A new consumer privacy protection law called GDPR recently passed, requiring companies to notify you that they are adding cookies to your computer’s browser when you visit their websites. There are multiple types of cookies, but the ones you want to be aware of are called tracking cookies, which have the ability to collect, monitor, and report your online activity to third-party databases.
What are cookies?
Simply put, a cookie is a small snippet of code that is stored in your computer’s browser storage. Almost all companies add cookies to your browser when you visit their website and regular cookies are not harmful, they are used to make your experience on a website better.
What are Tracking Cookies?
Tracking cookies are very different from regular cookies, they are used to monitor, track and report your online activity to remote third party databases for further analysis. This means many companies and agencies are tracking your every movement online and reporting it to remote databases. The data is typically sold to advertising companies who use your private data to sell higher priced ads and make more money.
How to tell if you are being tracked with tracking cookies
Have you ever noticed an ad following you around the Internet? As new ad technologies evolve, it is becoming increasingly common that an ad for a product or service you looked at previously will appear on an unrelated website hours or even days later. This is a prime example of tracking cookies are being used and how creepy, annoying, and invasive they can be.
How to block tracking cookies and protect your private information
The easiest way to protect your privacy and block tracking cookies is to install a browser extension that blocks them. We like one called Ad Stopper because, not only does it block tracking cookies, but it also blocks all online ads. Without ads and tracking cookies, websites load 44% faster, based on test results from the top 1800 websites.