What is cokkie editor And How Does It Work? [Review]

Cokkie editor, are integral parts of the modern web browsing experience. These small text files stored in your browser allow websites to remember your preferences and settings, keep you logged into accounts, and provide relevant content.

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However, excessive and undisclosed use of cookies has raised privacy concerns among many users. This is where cookie editors come in – tools that allow you to view, edit, delete, and manage the cookies stored in your browser.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about cookie editors including:

What Are Cookies?

Cookies are small text files, usually consisting of letters and numbers, that are stored on your computer by websites you visit. They contain data about your browsing activity and preferences.

When you visit a website, it can send a cookie to your browser. Your browser will store this cookie and send it back to the server on future visits so the site can recognize you and remember important information that will make your browsing experience better.

Some common uses of cookies include:

  • Session management – Logins, shopping carts, game scores etc. Website needs to remember who you are and store relevant data in the session cookie.
  • Personalization – Settings like themes, font sizes, preferences etc. are stored in cookies so they persist across site visits.
  • Tracking – Cookies are used to track user behavior across websites for analytics and advertising purposes.
  • Maintaining state – Games, polls, surveys need to store state in cookies to remember answers, scores etc. when a user navigates across pages.
  • Security – Cookies can store encrypted login info, shopping cart IDs etc. to identify legitimate users and prevent fraud.
  • Consent – Cookie consent banners store a cookie to remember that you already consented earlier.

While most cookies are set by the website you are visiting, third-parties like ads and analytics services can also set cookies in your browser to track you across sites.

Types of Cookies

There are a few different classifications of cookies based on their lifespan and ownership:

Session Cookies

These are temporary cookies that are deleted once you close your browser at the end of a browsing session. They store session IDs and other short-term data relevant only for the duration of a site visit.

Persistent Cookies

These have an expiration date and are saved on your device until they expire or are deleted manually. They are used to remember long-term preferences and user accounts.

First-party Cookies

These are cookies set by the website you are currently visiting. They can be session or persistent cookies.

Third-party Cookies

These are cookies set by domains other than the one you are visiting. Most commonly, these are set by external vendors like ads and analytics services.

The Need for Cookie Editors

While cookies provide many conveniences to users, they also pose privacy and security risks including:

  • Tracking across sites – Advertisers and analytics services use cookies to track user activity across websites to target ads and collect data.
  • Privacy invasive cookies – Certain persistent cookies can be used to build detailed user profiles by aggregating browsing habits over time.
  • Security risks – Cookies can store login tokens, shopping cart IDs and other sensitive data that can be stolen through cookie theft attacks like XSS.
  • Data leaks – Cookies sent in clear text can expose private info like email IDs, user names etc. to sniffing attacks on insecure Wi-Fi.
  • Annoying consent banners – Due to GDPR and other regulations, sites bombard users with annoying cookie consent notices on each visit.
  • Browser clutter – Over time browsers end up storing thousands of unnecessary cookies taking up disk space and slowing down browsing.

Cookie editors allow advanced users to take control of their cookies to mitigate these risks.

The main reasons you may want to use them include:

  • Viewing cookies set on your browser for audit and privacy reasons.
  • Deleting unwanted or unused persistent cookies to free up space.
  • Removing tracking/advertising cookies for better privacy.
  • Editing cookie values for testing or development purposes.
  • Exporting and importing cookies to transfer settings across browsers and devices.
  • Blocking specific cookie domains to prevent tracking or stop annoying consent banners.
  • Easier cookie management than browser built-in tools.

Features of a Cookie Editor

Cookie editors come in different forms – browser extensions, standalone desktop apps or mobile apps.

Here are some of the core features they provide:

  • Cookie listing – Lists all cookies stored in the browser, usually in a sortable table. Shows cookie name, content, domain, expiration etc.
  • Search and filters – Allows searching for specific cookies and filtering cookie list by domain, type, lifetime etc.
  • Adding, editing, deleting cookies – Ability to add new cookies, edit values of existing ones or deleting selected cookies.
  • Import/export – Functionality to export cookies to a file and import previously exported ones across browsers and devices.
  • Multi-browser support – Compatibility with all major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge instead of being limited to one.
  • Blocking tools – Option to block specific cookie domains or block all third-party cookies.
  • Cookie monitoring – Track new cookies as they get created in real-time to identify trackers.
  • Consent management – granular control over cookie consents instead of blanket accepting/rejecting all.
  • Portability – Browser extensions for easy access when browsing vs desktop apps for power users.
  • Security features – Encryption, permission controls and other measures to prevent cookie misuse.
  • User interface – An intuitive and easy-to-use interface for reviewing and managing cookies.
  • Customer support – Responsive customer support in case users need help with cookie management.

Popular Cookie Editors

There are many cookie editors available today, both free and paid. Here we review some of the most popular and capable ones:

EditThisCookie

Key Features: Browser extension for Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Edge, bulk delete by domain or date, real-time cookie monitoring, easy editing, blocking, sorting and filtering.

  • Price: Free
  • Good For: Casual cookie management directly during browsing. Easy to add, edit or delete any cookie.
  • Limitations: No advanced features like auditing or reports. Accessible only when browser is open.

Cookie Editor

  • Key Features: Cross-browser desktop app, bulk cookie management, schedule automatic deletions, view detailed stats on storage space, shareable reports, multi-profile support.
  • Price: Free or $29 for Pro version
  • Good For: Complete cookie control with powerful automation and insights for power users.
  • Limitations: No browser extension version. Cannot access cookies from external programs.

Cookie Inspector

Key Features: Mobile app for iOS and Android, filter and search cookies, add exceptions, view cookie metadata and traffic light system for dangerous cookies.

Price: Free or $2.99 for Pro version

Good For: Quickly view and delete privacy invasive cookies on mobile devices on the go.

Limitations: Limited functionality compared to desktop tools. Cannot edit cookie contents.

Cookie-Editor

  • Key Features: Lightweight Windows app, portable USB version available, view complete cookie data, filter and bulk delete cookies, export cookies to external programs.
  • Price: Free
  • Good For: Developers who need to view and export cookie data for testing and debugging.
  • Limitations: No browser integration or automation features. Basic interface and not regularly updated.

Cookie Manager+

  • Key Features: Browser extension for Chrome and Firefox, granular blocking of cookie domains, view cookie access timeline, real-time alerts on new cookies, consent management.
  • Price: Free
  • Good For: Fine-grained cookie privacy settings and live monitoring of cookie activity.
  • Limitations: Cannot view/edit cookie contents. No standalone desktop app.

How Do Cookie Editors Work?

Cookie editors use the browser extension or desktop app architecture to access and manipulate cookies stored in your browser. Here is a look at how they work under the hood:

Browser Extensions

  • For browser-specific extensions like EditThisCookie, they use the browser extension APIs like chrome.cookies or browser.cookies to access cookie data and make changes.
  • The extension background script runs all the time and can access cookies programmatically or respond to user actions via popups and option pages opened when you click the extension.
  • This allows performing all cookie functions like viewing, editing, deleting without needing native app permissions. However, access is limited to times when the browser is running.

Desktop Apps

  • For cross-browser desktop apps like Cookie Editor, they rely on the browser’s local storage folders and SQLite databases like cookies.sqlite where cookies are stored.
  • By programmatically interfacing with these underlying data files, they can provide a unified interface for managing cookies across different browsers.
  • This provides more power and automation compared to extensions. However, native OS permissions are required and changes apply only when browsers are restarted.

Mobile Apps

  • Mobile apps use the device’s local storage APIs exposed by the iOS or Android SDK to access browser cookie databases directly just like desktop apps.
  • They also require location permissions in order to access the relevant browser data folders. The apps can then display, filter and delete cookies through the UI.

How to Use Cookie Editors Securely

While cookie editors provide more control over your privacy, they can also be misused by malicious actors to steal sensitive cookie data.

Here are some tips to use them safely:

  • Only install trusted extensions with good reputation and active development. Check reviews and download numbers.
  • For desktop apps, only download installers from official websites instead of third-party stores. Verify publisher name and signatures.
  • Check requested permissions before installing. Apps should only require local storage permissions minimally.
  • Export data selectively instead of storing full cookie database dumps which may contain sensitive info.
  • Disable HTTP cookie access in app or extension settings to prevent transmitting stolen cookies over the network.
  • Use built-in encryption options available in premium tools like Cookie Editor to prevent local cookie theft through disk access.
  • Don’t grant unnecessary privileges like accessibility or VPN options since they can be abused to steal cookies.
  • Keep the editor updated to ensure security fixes are implemented promptly by the developers.
  • Understand the risks of manually editing cookies which could break site functionality or invalidate security tokens.

Common FAQs about Cookie Editors

Q1: Can cookie editors steal my passwords or other sensitive information?

A: Most cookie editors including the reputable ones like Cookie Editor and EditThisCookie cannot directly access sensitive information like passwords. They can only view, edit and delete cookies stored in the browser’s local cookie storage. They do not have access to page content or other resources. However malicious tools could try to steal cookies so only use trusted editors.

Q2: Are cookie editors legal to use?

A: Cookie editors themselves are legal to use in most countries. The approach of displaying cookies that are already stored locally on your device does not violate any laws. However, manually deleting cookies that store consent preferences or are used for fraud detection could violate a website’s terms and conditions.

Q3: Can using cookie editors break websites?

A: Removing functional cookies needed by websites can cause them to break. For example, deleting session cookies may log you out or removing shopping cart cookies could empty your cart. Reputable editors like EditThisCookie have an option to blacklist critical website cookies that prevent breaking sites. But use care when deleting cookies manually.

Q4: Should I delete all my cookies?

A: It’s not recommended to blindly delete all cookies as many provide useful functionality like remembering logins and site preferences. Cookie editors allow selectively removing unnecessary tracking/advertising cookies. Use their filtering tools to delete unused old cookies instead of clearing everything.

Q5: How are cookie editors different from private browsing modes?

A: Private or incognito modes only avoid saving new cookies temporarily during that session. Cookie editors give full control to view, edit and delete existing cookies saved over all browsing sessions, not just avoid new ones. They complement private browsing.

Conclusion

Cookie editors empower you to take control of cookies from opaque behind-the-scenes browser storage into an easy-to-use transparent interface.

Like any power user tool, they need to be used responsibly. The ability to edit cookies manually should be exclusively used by those who understand the impact.

Used properly, cookie editors give users the ability to audit cookies for privacy, delete unwanted ones to declutter browsers, and manage consents. This can help mitigate various cookie-related risks and nuisances as the web evolves.

The best cookie editors enhance user agency over privacy without breaking site functionality. They represent an evolution in transparency and control of browser data storage for the benefit of users.

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