Pop-up cookies that spoil your browsing?
Thomas Macaulay* offers advice on how to stop annoying interruptions.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions – or, as you may call them, “cookie pop-ups”.
Disclaimers have marked the internet since the EU made them mandatory for most sites.
Lawmakers were understandably concerned about companies tracking users as they browse the web.
Notifications are their attempt to protect our privacy.
Well, thank you – I hate them.
No one reads silly banners, sites use dark patterns to trick us into accepting their worst terms, and pop-ups make peaceful browsing a distant memory.
There are, however, tools that block and circumvent the ubiquitous warnings of these trackers.
Here are three of our favorites:
- great agent
The Super Agent browser extension automatically fills cookie pop-up forms.
After installing the extension, you choose which tracking cookies you want to accept or decline.
The extension then automatically fills out the consent forms based on your preferences.
The company also promises to never store your data by default, to inform you of any action taken and to warn you whenever it finds a website that does not respect your preferences.
Super Agent is available on Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge.
Developers say it’s also coming soon to Opera
Consent-O-Matic takes a similar approach to Super Agent.
You can program the tool to automatically apply your consent choices to new sites.
The open-source browser extension will then navigate pop-ups on your behalf, although it won’t work on all sites.
The extension was invented by privacy researchers who were fed up with companies flouting the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Consent-O-Matic is available on Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
- I don’t care about cookies
I don’t care about cookies is very effective if your feelings match the name of the tool – but it’s not the most privacy-centric option.
The popular plugin automatically blocks or hides most cookie warnings.
However, if cookies are necessary for a site to function properly, the extension automatically accepts the policy for you.
I don’t care about cookies is available on Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera and Pale Moon.
You can also use the tool as a filter list (less effective) for ad blockers.
Not good enough?
There are tons of other tools out there that offer similar services, but these are the three we’ve found to be the most effective.
If third-party tools do not appeal, you can also block all cookies from your browser settings, although this may interrupt many site features.
Another option is to install a privacy-focused web browser, such as Tor, which does not store cookies by default.
Alternatively, you can endure the irritation until the cookies are finally crushed – which may not take too long.
Firefox, Safari and Brave have restricted blocked third-party cookies for years, while Chrome is expected to phase them out by the end of 2023.
Unfortunately, Google will likely replace them with some other form of tracking, leaving honest developers to clean up the mess once again.
*Thomas Macaulay is a writer at Neural by TNW.
This article first appeared on thenextweb.com.