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How to Disable a New Kind of Cookie called Dom Storage

Recently, web browsers have introduced a new form of cookie that uses a method called “DOM storage”. (DOM stands for “Document Object Model”.) This new type of cookie has been possible in Firefox since version 2 and is also enabled in Internet Explorer 8. According to Wikipedia, it is also available in Safari 4, Google Chrome 4, and Opera 10.50. DOM storage items can be substantially larger than conventional cookies and can contain more information. Those who are concerned about privacy can disable DOM storage in the following ways.

Internet Explorer 8

1. Open the “Tools” menu
2. Select “Internet Options”
3. Click the “Advanced” tab
4. Scroll down until you reach “Security”
5. Remove the check by “Enable DOM Storage”
6. Click “OK”

More details about DOM storage in IE8 are at this Microsoft reference.

Firefox 3 and up

DOM storage can be disabled by editing the configuration file in this way:

1. Enter “about:config” in the address bar (without quotes)
2. Agree to the warning "I'll be careful, I promise!" if it appears
3. Scroll down until you reach “dom.storage.enabled”
4. Double-click the entry to change the value from “True” to “False”
5. Close the tab or window

Personally, I use the Firefox extension Better Privacy, which I mentioned in a previous tip about Flash cookies. In addition to settings for Flash cookies, this extension provides for disabling DOM storage without having to edit the Firefox configuration file.

More information about DOM storage in Firefox can be found at this Mozilla link.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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