Cookies have been designed as means to store data on a client's system. They are used to store session information or preferences for instance, and are nowadays also used for tracking purposes. While there are some attempts to better protect users from tracking, like Mozilla's Do Not Track preference, cookie handling mostly has remained the same over the years.
If you look at the Firefox browser, you will notice that users can accept or deny first and third party cookies, use exceptions for selected sites, and configure when cookies should be deleted by the browser.
The Firefox add-on Cookie Controller improves the cookie handling in the browser through three status bar icons. Firefox users who install the add-on need to drag and drop some or all of the icons to the status bar, or another location where icons can be placed. The easiest way to do that is to right-click the status bar, select customize from the context menu, and to drag and drop the cookie related icons from the customization window into the browser's interface.
The first button lets you define cookie permissions for the site you are on currently. You can configure each site to allow or deny cookies, and if cookies are allowed whether they should be stored until the end of the session or until they expire.
You can also list all cookies from that particular domain, and remove DOM and session cookies as well from the context menu. The context menu links to the cookies and exceptions menu of the Firefox browser as well.
The second button displays the number of cookies for the current host and globally, and allows you to browse through the cookies, and to delete cookies individually or in bulk.
The third and final button displays global cookie settings, and allows you to change those global settings with a single click.
The system is actually rather complicated at the beginning, as you need to get your head around the three icons and what they offer in terms of functionality. Once you start to get the hang out of the add-on, you can use it for a number of different asks. From configuring site specific cookie permissions over cleaning specific cookies to quickly changing the global cookie permissions.
Firefox users can download and install Cookie Controller from the official Mozilla Add-ons repository.
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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.