Average: 5 (15 votes)


beach.boui's picture

Firefox ROCKS!

JeffRL's picture

Many websites I go to not only demand that I accept their cookies, they want me to accept ALL cookies. A lot of them have a pop-up window that has neither "accept" nor "decline" buttons, just an "X" that I am quite sure is actually an "OK" button.

The same sort of thing happens with ads. I use an ad-blocker and many sites demand that I change my settings to accept all ads on any site.

A lot of these websites belong to government agencies and major corporations, not just small fly-by-night sites. My work requires me to look for info on government sites, not just in my own country but around the world, and most of them are doing this stuff. I am NOT an anti-"guvmint" paranoid, but I can almost understand why some people trust nothing they say.

We're all being forced to give up more and more of our privacy in everything we do. Everybody who uses their credit card for every single purchase every day, from a pack of gum to whatever, is providing multiple companies a very complete profile of themselves. You get nothing in return for what you give them.

Surrendering to demands to accept cookies is part of that and it's why I accept as few as possible and delete as many as possible.

olds97_lss's picture

I clear my cache and cookies almost daily anyway, so it doesn't really matter a lot to me.

CTRL+Shift+Del is as ingrained in me at this point as Ctrl+Alt+Del. lol