Tired of seeing the “cookie policy” over and over again?

If, like me, you delete and block cookies wherever and whenever possible, you may have found that there is a downside to this – you have to keep telling websites that you have understood their cookie policy. Sometimes it is possible to ignore the “cookie policy” message and just carry on reading the page, but it seems to me that a lot of websites have recently started to display these warnings in such a way that they get in the way of other items on the page.

Now, the irony is that they only show this message every time you go to the site because you have deleted the cookie they placed on your computer that tells them you know about their cookies and don’t want to see the notice every time you log in! If you are happy to have cookies and never delete them then you don’t see the message on second and subsequent visits to that site because the cookie (that stays on your computer) tells them you’ve already acknowledged their cookie policy.

Chrome Settings ButtonSo, wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to delete most cookies but keep cookies that (apparently, at least) do nothing more than record your acceptance of a websites cookie policy? In other words, we need to be able to over-ride our normal deletion of the cookies.

Let’s look at the Chrome Browser:

Deleting all cookies when closing the browser is achieved as follows:

  • Click on the Chrome Settings “menu” button at the top righthand corner of the Chrome browser.
  • Left-click on the “Settings” option.
  • Scroll down to the link that says “Show advanced settings” and click on it.
  • Click on the “Content settings” button.
  • Click on the circle next to the second option (“keep local data only until you quit your browser”).
  • Put a tick in the box next to “Block third party cookies and site data”.
  • Remember to click on the “Finished” button at the bottom of the screen.
Chrome Settings Dialog Box

Tick the second and fourth options to delete cookies

What you have now done is instruct Chrome to delete all cookies when you close the browser. This improves your privacy but it means – as explained above – that every time you visit a website for the first time in a session it will show you the “cookie policy” (if it has one).

So, in order to stop the “cookie policy” from displaying, we need to over-ride the blanket deletion of cookies that we set above:

  • Instead of clicking on the “Finished” button after ticking the option that says “Block third party cookies and site data”, click instead on the button that says “Manage exceptions”.
  • Click in the rectangle with the greyed text that refers to sample.co.uk and type in the name of the website whose cookies you wish to keep.
  • Add as many of these as you wish and then click on the “Finished” button.
CCleaner Chrome Options

Leaving this ticked would delete the cookies you chose to keep in the browser settings

The first time that you visit the sites whose cookies you are now keeping, you may see the “cookie policy” window once.You shouldn’t see it again. Note that if you use “cleaning” programs such as CCleaner and tick the option that removes cookies, then this will over-ride the exceptions that you set in the browser. You can either accept the fact that you’ll see the cookie policy one more time when you next visit the site, or you can de-select the option in CCleaner that deletes cookies (since you are taking care of cookie deletion in your browser settings).

Other browsers have similar capabilities for handling cookies.

Note also that you can be more sophisticated in choosing which cookies are to be treated as exceptions. In the example above, you may think we are using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut as we are choosing to keep ALL of the cookies placed by a particular website just in order to keep the cookie that relates to the display of the cookie policy. Click on this link if you’d like to learn more about this in Chrome.

© 2011-2018 David Leonard
Computer Support in London
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