How to enable cookies on your internet browsers and mobile devices
Everyday there is an ever increasing need of information privacy and security, one way of achieving this is knowing when and how to enable cookies.
What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computer’s browser when you visit a website. On the next visit, the web server then easily recognises the files stored on your browser.
It is a bit similar to going to a club, a concert or any ticketed event and the security staff stamp your hand or your ticket.
This is to ensure when you leave the venue, you can easily get back in without having to queue. In essence, it is done to give you easy access back into the venue
Why are cookies important?
Before considering how to enable cookies on browsers, it is important to state why you need cookies? This will help you decide which cookies you want to keep and delete.Why you need to cookies
Functionality. Some websites require you to enable cookies to be able to use their services.
Google requires you to turn on your cookies to be able to use your account on browsers like safari and chrome. It also gives good instruction as to how to enable cookies not those browsers
Authentication. WordPress requires your cookies to be enabled to enable you access to your wordpress site.
Cookies are also used to remember your name and email address when you fill out a comment form.
Leads Capture. This is especially significant if you are in ecommerce. Cookies can help you track where your visitors have come from and the pages they visit.
For example, a visitor that browsed a particular product page very frequently probably intends to make a purchase.
How to enable cookies in Firefox
This is a quick tutorial on how to enable cookies in Firefox browser.
It is a very straightforward process to enable cookies in Firefox. Just follow the process below.
- Click the menu option on the upper right side of the screen to dropdown and reveal options (menu button that looks like three horizontal lines.)
- Choose Preferences
Click on Privacy and Security.
On the preferences page, on the left side of the page, Click privacy and security.
Choose history settings
In order to enable cookies in firefox ( ie change it for its current setting), you have to change the history setting.
You have three options to choose from.
Remember history: This is the option for you if you want to enable cookies in firefox. Firefox will remember your browsing, download, form and search history.
Never remember history: This is similar to using a private browser. Firefox will not remember your browsing history. This is will disable cookies in firefox.
Use custom settings for history: This gives further options to help control what firefox remembers and what it doesn’t.
You should now choose how you want to enable cookies. You can either accept cookies until they expire or until firefox browser is closed.
You now have cookies enabled on your firefox browser.
You can also decide how you want firefox to deal with third party cookies.
You may choose always accept cookies from all websites, only websites visited or never accept third party cookies at all.
It is recommended that you accept cookies and site data from websites because most websites may not function properly without it. Google for example suggests that you enable cookies in your browser in order to use your Google Account on a browser (like Chrome or Safari)
HOW TO ENABLE COOKIES IN SAFARI (iPad) and (mobile)
- On the iPad homepage, click settings
- Scroll down and tap Safari
- To enable cookies, uncheck Block all cookies.
- You can allow or disallow browser options like preventing cross-site tracking and do not track signals to site owners.
How to enable cookies on your Safari browser
- Open a safari browser and click preferences
- Under Privacy, leave Block all cookies unticked.
How to enable cookies on Opera browser
- Open the opera browser and Click Settings on the left hand side
- Under Advanced, click Privacy and Security
- Click on site settings
- Click on cookies and site data
- Scroll down and under cookies, choose Allow sites to read and save site data
There are situations where the solution to privacy and security concerns is not how to enable cookies but the opposite: disabling them.
In such scenarios, the type of cookies you will most likely disable are third party cookies.
These are cookies placed on your browsers by a different site to the one you are visiting.
You may visit a site where the advertisers place a cookie to track your visits to other sites to figure out your preference and target you with products.
Your option might be to block these third-party cookies, which most browsers provide the option for.
However, blocking third-party cookies may disrupt the functionality of the some sites you intend to visit and choose cookies you have enabled.
If you want to avoid problems with sites as a result of blocking third-party cookies, you can set an exception for the site.
This way, you can block all third-party cookies with exceptions made for any site of your choosing.
How to block third-party cookies in Chrome
- On the upper right side of the browser, click the three dots which brings a dropdown option and then click settings.
- Dropdown the advanced option and click privacy and security.
- click Site settings, Cookies and site data and tick block third-party cookies.
How to block third-party cookies in Opera
In the menu bar, Click opera, Preferences, Privacy and security.
Choose Block third-party cookies and site data
How to block third-party cookies in Safari
- On the menu bar, click safari and choose preferences
- Tick Block all cookies. A warning will appear that some sites may not work properly. If you want to indeed block all cookies, proceed.
However, if you don’t want to block cookies from all sites, you can make exception for some sites that you are familiar with and use regularly.
Click Cancel and you will be back on the privacy tab. Click Manage Website Data and make exceptions for the website you want allow cookies for
How to block third-party cookies in Firefox
- On the upper right side of the page, click the three horizontal lines to drop down options, then choose preferences.
- One the left hand side of the page, choose Privacy and Security
- Choose Block cookies and site data which will block all cookies. You can however make exceptions by clickingExceptions and adding website urls you want to allow.
You can use Firefox’s tracking protection to clock online trackers that collect browsing data from various sites. To do this, on the Tracking protection section, choose Always
Also take advantage of “Do Not track” signals that notifies websites that you do not want to be tracked. To do this, choose Always
It is very important to know when and how to enable cookies as well as disable them. It is a double edge sword.
There is peace of mind knowing you are taking steps to ensure your online privacy and security by disabling cookies from advertiser and online trackers.
Conversely, blocking third-party cookies may affect the functionality of certain websites.
There isn’t a one size fits all solution.
- The practical option might be to enable cookies for sites we use all the time and requires cookies to be enabled ie to be able to use google account as explained earlier.
- Choose a “Do Not Track” signal to tell sites that you don’t want to be tracked.
- Block identified third-party cookies and only make exceptions for the ones that require for the site you visit.
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