A cleaner web experience with Self-Destructing Cookies

Self-Destructing Cookies is a cool little plugin I found yesterday that deletes cookies as soon as you’re done with them. Apps like CCleaner are great, but you need to run them on a schedule, so cookies will linger until the task is run. Self-Destructing Cookies runs as soon as the browser tab is closed and deletes all the cookies associated with that tab. This means all those useless cookies will be deleted right after you leave the site, not several days later.

Why would you care? Have you seen the number of cookies that get downloaded from a site these days? It’s both shocking and distressing. I’m not going to sit here in a tin foil hat, but sites are serving up more than just ads. All sorts of "beacons" get written down and whether or not they track your movements, they’re utterly useless, especially after you leave. Of course, none of those get deleted, so they sit there collecting data and who knows what else.

I want to keep cookies related to Amazon and Steam, because I shop there and it’s easier to log in. But if I look up something about the weather or check the price of an appliance, I shouldn’t have 10-15 extra cookies on my machine making note of what I just looked up.

When you first install Self-Destructing Cookies, it will clear out your entire cookie cache. To me that was a good thing, but there is an Undelete function so you can retrieve cookies for sites you want to keep – Amazon for example. From there, you can whitelist whatever cookies you want to keep and they won’t be destroyed – Steam for example. Everything else will get swept away as soon as you close the tab for the site.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t clear out the web cache, forms or anything else, that’s a job for CCleaner. But Self-Destructing Cookies is brilliant. It removes all those cookies that you have no use for and would just delete when you left the site if you took the time to do it manually. I have this installed at both work and home and if you leave the notifications on for a few minutes, you’ll be stunned by all the cookies you collect.

Self-Destructing Cookies automatically removes cookies when they are no longer used by open browser tabs. With the cookies, lingering sessions, as well as information used to spy on you, will be expunged. Websites will only be permitted to identify you while you actually use them and can not stalk you across the entire web. This is the closest you will get to cookieless browsing without breaking every second site or tedious micromanaging.

Self-Destructing Cookies from Mozilla

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