Turning Cookies Off
You can usually switch cookies off by adjusting your browser settings to stop it from accepting cookies. Doing so however will likely limit the functionality of our’s and a large proportion of the world’s websites as cookies are a standard part of most modern websites
To block cookies or change cookie settings in Firefox, select ‘options’ then choose ‘privacy’. Since Firefox accepts cookies by default, select “use custom settings for history”. This will bring up additional options where you can uncheck ‘accept cookies from sites’ or set exceptions, ‘accept third party cookies’, and decide how long cookies will be stored (till they expire, till you close the browser, or ask you every time). You can also see the list of stored cookies and delete those you don’t want manually. You also have the option of deleting all cookies either from the history window or the privacy window. Permissions for blocking or allowing cookies for single sites can also be set via the Permissions tab.
To block cookies or change cookie settings in Google Chrome, click on the wrench (spanner) on the browser toolbar. Choose ‘settings’, then ‘under the hood’. Find the ‘privacy’ section and click on ‘content settings’. Then click on ‘cookies’ and you will get four options allowing you to delete cookies, allow or block all cookies by default or set cookie preferences for particular sites or domains.
To block cookies or change cookie settings in Internet Explorer, select Tools (or the gear icon), Internet Options, Privacy. You can choose from a number of security settings including Accept All Cookies, Block All Cookies and intermediate settings that affect cookie storage based on privacy and whether cookies set allow third parties to contact you without your explicit consent.
To block cookies or change cookie settings in Safari 5.0 and earlier, go to Preferences, Security and then Accept Cookies. You can choose from Always, Only from sites you navigate to or Never. In Safari 5.1 and later go to Preferences, Privacy. In the Block cookies section choose Always, Never or From third parties and advertisers.
Other, better options
It may be that you concerns around cookies relate to so called “spyware”. Rather than switching off cookies in your browser you may find that anti-spyware software achieves the same objective by automatically deleting cookies considered to be invasive. There are many free programs that will do this perfectly well.
For a more sophisticated approach, there are a number of products such as ‘Ghostery’ that enable you to select which websites you wish to block from installing cookies. While not endorsing the product, our developers use it to remove many of the advertising and marketing tools that we don’t want before they get to them. One by-product is that many websites work a lot quicker as well.