3 browsers that block third-party cookies by default

With the sheer amount of information that can be extracted from your internet use, having a privacy-oriented browser has become essential to protecting your internet activity—and bigger browsers are catching on.

Last year, Google announced that it would start blocking third-party ads on Google Chrome in 2022, replacing it with the Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), which Google claims is a “privacy-first” and “interest-based” advertising technology (you can read our take on that here).

Read more: What are cookies?

The company has just announced a delay to the rollout—it’s now expected to happen in 2023 instead, leaving Chrome users the option of either waiting for two more years, or installing a third-party cookie blocker on their browser.

Fortunately, at least three other browsers already block third-party cookies by default, so if you’re looking to make a switch to a more privacy-oriented browser, consider one of these alternatives.

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Safari

Since the release of Safari 13.1, Apple now blocks all third-party cookies in Safari by default.

From its webkit blog:

Cookies for cross-site resources are now blocked by default across the board. This is a significant improvement for privacy since it removes any sense of exceptions or “a little bit of cross-site tracking is allowed.”

If you have an Apple device, Safari will already be installed and ready for use.

Firefox

Firefox, produced by the non-profit organization Mozilla, is flush with security features that any internet user will appreciate: phishing and malware protection, blocking reported attack websites/web forgeries, and warning users when a site is trying to install add-ons.

In February, Firefox introduced Total Cookie Protection, which “ensures that no cookies can be used to track you from site to site as you browse the web.” This feature contains cookies to the website you visit, preventing it from being shared with another website.

Brave

Brave is also packed with security features—as soon as you launch the Brave browser on your device, it blocks all ads and trackers by default. It even shows you how many the browser has blocked, and how much time you’ve saved by not needing to load them.

Brave uses filter lists from the EasyList and EasyPrivacy projects, the uBlock Origin project, as well as its own generated lists, which lets it block unwanted advertising and tracking resources from loading in your browser.

Stop third-party cookies in their tracks

Third-party cookies can collect a lot about your online activity, from your google searches to your shopping habits. Using a privacy-oriented browser that stops third-party trackers from following you around the internet is a first and very important step in protecting your online privacy. If you aren’t using one yet, you should start now.

Read more: How to turn off browsing history

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Jamie writes about current issues concerning digital privacy and security and is known to interview leading figures in tech. He also keeps an eye on changes in government censorship and surveillance.