How to disable third-party cookies on computers present in your organization?

What are first-party browser cookies?

A first-party web cookie or browser cookie is a packet of data that a website sends to the user's browser and is saved on his/her browser, when the user visits the website. When the user returns to the website later, the cookie is accessed by the website to identify the user and his/her preferences.

First-party cookies are used by vendors and web applications to keep users signed-in to accounts, remember user's language preferences and in case of online shopping portals, remember items added to cart and more.

The data sent by one website cannot be accessed by another website, keeping the data secure.

Note:Disabling first-party cookies will prevent users from staying signed-in to websites, thus breaking the functionalities of cookie-dependent applications.

What are third-party cookies?

Third-party cookies are cookies left by website A on website B, for website A to track users who visit B. For example, consider a blog that has Facebook's share button on it. This share button has Facebook's cookie in it. When a user visits the blog, two sets of cookies are sent to the user's browser. One sent by the blog, and another sent by Facebook. So, when the user visits Facebook later, Facebook would know that the user had visited the blog earlier.

Third-party cookies are used by vendors to track user's browsing patterns on the web to understand their interests. Users are displayed with customized content based on the websites they have already visited. This is how targeted advertisements work.

Browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox provides the users with an option to block third-party cookies. Turning off third-party cookies will ensure users' web activities will not be tracked.

With Browser Security Plus, IT admins can disable both first-party and third-party cookies for Google Chrome, and only third-party cookies for Mozilla Firefox.

How to enable first-party cookies?

While third-party cookies are harmful and raises privacy concerns, first-party cookies are required to render certain applications. Disabling first-party cookies will result in the functionality breaks in cookie-dependent web-applications. Users might turn off all cookies accidentally on their machines, without realizing the consequences. To prevent such mishaps, IT admins can enable first-party cookies for the end-users, making sure they cannot override it. Here's how you can enable first-party cookies.

  1. Navigate to Browser Customization under Policies from the left tab.
  2. Click on Create Policy button and select Google Chrome from the drop down list.
  3. Enter a suitable name for the policy and click on Continue
  4. Under Content Restrictions, click on Allow corresponding to Cookies.
  5. Save and publish the policy.
  6. Deploy the policy to computers you want the changes applied to.

You have successfully enabled first-party cookies for all websites.

How to disable third-party cookies in Chrome and Firefox on end-user machines?

  1. Navigate to Data Leakage Prevention under Policies from the left tab.
  2. Click on Create Policy button.
  3. Select Never allow corresponding to Third-party cookies.
  4. Save and publish the policy.
  5. Deploy the policy to computers you want the changes applied to.

You have successfully disabled third-party cookies for Chrome and Firefox.