Best Free Privacy Add-ons for Firefox
Self-Destructing Cookies accepts cookies now, auto-delete them later.
SDC allows you to set cookie preferences on a per-domain basis. The difference with other cookie managers lies in how it handles blocked cookies: it actually allows them, but auto-deletes them after you've closed the last tab in which the blocked website was open. Doing so prevents websites from nagging about their cookies being blocked. It also means that cookie-based features (such as logins) will simply keep working during your visit, unlike what happens with regular cookie blockers.
Cookies can be set to be deleted when
- you close the last tab of the website;
- or when you close the browser;
- or never/only when they expire.
Configuring each domain's policy is simple. SDC puts an icon into the toolbars that reflects the current setting for the domain you're on. Simply click it to bring up the 3 options, then click the one you want to apply. There are more advanced options in the Add-ons Manager too, so you should check those out.
Cookies are little pieces of text that websites can store in your browser. They're a vital component for things such as login sessions, website preferences that aren't stored server-side, etc. Unfortunately, they can also be used to track you around the web and do other shady things since they can be uniquely identified and can store any kind of information.
Whether or not cookies are a good thing depends on their origin. On websites that are part of your routines, they're a necessity. On websites you distrust or never plan to visit again, they're an annoyance and possibly a privacy concern.
Ghostery blocks known malicious scripts and web trackers according to a blacklist and lets you select/deselect specific trackers or entire categories. It's regularly updated and seems to do its job very well. You can choose to have a blocking report displayed somewhere on the screen each time a page is loaded.
While it does its job well, it has a flaw common to all tools of this type: it operates based on only a blacklist. Therefore, it only blocks trackers the developers know about and want to block.
Be advised, I personally experienced a fairly noticeable performance penalty when running Ghostery.
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