Cookies are used for two main purposes basically. The first is to remember that a user is already logged in on a website and the second to track user actions. While the first purpose does make a lot of sense the second is one that is better to be avoided.
The big question is how you can make sure that cookies are accepted for identification purposes and not accepted when you do not login into a website.
The answer is a cookie manager that works on a per-site basis. I need cookies for my blogs for instance and sites like eBay or Amazon but do not need them on sites where I do not login, say Google Search or other blogs that I do not administrate but only visit as a reader.
CS Lite is definitely one of the best Firefox Cookie Managers. The most effective way to manage cookies on your system is in my opinion to block them globally and enable them on a per-site basis. Blocking them globally ensures that no cookies will be set unless you explicitly allow them to be set. A good rule of thumb is to visit a website and if you do not recognize any problems you can keep the cookies blocked.
The first thing that I did after installation of CS Lite was to enable the global blocking of cookies in the options. The extension adds an icon to the Firefox statusbar that can be used to allow cookies for the specific site you are currently on. I did use this option to enable cookies for the sites that I visited throughout the day and that needed cookies to function properly.
I would like to point out two interesting features of the extension. The first is a blocklist that can be downloaded from the Internet. This blocklist contains more than 200 companies that set cookies to track users. This blocklist is accessible in a table that also contains the allowed domains. Downloading the blocklist makes only sense if you do not disallow cookies globally.
If you run a website and use some of those advertisement companies you should make sure to enable cookies for those services.
Update: The author has pulled the add-on from the Mozilla add-on repository. Check out how to selectively block cookies here.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.