How to deal with cookie notices on websites automatically - gHacks Tech News

How to deal with cookie notices on websites automatically

Cookie use notifications on websites is a very annoying thing on the Internet for a number of reasons. These notifications are displayed on many websites to citizens from the European Union and state, basically, that the site they are visiting is using cookies.

Designed to inform citizens about cookie use on sites they visit, these messages become annoying quickly.

You may experience that they are displayed over and over again to you when you visit the same site. Why? Because the system uses cookies to determine if the notification should be shown to you or not.

If you delete cookies regularly, you get the same notification afterwards again.

These notifications take up valuable screen estate which you can reclaim only when you click on the ok button or the x to remove the message from the screen.

Depending on how the notification is designed, it may even display as a popup to you so that you cannot use the underlying site until you interact with it.

Here are two examples of sites that display the message to you when you visit them from a location within the EU.

cookie notification

mediamarkt cookies

So what can you do about it to automate the process?

I assume that all sites that I visit use cookies. This is without doubt the better approach than determining whether a site uses cookies on a per-site basis.

According to W3Techs, about 46% of all sites use cookies. I find that a bit low based on my own use though.

Tip: Find out how many cookies sites save to your system

You have two main options to deal with cookie notifications on websites:

  1. Use a browser extension that deals with a good chunk of them.
  2. Use a filter list that you integrate in your ad blocker of choice.

1. Browser extensions

Google Chrome users can install CookiesOK or I don't care about cookies. The second extension is also available for the Firefox web browser.

CookiesOK has been designed to deal with "accept cookies" notifications automatically. It detects several widely used cookie notification scripts automatically and handles them for you.

In addition to that, it is also tapping into a user maintained database that contains domain specific instructions on how to deal with cookies.

I don't care about cookies works in similar fashion both in Firefox and Google Chrome.

Now You: How do you deal with these cookie messages?

2. Filter lists

Prebake is a filter list for Adblock Plus that you can subscribe to. It blocks many cookie notices on websites automatically and since it is a subscription list, gets regularly updated with new information.

While designed for Adblock Plus, it can be used in other adblocking extensions if they support Adblock filter lists as well.

Summary
How to deal with cookie notices on websites automatically
Article Name
How to deal with cookie notices on websites automatically
Description
Find out how to handle cookie notices on websites automatically so that you don't have to deal with them manually each time they are displayed.
Author
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Comments

  1. DJ said on February 1, 2015 at 10:06 am
    Reply

    Yes, those are really annoying. They actually made it worse for those of us who had had our own ways of managing and restricting cookies (Cookie Monster, auto-deletion of cookies, etc.). I tried two extensions to suppress the notices in the past, but none of them was fool-proof (i.e. without breaking other stuff), so I’m currently without anything in this regard.

    I hope the bureaucrats come to their senses and someone at least comes up with a better solution. An alternative solution could be: Since almost every website uses the cookies, it’s redundant to put those notices on every website. Instead, the browsers could have a relevant dialog box where you click “I understand” (and a checkbox “don’t display this notice in the future”…) and get over it.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 1, 2015 at 10:33 am
      Reply

      It is unlikely that any solution will work on all sites you visit as many use custom implementations. The system is stupid in its current form.

  2. Tom Hawack said on February 1, 2015 at 11:33 am
    Reply

    Those EU cookie notifications are a real pain, a perfect example of the ultimate of EU’s technocracy.

    Here I use Prebake as mentioned in the article together with block-the-eu-cookie-shit-list ( github dot com/r4vi/block-the-eu-cookie-shit-list ).

    I’ve tried the I don’t care about cookies add-on but I’ve found it to occasionally remove the EU cookie notification without removing the resulting blank space, when the Adblock filters choice leaves always a cleaned/removed space.

    Both Prebake and block-the-eu-cookie-shit-list are used here with uBlock which has replaced AdblockPlus/Edge and handles all of its filters in the same way (with tremendous advantages over the old approach of worshiped ancestors).

    1. exrelayman said on February 1, 2015 at 6:53 pm
      Reply

      @Tom Hawack

      After installing uBlock and removing AdBlock Edge, I clicked the link in Martin’s post to get the prebake filter. When I clicked the subscribe button, I got a message from Firefox that the address was not understood. Any other way to try to get prebake with uBlock?

      1. Tom Hawack said on February 1, 2015 at 7:31 pm
        Reply

        Hi exrelayman

        uBlock accepts AdblockPlus/Edge filters but these may not be installed directly from the source as with Adblock.
        With uBlock you have to copy the filters list url and paste it in uBlock-Dashboard -> 3d-party filters -> Custom Filters (at the bottom of that page) then click on ‘Parse’.

        For Prebake the url is https://raw.github.com/liamja/Prebake/master/obtrusive.txt

        To access uBlock Dashboard, click on uBlock’ icon, then on the popup’s title (uBlock …)

      2. gorhill said on February 2, 2015 at 12:31 am
        Reply

        @Tom, uBlock ships with that list, it’s just a matter of enabling it from the “3rd-party filters” tab in the dashboard: “EU: Prebake – Filter Obtrusive Cookie Notices‎”

      3. Tom Hawack said on February 2, 2015 at 12:59 am
        Reply

        @gorhill … gosh, I had a look at all installed lists on uBlock before adding mine and I missed Prebake which is indeed in the lot.
        Thanks for correcting, I’ll remove the added one and skip on to the installed Prebake. Just didn’t see it :)

    2. PJ said on February 1, 2015 at 10:14 pm
      Reply

      @Tom Hawack: “Those EU cookie notifications are a real pain, a perfect example of the ultimate of EU’s technocracy.”

      I actually appreciate & find it a relief that EU sites display cookie-consent notices — even to international visitors. (Yes, I can see the notices.)

      That might have sounded weird, but then amongst many intrusive & abusive things, the government at my location has been known to “assist” the local ISP to “scan” >200,000 home users’ computers w/o their knowledge or consent … on the fabulous pretext of helping users to check for trojan horses !

      In addition, a government subsidiary has recently purchased a weaponized surveillance malware developed by FinFisher, a “German company that produces and sells computer intrusion systems, software exploits and remote monitoring systems that are capable of intercepting communications and data” [ref: WikiLeaks] in PCs & mobile devices across various OS platforms.

      As such, give me EU “technocracy” any day. At least, it treats me as a human — with a right to give or decline consent.

      1. Tom Hawack said on February 1, 2015 at 10:46 pm
        Reply

        Hello PJ, nice to read you again :)

        I don’t see the relationship between an excessive zeal (excessive to the extend of stupidity) to lay a law aimed at warning a Web user that when he enters a site he accepts the site’s cookie(s) … and an excessive zeal to track the user : both attitudes are excessive, the first because it is plain stupid, the second because it is plain dishonest. I have no idea which of the two is worst. Perhaps dishonesty, but not really sure (stupidity is tougher to change).

        An example of what this EU technocracy’s law concerning cookie notification can lead to (even if this interpretation of the law is seldom encountered) : slashdot.org forbids entry with no possible way to avoid without the user’s click on the notification. This means that, for the sake of informing the user about cookies, the site prohibits the entry to a user who declines to click, that is to accept cookies. Moreover if the user has set cookies for session only he is obliged to click again on every new page of the site he accesses. What about users who have set their cookie policy to refuse all cookies?

        You see, this technocratic idiocy has been badly thought, it looks very much like the work of someone who was in a hurry to deliver a fast response to a real problem. It is damn stupid, period. I would state IMO, even IMHO! if the number of users bothered by this insanity was not climbing day after day, hence the ad hoc scripts, add-ons and… comments, mine included!

        Time for coffee.

      2. PJ said on February 2, 2015 at 12:12 am
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack — Thanks for describing the internet-useability impacts of the EU cookie law. I don’t mind top banners, but I don’t think I would enjoy repeatedly running into pre-locked cookie-gates !

        Interestingly though, there is no cookie-consent barrier or overlay at SlashDot.org blocking my entry. I can click anywhere as many times as I wish. If I set Firefox to reject all cookies, SlashDot doesn’t serve me any cookies, but I can continue to use the site as per normal.

        If FF is set to accept only 1st-party session cookies, SlashDot’s serves me 5 cookies (pm[sess_r], pm[t][home], pm[t][ppg], pm[p], pm[pe]). I am not given a choice to opt in or out (… hmm, sounds familiar). I wonder which is the cookie that SlashDot is supposed to ask my consent for ?

        Actually, even when FF is set to reject all cookies, I can visit all EU-based sites w/o any loss of website useability. For private & commercial EU sites, the very courteous cookie banner is still there, but I don’t have to click yes or no.

        For EU government sites, every URL automatically becomes tagged with “disabled” (eg. eeas.europa.eu/us/index_en.htm?cookies=disabled) & the webpage no longer displays any cookie banner. Meanwhile, there is no impact on website useability.

        That’s why I couldn’t understand what the EU cookie annoyance is about until you kindly explained it. :)

      3. Tom Hawack said on February 2, 2015 at 12:48 am
        Reply

        @PJ, I’ve experience the same sunset boulevard feeling as you when visiting sites via a VPN. I had a test lately with a simple Firefox add-on so-called VPN, ZenMate. It was a true relief but not a sufficient reason to keep on using ZenMate (my HOSTS file, my PeerBlock filters were not invited to the tunnel) and I simply prefer direct flights with no intermediary).

        There is no cookie problem once the user’s IP is not that of a EU country, I mean browsers propose a cookie management which in principle does not encounter difficulties. There is though a privacy problem due to the fact many users are simply not aware of what is done of the information they provide, including cookies, including what a cookie means, implies, and for those users a cookie notification won’t change anything, in the same way declaring one’s age as above a limit is just a click away.

        Of course there should be an active policy from the ISPs regarding their new customers. Medias evoke the problem once in a while but the place where privacy issues are the most explained is on specialized sites, blogs and perceived by newcomers as highly technical, out of reach and far from their initial purpose : services, fun, chat music ‘n’ video. I don’t want to express flattery but places like gHacks are really important because they explain with simple words accessible to all the problematic of privacy and how to handle it.

        This said, human nature is not always willing to realize what reality is, in particular on a vector which appears to many as virtual : not seen, not known. Passwords in the same way continue to handle “password” and “123456” as if they had not the slightest importance. You can scream in the middle of a deaf crowd the same as in a desert. The solution is not obvious, time will do it I hope but meanwhile many cries now and to come, i’m afraid.

      4. PJ said on February 2, 2015 at 5:47 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack — Via a VPN, I used 4 different EU IP addresses (2 German ones & 2 French ones) to visit various EU-based sites.

        With Firefox set to reject all cookies, I tried German IP 1, French IP 1, German IP 2 & French IP 2 in this order, with the cache cleared after each visit.

        Using 2 different German IP addresses:
        Slashdot never blocks me with any cookie-consent frontpage. I was able to browse its blog, & even took part in a SlashDot poll where my vote was registered. Likewise, when I use any international (non-EU) IP address.

        Then using 2 different French IP address:
        Voilà … Slashdot shows me “Confidentialité- France” […] Accepter les Cookies” everytime. Perhaps Slashdot is very cautious with French visitors ? :)

        And regardless of which EU IP address I used, other EU sites either show me a cookie-consent banner (which I can safely ignore). or don’t show any cookie-consent notice at all.

      5. Tom Hawack said on February 2, 2015 at 6:35 pm
        Reply

        @PJ, I had experienced the same strange specificity to France EU cookie notification as opposed to another EU country, UK. With ZenMate we had (have?) only USA, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Hong-Kong, if I recall correctly. I remember having noticed that setting ZenMate for UK did not lead slashdot to activate the EU notification. Stupidly enough I did not then think about checking with Germany. USA, Switzerland and H.-K. not members of the EU (!) of course did not have the EU cookie notification called. I had in fact quickly tested ZenMate with countries of which I speak the language … I’d be a lousy investigator :)

        I should have mentioned this in my last post.This is a strange issue. I recall this oddity for slashdot because slashdot was (is) the only domain my anti-EU cookie notification settings could not handle (and there’s no work-around as far as I can tell).

        I read you when you state that German IP was not bothered with the notification on slashdot.
        I read you as well, “And regardless of which EU IP address I used, other EU sites either show me a cookie-consent banner (which I can safely ignore). or don’t show any cookie-consent notice at all” It would be an objective experience to test sites/countries concerned with the EU cookie notification with a browser free of any anti-EU cookie notification add-on/Adblock filter.

        Slashdot nevertheless is strange, their way of handling the EU cookie law is home-made, in the radicalism they use, and now in the differences they practice within different European IP-based countries, as you and I have experienced. Definitely strange.

      6. PJ said on February 2, 2015 at 7:58 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack — My Firefox does not have any anti-EU cookie filters, or any cookie add-on. I’m only using AdBlockEdge with EasyList filter. So far, the only time I’m blocked by a EU cookie-consent notice is when using French IP addresses to visit Slashdot (which is physically hosted at Iowa USA, & owned by an American company).

        I think the reason why your 2 current anti-EU cookie filters do not handle Slashdot’s special EU-French cookie-consent notice is because Slashdot.org is not included in any of the 2 filter lists.

        Perhaps you might wish to request the respective list moderators to add Slashdot.org ? You may have to explain the situation vis-à-vis French IP addresses, because the list moderators might ask why it is necessary to include a USA-based website.

        See contents of Prebake & block-the-eu-cookie-shit-list filters:
        • raw.githubusercontent.com/liamja/Prebake/master/obtrusive.txt
        • raw.githubusercontent.com/r4vi/block-the-eu-cookie-shit-list/master/filterlist.txt

      7. Tom Hawack said on February 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm
        Reply

        @PJ,
        So far, the only time I’m blocked by a EU cookie-consent notice is when using French IP addresses to visit Slashdot“, OK, with no anti-EU cookie notification module, OK. But if you have/are using a French IP address you should encounter the EU cookie notification elsewhere than on Slashdot. Perhaps you meant blocked only, then indeed it’s only Slashdot plus two others (forgot the names) of the same company.

        I think the reason why your 2 current anti-EU cookie filters do not handle Slashdot’s special EU-French cookie-consent notice is because Slashdot.org is not included in any of the 2 filter lists“. No, that’s not the problem. I found no script, no userstyle, nothing which could be blocked, the process is operated from within the company’s core, I’ve searched an exit everywhere, I truly believe there is no gate to avoid their intrusion. Not on Firefox anyway. I even went through the page’s source where it appears that the cookie must be checked to carry on… I’m no specialist but,, frankly, if someone finds a solution I’ll eat my hat… or beret!

      8. PJ said on February 4, 2015 at 9:36 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack — The 3 Slashdot Media companies: Slashdot, Sourceforge & Freecode. They use the “Freedom Cookie” Javascript to handle visitors with French IP addresses. I’ve extracted it to: pastebin.com/PyeyFvXK

        I found that I can enter the main sites of the above (including Slashdot) w/o clicking anything on the “Accepter les Cookies” barrier-page. Simply reload the page — sometimes once, other times twice or thrice.

        I can reproduce the above “break-in” every time. It doesn’t matter if Javascript is enabled or disabled. But if you visit the site frequently, I suppose it might be tiresome in case you need 3 page reloads to break in.

        When using EU IP addresses to visit non-government EU sites, some show me the cookie-consent notices, some don’t. For those sites that don’t, I assume that either they are not collecting intrusive cookies, or they are not complying with the EU cookie law.

      9. Tom Hawack said on February 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm
        Reply

        @PJ, “The 3 Slashdot Media companies: Slashdot, Sourceforge & Freecode“. I was unaware of Freecode.com, but besides the two other you mention the third I had in mind was slashdotmedia.com, which is I think the parent company.

        I’ve discovered as well since our last dialog — I was then rockin’,’rollin’ like a mad man trying to figure out this Slashdot syndrome! — that indeed reloading the page (here, twice always works) allowed entrance without cookie acceptation and moreover — and this last point is at the honor of the site — without cookie creation (they follow the law further than required, at least they don’t infringe it as well).

        Concerning sites’ management of the EU cookie notification rule, indeed I had noticed (before installing the anti-EU cookie notification barriers) that not all sites followed it and that for those who did (do) the zeal applied varies, when some codes are deeply jscript-integrated and others only tightened with a lite css …

        You know, when confronted to the 3 stooges (slashdot.org, sourceforge.net, slashdotmedia.com) or 4 now with the site you mention (Freecode.com) I either click on the cookie acceptation when I’m in a good mood either I access the site via anonymouse.org when in less calm states of mind (make it a 3;1 ratio!). Anyway the cookie if any is removed as soon as I close the page(s) thanks to the Self-Destructing Cookies Firefox add-on, so my concern (my “courroux” as we say in French) is all about this company’s method when respecting extravagantly a law which does exist but which is not aimed to be practiced as some do to their advantage

        It is a pleasure to have the experience of a user outside the EU (yourself as I understand it) shared with a EU resident (and happy to be) who sometimes over-reacts, but for the good cause (does he hope!).

      10. PJ said on February 4, 2015 at 11:36 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack — Hope Slashdot Media (ie. parent company) doesn’t realize its cookie bug, & start enhancing its cookie script for the affected websites.

        Or if the weak cookie script is deliberate, it could be a half-hearted attempt to comply with EU-France’s cookie law. I don’t suppose website owners genuinely want to frustrate French visitors, & induce another rocking-rolling-mad French uprising ! :)

        Btw is cookie regarded as masculine or feminine in French ? I have seen “le cookie” & “la cookie” being used.

        To cookie collectors …
        “S’ils n’ont plus de cookie, qu’ils mangent du pain.”
        — à la ‘Confessions de Jean-Jacques Rousseau’

      11. Tom Hawack said on February 5, 2015 at 1:02 am
        Reply

        @PJ :) Is the cookie obligation workaround a bug or is it intentional, I have no idea. I recall a story I had read many years ago about poor peasants in some areas of Spain who wished to conciliate their religious faith with the reality of their social condition and consequently performed a slight hole with a needle at the very end of the condom in order to “leave a chance to the free exercise of God’s will” (that’s the idea). I doubt this attitude be that of the stooge company, but who knows? Maybe is it rather the very technical consequence of the code, the process they chose : I’m not skilled to understand how they proceed, all I believe is that the work is accomplished on their servers… this is why I’ve been googling to try to find an explanation on the how they proceed, unsuccessfully up to now.

        In French “cookie” has the masculine form (“Un cookie“). I believe that even among Canadians speaking French (“Vive le Québec, mais vive le Québec libre!“) those evoking “la cookie” are very few and perhaps English-speaking spies :)

        S’ils n’ont plus de cookie, qu’ils mangent du pain.” could remind us of a Marie-Antoinette who would have declared “S’ils n’ont pas de pain qu’on leur donne de la brioche” (brioche when no bread…). Brioche is much nicer than bread, and bread much better than cookies (lol).

        Vive la France! And long live a healthy Web, the Four Stooges, love smiles and laughs. Let us be human, for the best included!

      12. PJ said on February 5, 2015 at 3:34 am
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack — I seem to see a lot more “Crème de la Cookie”. All spies then, I suppose …

        I understand that Marie Antoinette did not say “S’ils n’ont plus de pain, qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” … That it was her enemies who lifted this statement from Rousseau’s autobiography ‘Confessions de Jean-Jacques Rousseau’, & viciously attributed it to Antoinette.

        Actually, “brioche” is some sort of croissant or bread-like pastry, right ? I’m wondering why the English version says “Let them eat cake.” Maybe “cake” (gâteau) sounds even more luxuriously ludicrous.

        • Cake (programming language): badpint.org/cake
        “The primary design rule of Cake was simplicity.”

        • CAKEjs: code.google.com/p/cakejs
        ⇒ ‘Canvas Animation Kit Experiment’ javascript

        • CoffeeScript: coffeescript.org

        Hmm, no programmer likes “pain” (bread) … or condoms. “God’s Will” Condom reminds me of a local TV serial where a woman secretly used a needle to poke many holes in all the condoms belonging to her married son. She wasn’t Roman Catholic though.

  3. Dwight Stegall said on February 1, 2015 at 11:58 am
    Reply

    Cnet and CNN were getting on my nerves. This will help a lot. :)

  4. Peter (NL) said on February 1, 2015 at 12:54 pm
    Reply

    Martin, thanks for this article. The Tweakers.net website is well-known to me …. :) I’m always clicking away those notifications.

    How is the Firefox extension Adblock Plus nowadays doing qua system slow-down and memory usage ?

    regards, Peter

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 1, 2015 at 1:35 pm
      Reply

      Peter I’m not using it so cannot really say. Last time I read about it, it was said to cause quite the high memory usage.

    2. Paul(us) said on February 1, 2015 at 4:28 pm
      Reply

      Peter, After the release of the (free) Adblock plus version 1.3 the memory usage became much (in capital letters) better.

  5. Pierre said on February 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm
    Reply

    Thks for Prebake !

  6. Paul(us) said on February 1, 2015 at 4:38 pm
    Reply

    Martin, Installing/subscribing Prebake to main already installed Adblock plus version 1.3 extension in main Firefox version 35 browser is not a problem at all.

    Installing/subscribe this Prebake to main already installed Adblock plus version 1.3 in main Microsoft internet explorer version 11 browser is a total different cup of tea. Ever time I am trying to install/subscribe to Prebake (in MS-IE) I am getting a connection error.
    I am getting the message:
    Most probable cause:
    • Some content or files on this webpage is a required program that is not currently installed.

    1. Pierre said on February 1, 2015 at 4:56 pm
      Reply

      In IE, you should rather use : add-ons, “protection against tracking” (it’s an euphemism as MS likes them) with Easy list.
      Adblock plus for IT slowers terribly the browser

  7. exrelayman said on February 1, 2015 at 10:35 pm
    Reply

    @Tom Hawack

    For some reason your reply to me is the only comment that lacks a reply button, so you might miss this as I cannot place it next to yours. At any rate –

    Thanks for your input. I got the prebake url into the custom box per your instructions, then went to the tweakers.net site shown in the article. Still got the cookies notice.

    I have searched and seen reports that prebake is not being updated. I guess for now I will content myself with being put onto uBlock – some of the pages that I got a loading time out when using AdBlock Edge load correctly using uBlock, so some good is done. I am in the USA and seldom see cookie notices hogging up the screen like they do in Europe, so lacking that functionality doesn’t much matter.

    Again, grateful for the uBlock pointer and the extra assistance given!

    1. Tom Hawack said on February 1, 2015 at 11:16 pm
      Reply

      exrelayman, reply is only one level deep, so what most of us do here is to click on the last reply above and, if the list is long, to add a @ as you did here. Anyway, I got the message via the ‘Notify me of followup comments via e-mail’, checked.

      Prebake as other anti-EU cookie notification stupidity (I’ve never layed the word so often on a single page!) does not handle all situations. I went to tweakers.net and didn’t encounter the notification, but I use together with Prebake another list called block-the-eu-cookie-shit-list ( github dot com/r4vi/block-the-eu-cookie-shit-list ), There you will find the url list but I’ll note it down here : https://raw.github.com/r4vi/block-the-eu-cookie-shit-list/master/filterlist.txt (hoping this will not delay excessively my comment).

      I’m sorry to read you have some problems starting with uBlock, but you’re not the only one. It is less user-friendly than AdblockPlus/Edge but, IMO, far ahead in terms of the architecture of the code, the way the problem is conceived and processed. The result is a fantastic gain of time for starting Firefox, for the RAM usage, even if AdblockP/E wasn’t slower at page rendering. You do know that you can export your filters’ custom lists from AdblockP/E and then import them from uBlock, right? As for the other filters’ lists, some (many) are included in uBlock, for those that are not (I had 5 not included) you have to proceed as we discussed here.

      uBlock requires a time of adaptation, on their GitHub pages help sections are well done. I’m rather lazy and not particularly skilled in “computer stuff” (!) but when I see a gem I start moving (like in a dancing when you forget the couch & scotch for the sake of a lovely lady on the dance floor!).

      Really, really nice, fabulous, gorgeous … :)

      1. exrelayman said on February 2, 2015 at 3:59 pm
        Reply

        Well, I got there! After pasting in the prebake url as instructed, cookie notifications still occurred. Then I saw gorhill’s remark to you about prebake being included, and checked the box – still no luck. Finally, the above instruction did the job! Thanx again! uBlock rocks!

        On the privacy matter you and chef-koch were discussing, I like for places like ebay and Amazon to be able to refer me back to something I looked at before, so I compromise my privacy a bit by not doing those steps you mentioned. A privacy step that I do take is avoiding all the password managers and using an online password generator to make my passwords, which I then keep on my PC in a password encrypted file with a nine character password that is a pretty good but which I have a mnemotic key that I can remember and not write down. I must then deal with the nuisance of having to open that file and copy and paste when I need to use a password, but who knows when someone will hack a password manager? Because of that nuisance I repeatedly use one easy password on sites that want one but do not entail any commercial matters.

        Another privacy matter is using a wired connection and avoiding wi-fi. When I travel (rarely), I of course use a VPN with my laptop. But in all of this privacy, someone determined enough can break it. What we do is make clear that we are not a soft target and that perhaps somewhere else that is less security conscious might be a better place to attack.

        Well , I have played a role in hogging up the comments section. Hope this does not offend and that perhaps others may benefit from what we have discussed.

        Sorry about the double posting. Messed up activating the edit function on time.

      2. Tom Hawack said on February 2, 2015 at 6:57 pm
        Reply

        @exrelayman,

        I think there is a common point between many facilities brought to us by the Web, its technology as well as the way browsers are handling them. This common point is that one same feature serves the user as well as it can serve less honest aims ; everything depends of what is done with it, and often the alternative is security versus privacy. No, I’m not thinking of a racket even if this alternative can be perceived as “an offer we can’t refuse”. I don’t know but I don’t think this is deliberate, anyway not always, but I believe that this alternative security-privacy is symptomatic of an intelligence’s brilliance if/when it should be deliberate. Another example, “Anatomy of a browser dilemma – how HSTS ‘supercookies’ make you choose between privacy or security” an article on nakedsecurity.sophos dot com

        It’s more than ever the era of complexity in the binary universe included.

  8. David Bradley said on February 2, 2015 at 10:40 am
    Reply

    Tested “CookiesOK” and “I don’t care about cookies” on one site I use regularly. CookiesOK didn’t work. I don’t care did but left a residue. But then I saw you mentioned an Adblock list, so I just subscribed to that and it worked without leaving any trace of a cookie popup at all ;-)

    dB

  9. CHEF-KOCH said on February 2, 2015 at 11:54 am
    Reply

    There is one unmentioned thing here about these addons, they not working in Firefox privacy mode. Even in FF privacy mode there are still “bad” cookies like flash, gmx and such (for these reasons I use ccleaner with the intelligent cookie serch feature but that only cleans them after I close the Browser). There is no add-on I know that works in privacy mode.

    Here is a good example about actuall problems with the privacy mode (by Georg Koppen):
    https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tbb-dev/2015-January/000217.html

    There are still a lot of browser fingerprints and to use privacy mode, a proxy/vpn block all external things does not help in some situations, for e.g. if you login into a board or use third party extensions/add-ons which may also sends “anonymous feedback”.

    I already trying to “fix” this since years but there is no add-on, no config which really can’t hide all fingerprints – this is a mission impossible. :(

    1. Tom Hawack said on February 2, 2015 at 1:34 pm
      Reply

      The Privacy Mode, I agree, is an illusion even if not a lure. I hadn’t realized it until a guest (I forgot his name) here on gHacks made me realize that the Firefox Self-Destructing Cookies add-on became ineffective with Privacy Mode activated.

      As all security/privacy settings the problem arises when users rely on what the settings promise, often true, forgetting what is not included in the promise. I no longer use the Private Mode. It’s IMO a valid choice when a better alternative (or work-around) is available, such as the add-on I mention above together with a few other defenses.

      Concerning Flash Player :
      1- From Windows’ Control Panlel -> Flash Player Manager -> Forbid sites to record information (translated from French) ;
      2- In Flash’s mms.cfg, add :

      DisableSockets=1
      EnableSocketsTo=127.0.0.1
      LocalStorageLimit=1
      AVHardwareDisable=1
      DisableDeviceFontEnumeration=1

      Flash player — for the time it remains — is excessively talkative.

      Now : we do all realize don’t we what the Web is? A little planet with as many brigands as there has always been. Technology advances like a rocket, human nature as a snail. And when I say “human nature” that includes myself and, as Prince would sing it in “Purple rain” … “and that means you too”. Still, life is unfolding as it should and we all strive for a better world. All? I think so for the simple reason that the solution is not political but in the area of each of us. I neither know nor judge, but I fear to rely once in a while on several concordant hints… :)

      Sorry for the speach!

  10. Dave said on February 2, 2015 at 2:30 pm
    Reply

    Useful to have an Adblock list.

  11. Dwight Stegall said on February 2, 2015 at 6:55 pm
    Reply

    This doesn’t work on Cnet. I reported it to prebake on Twitter.

  12. MartinPC said on February 2, 2015 at 7:20 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for the heads-up on this. I expect most sites to try to plant cookies and I deal with them by banning third-party cookies and cleaning up regular cookies, Flash cookies, and Silverlight cookies with CCleaner. The cookie-warning notifications on sites in the EU were starting to get annoying, but not quite annoying enough to motivate me to search for a solution on my own. This post saved me the effort so, again, thanks. (I went with Prebake and the EU Cookie Shit List in Adblock Latitude in Pale Moon x64. I guess I’ll have to add them to Adblock Plus in my backup Firefox x86 browser as well…)

    1. Tom Hawack said on February 2, 2015 at 7:48 pm
      Reply

      So Pale Moon has its AdblockPluse fork, specifically designed for Pale Moon 25+. Good to know.

  13. patrick said on April 18, 2015 at 11:39 am
    Reply

    And what do people do with INTERNET EXPLORER??

  14. Marin County Member said on November 23, 2017 at 8:21 pm
    Reply

    What I’m trying to figure out is when my IPhone is set to Block All Cookies, and I visit a site w pop up Cookie warning –
    1) Does it still attach Cookies?
    2) Overrides my block and add them regardless?
    3) Attaching to my device instantly?
    I’m assuming yes, so I close the site immediately (no matter how badly I want to view the info) and clear all website data/Cookies…..thinking the faster I delete, the less likely they’re attached, or able to discern any usable info about me….The invasion of the right to privacy is the driving force.
    Maybe naive in thinking this.
    4) Any way to prevent auto attaching in mobile devices? Someone suggested Private Browsing but from its description, all it does is hide browsing history, flimsy at best.
    5) You mention Firefox, is that available w IPhone?
    6) What about when using TOR or ONION? I know they’re for private browsing but would they provide any barrier, especially w the block setting in place?
    Lastly – I’m assuming pop up warnings are basically just a way of saying if you don’t want our Cookies – don’t use our site- and to do exactly what I do now to prevent it.
    Thanks for any guidance.
    Greetings from San Francisco.

  15. Marin County Member said on November 23, 2017 at 8:31 pm
    Reply

    What are the basic US laws (ex: privacy) governing Cookies?
    Do they conflict with any Federal, State or Local laws/codes, etc? Any interfere with Constitutional rights?
    Can I create and auto upload my own Cookies whenever any website attempts to attach to mine?
    Curious.

  16. Laurence said on August 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm
    Reply

    Or just disabled Javascript as most use Javascript. I am going to try that. The benefit of that is it will block all the ads and things people add into their site which also really slow down the site and sometimes makes them unuseable on mobiles.

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