How to Delete Facebook Tracking Cookies
Everyone knows they're being tracked on the web, but few people can actually conceive of to what degree this tracking occurs. It's more than just being able to recommend things you might like or serve you ads from your favorite brands. Today, web advertisers know just about everything they could ever want to about you. And it's all thanks to Facebook.
Whether you've got a Facebook account or not, Facebook is following you all around the internet, collecting piece after piece of data about who you are, what you like, where you live and much, much more. They do this via tracking cookies present on virtually every site you visit.
We've all seen the Facebook "share" button or icon at the top of our favorite websites. Well, this is more than just a button — it's also the deployment for a tracking cookie that sticks with you wherever you go on the web. The more sites you visit with this "share" button, the more cookies are left on your computer and the more Facebook knows about you.
The only way to get Facebook to stop following you around the internet is to cut off its tracking capabilities. That means you're going to have to learn how to delete Facebook's tracking cookies.
Deleting Facebook's cookies
There are several ways to delete tracking cookies from your computer and this is a necessary first step towards protecting your identity and data online.
First, open your web browser and navigate to the "clear search history" setting. This setting is virtually the same across all browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.). Once you've found it, there's an option that will ask you to clear cookies and other recurrent information, such as autofill passwords and stored data. Check this box and delete your history. Depending on how long you've been browsing, this could take a minute or two.
Keeping cookies from coming back
Sweeping your browser will clear the cookies that are already following you around, but it won't stop future tracking cookies from being left behind by Facebook's ad partners. To nip this problem in the bud and keep it from becoming a thorn in your browsing experience, you'll need to start blocking scripts.
Most people aren't programmers, so the idea of blocking executable scripts on the web is a foreign concept. Luckily, there are numerous tools that will help you do this with little-to-no effort at all. Extensions like uBlock Origin, AdBlock Plus or NoScript are all browser plugins that can block Facebook's attempts to leave a tracking cookie on your computer. Better still, many of them have preset options for blocking Facebook cookies specifically.
If you're especially fed up with Facebook's incessant tracking and want a completely anonymous browsing experience, you can even switch browsers. There are several out there that promise an ad-free, privacy-laden internet experience.
Giving your PC a clean sweep
Protecting yourself against Facebook's cookies doesn't stop with your web browser. To be safe, it's also important to clean up your operating system as well. Cookies are stored on your computer, locally, which means they exist until you physically remove them or they expire. Generally, they can be removed by clearing your browser's history, but that doesn't mean some aren't lingering!
To eradicate tracking cookies from your operating system, you'll want to download MyCleanPC. The program has a specific Privacy Protector feature that enables you to remove all traces of ad tracking from your computer — Facebook's cookies included. With just a couple of mouse clicks, you can scan your system and remove all cookies from it. It'll stop Facebook from gathering information on you and keep your data secure and protected.
Staying ahead of Facebook and its tracking network
Unfortunately, staying off Facebook's radar is a near impossibility without extreme measures. The best we can do is to keep ahead of its efforts to track us and do our best to flush out the cookies it leaves behind on our computers. Routine cleaning of your browser, the addition of script-blocking software and a weekly scan with MyCleanPC are good starts.
If you haven't already, check out our post on how to delete Facebook permanently. This will limit the amount of direct-from-you information Facebook has access to and help cut out some of the specific profiling information used by the platform. It's also a good idea to keep in mind that each device you use will store its own tracking cookies, so what you do for one device needs to be done across all of them.
Follow the steps in this article to fight back against Facebook's intrusive data collecting and advertising. You might not be able to beat Facebook, but you can certainly work to protect your privacy online. MyCleanPC can help.