I Want To Decline Cookies, Can I?


I Want To Decline Cookies, Can I?

Ahem: Just between the two of us, I was looking for a picture of a rogue cookie. You know, a cookie gone bad type of vibe because the cookies we are talking about today are bad, but I couldn’t find one 🙁 . So please enjoy this other picture of a cookie running away instead :).

Hello guys, today we continue with the cookies series. If you are new here and you don’t know what I am talking about, I shall link the first article here, and the second one here. Today we shall be tackling the question, when should you accept cookies.

The truth is, you don’t have to accept cookies so as to use certain websites. Many companies ask you click ‘yes’ or ‘agree’ so as to be compliant with the current privacy laws. By clicking yes, you give the company permission to use your information as they see fit without worrying about legal backlash. In most cases cookies are harmless, however, there are a few occasions when you should decline cookies. Don’t stress though, if you find in a situation where you want to decline for whatever reason, most websites will work just fine without collecting your information. Knowing this, here are a few situations when you should say no to cookies.

Shady sites

Most shady sites are unencrypted, they have an unlocked lock icon by the web address. Beware of using these sites while using a public Wi-Fi network. The information the cookies collect can be intercepted by hackers because there isn’t security to stop them.

TIP: Adopt the practice of using your browser’s private or incognito mode when using a free and public Wi-Fi. While using incognito mode, cookies aren’t collected by default no matter where your internet escapades take you.

Third-party cookies

If you are using a website and the cookie-consent pop-up mentions third-party cookies, click ‘decline’. Accepting the cookies gives the website the right to sell your browsing behavior to a data broker. The broker then combines your behavior on one website with information from other websites and builds an extremely detailed profile of you as a consumer. The profile is then sent to other third parties who are targeting people like you. Some of these third parties could be vulnerable to hacking. The hacker gains access to a browser and mimics users to be able to steal cookies from the browser. This is known as ‘cookie stealing’ or ‘session hijacking’. This can put you at risk of identity theft if hackers manage to steal cookies that store your personal information or credit card information.

TIP: If you are afraid that you might have accepted such cookies don’t panic. Simply go to your browser and delete your cookies (this should give you a clean slate 😉 ). If you are afraid that you might accidentally accept third-party cookies, here’s a way to make things fool proof. Go to your browser and choose to allow only required cookies or ‘first party cookies’. These are the helpful cookies I talked about at the beginning of the series and are only used by the website you are visiting.

When you’re using private information

If you don’t feel comfortable sharing the information you’re using or accessing on a website with a stranger, don’t use cookies on that site. Avoid cookies on sites where you do your banking, access your medical information, or use other private information.

TIP: Just like I mentioned above if you’re afraid you’ve already accepted cookies on websites where you wouldn’t want your information gathered, go into your browser and use the ‘clear cookies’ option. This will prevent sites from collecting your information in the future, as long as you decline the next time a site asks you to accept its cookies.

PRO TIP: Only accept cookies if you trust the site. If you are instincts are telling you not to, trust them, intuition is a gift.

As I conclude, happy belated international women’s day to the ladies in the house. Maybe saying in the house is over kill but seriously happy women’s day to you. We see you, we appreciate you, we love you and we are proud of you. Keep pushing down those barriers and challenging those around you.

To the men we love you too.

Have a good one,



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