Throw away Flash cookies

Posted on March 10, 2012

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Target audience

This tip is aimed at Linux users with a healthy sense of paranoia and a dislike of sneaky Internet tracking.

Disclaimer

This tip has a disadvantage if you use a lot of Flash sites and games in that your settings will no longer be saved.

Here we go

Local Shared Objects or “Flash cookies” as they are commonly known contain data that can be stored locally on your computer by sites that use Flash. These cookies can’t be directly shared between different domains but the data contained in them can indirectly shared with third parties to aid in tracking you around the Internet.

Flash cookies are not removed from your computer when you clear down your cookies but there are browser plug-ins to get rid of them. I prefer not to allow them on to my computer in the first place and fortunately, as I am running Linux I can make it so!

Running the following commands will stop Flash cookies from being stored on your computer.

cd ~
mv .macromedia .saved-evil-stuff
ln -s /dev/null .macromedia

When you are happy this is working you can remove your saved evil stuff

cd ~
rm -rf .saved-evil-stuff

You can’t really stop yourself being tracked around the Internet, you can just make the buggers work for it.

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Posted in: Hints and Tips, Linux