Block Third Party & Advertiser Cookies in Safari for Mac
Safari in OS X allows you to have greater control over cookie settings as stored in the Mac web browser. There are now options to block all cookies, allow all cookies, or to selectively block third party and advertiser tracking cookies. Each of these choices are easily set or changed within Safaris’ preferences, and if you want to adjust the cookie blocking setting yourself in Safari on the Mac, here is exactly how to do that:
- With Safari open as the active application, pull down the “Safari” menu and select “Preferences”
- Click on the “Privacy” tab
- Select the ‘third party and advertisers’ radio box alongside the “Block Cookies” option, or choose one of the other two options:
- Choosing the “Always” option blocks all cookies, not just third party and ad cookies.
- Choosing “Never” is the old default option, which allows all cookies from all sources.
You may find this setting to be enabled by default on some machines. If you want to disable the feature simply check the radio box for “Never” to allow all cookies instead.
This is a relatively new feature, starting with Safari 5.1 in OS X Lion and continuing on with the latest versions of Safari in OS X Mavericks onward.
Blocking these cookies is different than using a browser ad blocker plugin because it simply forces the ad cookies to not gather data rather than blocking the ad completely. Third party ad cookies are generally used to serve relevant ads to web users, this is achieved by monitoring web usage habits and then serving ads based on the sites you visit. For example, if you visit a lot of Apple-related sites, you’ll probably see Apple-related ads elsewhere on the web. You can read more about this practice on Wikipedia.