It’s bad enough that we get hit with tons of third party browser cookies that can track our surfing habits. Now we have to worry about Flash cookies and even worse, Zombie cookies. So what are these new cookies?
Almost every computer that accesses the web, now has Adobe Flash installed on it. In case you didn’t know, the Flash program stores it’s own cookies that your web browser has absolutely no control over. Are these Flash cookies bad for us? Yes, they can store all kinds of private information that can be passed to almost any website that uses them. A typical browser cookie is only 4k in size, while a Flash cookie can be up to 100k. That’s more room for information that you may not want to share.
In addition to being more difficult to control, the Flash cookies are now also resurrecting browser cookies that you may have intentionally blocked or removed. These resurrected cookies are known as Zombie cookies. I found out about this from Woody at Windows Secrets newsletter. Once I found out, I decided to look around for ways to get some control over these rogue Flash cookies. Here’s what I’ve found so far.
Adobe Flash has privacy settings that you can adjust by going to their website.
I’ll be honest with you – I really don’t understand many of these settings, but I have used them a few times. I just don’t know how much good it’s done me. Here are some sample screen shots of my settings.
There are settings in each of the 8 tabs there. All I can recommend is that you review the settings and be sure that most of them ask your permission for unusual requests such as webcam access.
Another way to control and remove Flash cookies is to use this freeware program I’ve found called FlashCookiesView.
This program is available as a zip file and is completely portable. Just unpack it into a folder and execute the program when you need it. FlashCookiesView allows you to see all of the Flash cookies, view the contents of the cookies, and to delete any of them you wish.
Get Nirsoft’s FlashCookiesView
â€¢ Firefox users can delete Flash cookies with – BetterPrivacy
â€¢ Here is a Chrome extension which also allows Flash cookie removal: Click & Clean
â€¢ Here is more security information on Flash cookies
â€¢ You can delete Flash cookies manually by going to the storage locations listed here
Now you know as much as I do. If you have your own tips on controlling Flash cookies or any other Windows security issues, be sure to comment below or email me.